NEW DELHI, Aug 9 - The Centre has initiated steps to set up a task force to identify and deport illegal Bangladeshi settlers in Assam, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju informed the Rajya Sabha today.
The government has taken up the issue of illegal immigration with Bangladesh during various bilateral meetings such as Joint Working Group on Security, Director General-level talks between Border Security Force and Border Guard Bangladesh, Home Secretary-level talks, etc., the minister said in reply to a question.
In the last Home Secretary-level talks in December 2016, India expressed concerns over illegal migration from Bangladesh and requested the neighbouring country to share real time information on activities of criminal networks engaged in illegal border crossing. India and Bangladesh have also put in place a coordinated border management plan to address problems arising from illegal border crossing.
In reply to a separate question, Rijiju said as per available information, there is no refugee camp for Bangladeshis and Rohingyas in the country. “There are 107 camps in Tamil Nadu and one camp in Odisha for Sri Lankan refugees,” he said, adding, Tibetan refugees are staying in settlements and outside settlements on their own.
The minister informed the House that there is a scheme for providing relief assistance to Sri Lankan refugees staying in camps. “There are also schemes for providing relief assistance to Tibetan refugees,” he added.
India is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention relating to the status of refugees and the 1967 Protocol therein. As such, there is no national law on refugees at present. However, a standard operating procedure is in place with effect from December 29, 2011 for dealing with foreign nationals who claim to be refugees. The government grants Long Term Visa (LTV) in deserving cases on the basis of general perceived condition in the home country of the applicant.
According to available estimates, there are around 40,000 Rohingyas living illegally in India. The government has issued detailed instructions for deportation of illegal foreign nationals, including Rohingyas. Deportation of illegally staying foreign nationals is a continuous process and the Central government is vested with powers to deport foreign nationals illegally staying in the country under Section 3(2) (c) of the Foreigners Act, 1946.