Some of the ‘illegal migrants’ who were rounded up on the first day of the ‘Operation Clean Drive’ undertaken by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union on Friday Credit: Amar Sangno

Itanagar: Thousands of Inner Line Permit (ILP) violators and ‘illegal immigrants’ were identified on the first day of the ‘Operation Clean Drive’ (OCD) undertaken by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) on Friday, claimed the apex students’ body of the state.

The AAPSU had on August 1 issued an ultimatum to all non-indigenous people in the state who do not have valid documents or an ILP to leave the state within 15 days. The deadline had ended on August 16. The decision was reportedly made in the wake of the ongoing National Register of Citizens (NRC) publication process in the neighbouring state of Assam. Arunachal Pradesh shares a 804-km boundary with Assam, mostly porous.

Arunachal Pradesh is protected under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873 for the safeguarding of indigenous tribes. Under the act, non-indigenous people need to have ILPs to venture into the state.

Most of the violators rounded up by the AAPSU on Friday are reportedly daily-wage labourers and construction-site workers. The violators were handed over to the police for further legal action.

The NRC publication process in Assam has instilled fear among the people of the other Northeastern states, especially those sharing their borders with Assam, over the influx of suspected Bangladeshi nationals.

Sensing any trouble as a result of the drive, the AAPSU had on Tuesday reached out to the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU). The AASU had agreed to extend all support in their campaign against the illegal immigrants.

Meanwhile, the AAPSU said that it would not harass any individual in the name of the drive. The students’ body assured that defaulters would only be handed over to the police. The AAPSU also appealed local contractors to get their labourers and workers verified within 15 days.

Commenting on the drive, SBK Singh, DGP, Arunachal Pradesh, said that more than 3,000 ILP violators have been detected so far. The Papum Pare district ( Itanagar) recorded the highest number of ILP violators at 1,000 people, followed by the West Kameng district with over 500 defaulters. However, the DGP ruled out any large number of organised influx into the state.

Addressing media persons on Friday, Tobom Dai, general secretary, AAPSU, said that more than 1,000 IPL violators were detected during the first day of the OCD.

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