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Readers' Opinion

Illegal Indians in Bangladesh

Thursday May 26 2005 14:46:21 PM BDT

Mohammad Zainal Abedin from Bangladesh

Though Indian government and its print media relentlessly try to prove that the Bangladeshis are intruding into India daily, and Indian BSF (Border Security Forces) personnel engage try to push the Indian Bengali speaking Muslims to Bangladesh, the reality is totally otherwise.

According to the available reports, lakhs of Indians hailing from Indian states of West Bengal, Meghalaya, Assame, Tripura, Mizoram are illegally staying in Bangladesh—from urban to the rural areas. These states are extremely poor and the Indians come to Bangladesh in search of job and better living.

Most of these Indians enter Bangladesh without passport or visa, take shelter in the houses of their relatives. In order to justify them as Bangladeshis they collect certificates and other documents from the respective authorities with the help of their relatives or the agents in exchange of money.

In course of time they start to claim that they are Bangladeshis. Some Hindus, those who do not have relatives in the urban areas introduce themselves as Muslims and provide fake permanent addresses to justify them as Bangladeshis. Due to identical language, physical appearance and structure, none doubts that they are Indian Hindus. So they can easily live in Bangladesh illegally.

In the urban areas these Indians outwardly work in buying houses, garment factories,fashion houses,freight and forwarding agencies, educational institutions, computer training centers,restaurants, advertising agencies, bars and hotels, beauty parlours , guest houses, private firms and business houses. Some of them work as car and taxi drivers and even rickshaw pullers. I personally came across more than one hundred rickshaw pullers in Dhaka City over the last couple of months.

It is learnt that some of these Indian are the agents and operatives of Indian intelligence agency—RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) and they are involved in carrying out subversive activities.They are involved in money laundering,’hoondy’ and smuggling creating devatating effects on the economy.

Besides their outwardjobs, they might have been planted in Bangladesh to carryout sabotage.

It is apprehended these RAW agents might be engaged to create anarchic situation in the
country before and after the forthcoming general elections. Abrupt increase of political killings in the country, particularly robbery in Dhaka in recent days, indicates presence of such people in Bangladesh. Arrest of nine Indian from the venue of Prime Minister’s scheduled meeting at Lakhsam proves the huge presence of RAW agents and operatives in Bangladesh.

It is difficult to ascertain the real figure of the Indians in Bangladesh who are scattered in the rural areas also. To justify the huge presence of the Indians in Bangladesh and the problems that are being surfaced let me quote a report of a Dhaka—based daily. The Choddogram Correspondent of the daily reported that about 1,100 hundred Indians illegally reside in Choddogram, a Bangladeshi Upazila that shares border with Indian state of Tripura. ]

Indians hailing from Tripura state illegally live in all the 14 unions of the Upazila. Tripura lags behind Bangladesh in every sector, having no infrastructure, particularly in the border areas. Indians daily labourers come to Bangladesh illegally to have work, sell and buy commodities in Bangladeshi bazars and meet their relatives living in Bangladesh.

Due to massive intrusion of the Indians local people of ‘Choddogram’ Upazill are becoming jobless, as the Indians work in exchange of lower remuneration than their Bangladeshi counterparts. Workers of almost 80 per cent saloons of Choddogram are Indians. These saloon workers live in Bangladesh illegally.

Many Indians are working in tea-stalls, hotels, groceries, clinics, garment factories, construction and agriculture farms. Many of them work as tailors, bus-conductors, cobblers, carpenters, masons, rickshaw pullers, etc. These Indians reside in Bangladesh enjoying the blessings of a number local influential people.

These Indians are involved in various crimes and anti-social activities. As the Indians do not have any permanent address, they commit various types of crimes, including murder, theft, robbery, rape and just sneak into Indian soil. These Indians bring narcotics like wine, ganja, opium, phensedyl, etc. from India while they smuggle ornaments, diesel, edible oil to India.

Most of these Indians are Hindus. Many of them married local girls belonging to poor families and live in Bangladesh. Some of them left their wives along with three to four children. These children deserted by their Indian fathers live subhuman lives and involve them in anti-social activities to earn their livelihood.

Choddogram is not the only Upazila, where illegal Indians reside permanently. They are available in almost all the villages of Bangladesh if there is at least one Hindu family. There prevails strong public opinion in Bangladesh in favour of arresting all the Indians who illegally enter Bangladesh and live here.

No Indian was ever killed by Bangladesh Rifles when they intruded into Bangladesh. But a survey confirms that 337 Bangladeshis were killed, 466 wounded, 491 kidnapped and 68 women raped during the last five years. BSF detained 467 Bangladeshis while they were either working in their fields or bathing or fishing in the common rivers during the same period.

Bangladeshis cannot go to plough their lands near the border with India. They even cannot fish or bathe in the common rivers. Indians plunder their houses, cattle, paddy fields, and other valuable belongings. India pushes her Bengali speaking Muslims branding them as Bangladeshis.

Under the situation, the government should immediately detect and nab the illegal Indians to avert disruptive activities in the country. It is apprehended that most these Indians will be enrolled in the voter’s list of the coming elections and they may play a vital role to elect the party of Indian choice. So these Indians should immediately be detected and deported to India. Otherwise it will be difficult to expel them in future.*

************************

*Mohammad Zainal Abedin is a Bangladeshi researcher and journalist



 



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