Difficult to collect data of Bangladeshis living illegally: Centre

Nityanand Rai   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

The Centre on Wednesday informed the Rajya Sabha that it is “not possible to collect accurate data” of Bangladeshis living illegally in various parts of the country since their entry is “clandestine and surreptitious.”

Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said in a written reply that last year 1,351 illegal immigrants were apprehended along the Bangladesh border and handed over to the Bangladeshi authorities. Till January 27, as many as 83 illegal immigrants were caught. In the years 2017 and 2018, the number of such illegal immigrants apprehended and handed over to Bangladesh stood at 1,175 and 1,118 respectively.

The highest number of illegal immigrants — 992, 900, 1167 and 74 in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 (till January 27) — were apprehended from areas along the West Bengal border.

“As per limited data available, the number of Bangladeshi nationals who have overstayed in the country beyond the period of their visa validity after entering India legally during the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 is 25,942, 49,645 and 35,055 respectively,” Mr. Rai said.

“Illegal immigrants enter into the country without valid travel documents in a clandestine and surreptitious manner. Detection, detention and deportation of such illegally staying foreign nationals, including Bangladeshi nationals, is an ongoing process. Since entry of such foreign nationals into the country is clandestine and surreptitious, it is not possible to collect accurate data of such Bangladeshi nationals living in various parts of the country,” Mr. Rai said.

‘Data not maintained’

On being asked about the the total number of refugees belonging to Hindu, Buddhist, Parsi, Christian and Sikh religions from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh currently residing in the country, Mr. Rai said in a written reply that India was not a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention relating to the status of refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereon and “data relating to foreign nationals claiming to be refugees and residing in India are not maintained centrally.”

Parliament passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on December 11, 2019 to provide citizenship to six undocumented minority communities from the three countries.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 11:21:05 AM |

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