SHILLONG, Sept 7 – The Union Government, which has no details about the magnitude of Bangladeshi infiltrators, could very well reach out to this Congress-run hill State of Meghalaya, which detected over 12,000 Bangladeshi infiltrators in less than five years.
Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, replying to an unstarred question in the Rajya Sabha yesterday said that there are no specific details about the magnitude of such infiltration, although admitting the phenomenon taking place clandestinely.
However, giving information about the detection of Bangladeshi infiltrators, State Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said in the Assembly today that from 2008 to July this year, 12,321 Bangladeshi infiltrators were detected in the State.
The Meghalaya Government, on the other hand, was more precise. It gave the year-wise details about the numbers of such infiltrators being prosecuted, deported and “sent back directly.”
Sangma said, in the past five years from 2008, 697 Bangladeshi infiltrators were prosecuted, in all. Another 564 were deported and 11,644 were sent back directly.
In the case of deportation, it involves the legal process where the infiltrators are deported to the country of origin. But the case of “sent back directly” is a bit trickier. Sangma said these “Bangladeshi infiltrators” are sent back to the places where they claim to belong – and that in most cases are places in India, particularly Assam.
Sangma later told reporters that NGOs have not been given legal sanctity to prosecute infiltrators, but once the proposed Directorate of Infiltration is in place these NGOs would “coordinate” with the government in detecting illegal infiltrators. However, he did not give out specifics as to how the coordination would take place.
Meanwhile, miscreants assaulted a number of bus passengers at Mawryngkneng in Jaintia Hills district on National Highway 44 in its “drive against infiltration” today. The bus was on its way from Silchar to Guwahati. Seven of the miscreants were detained and brought here, police said. NH 44 connects Barak Valley in Assam, and also Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur.