Ahead of elections, Assam forms new committee to act against illegal migrants
Security forces patrol the Indo-Bangladesh Border File image

Ahead of elections, Assam forms new committee to act against illegal migrants

The move to form the committee comes weeks after Home Minister Amit Shah's visit to Guwahati

Assam Police on Monday ordered the formation of a special committee to take action against "illegal migrants" and their facilitators. The decision comes months before the Assembly elections scheduled in April or May this year.

The order by Mukesh Agrawal, the Special Director General of Police, (Border), said the committee has been “constituted to take immediate and pro-active steps to identify the intermediaries, facilitators, collaborators, facilitating the infiltration of illegal immigrants from across the international border into Assam and initiate legal action to bring them to justice.”

The committee is headed by S Borah, Commandant of the 7th Assam Police Battalion, and includes four other Assam Police officials including Partha Protim Das, Kakoli Banya Baruah, Sukanya Das and Rukma Buragohain.

Officials heading the Border Police branch in districts, officials of the Railway Police would take legal action in their respective jurisdictions on the committee recommendations, the order said.

“They would also render necessary assistance to the committee in performing its task including utilization of Border Staff of the districts as and when required by the committee,” the order said.

DIGs of ranges, Commissioner of Police in Guwahati and IGP of BTAD would supervise the committee work, the order said.

Assam’s BJP-led government is facing criticism for passing the Citizenship Amendment Act, a law which is being strongly opposed by a section of the Assamese population of the state who want action against all undocumented migrants.

Leaders of two pressure groups, the All Assam Students Union and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, who were at the forefront of anti-citizenship law protests, have announced the formation of political parties. The Assam Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal have decided to field candidates in the forthcoming Assembly polls.

The decision to form the anti-infiltration committee follows the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah who was in Guwahati in December.

According to figures reviewed by EastMojo, 1,34, 810 persons have been declared as foreigners in Assam till July 31, 2020. As on December 6, 2020, a total of 386 persons including 22 children were in detention across the six detention centres which run out of jails. Only seven declared foreigners have been repatriated, according to officials.

The process of the update of the National Register of Citizens which was being updated to identify undocumented migrants is in limbo even as it came for serious criticism by the ruling BJP.

The state coordinator of exercise Hitesh Dev Sarma also questioned the integrity of the process and claimed that a large number of illegal migrants may have found their way into the NRC list published in 2019.

Over 1.9 million NRC rejects are still waiting for orders which would contain the reasons for their exclusion and form the basis of their appeals to foreigners tribunals.

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