Illegal Migrants in West Bengal: Mamata Banerjee
Published: 22nd June 2014 07:56 AM | Last Updated: 22nd June 2014 07:58 AM | A+A A-
KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress(TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee has finally acknowledged the presence of illegal Bangladeshi migrants in the state.
During an official meeting with senior police officials in border district of North 24 Parganas, following a series of murders of TMC leaders due to factional feud, a visibly upset Chief Minister said, “A murder took place inside the party office at Sodepur. The Barrackpore Bar Association president was shot. Is this a joke? What’s happening? What is the police doing? Murders are being committed by hiring assailants from Bangladesh for as little as `200.”
“I will not tolerate this. While the killers have to be arrested, those who are masterminding it have to be caught also,” she told the officials in the presence of senior TMC functionaries.
According to North 24 Parganas police chief Tanmoy Roy Chowdhury, “Only yesterday (Friday) the CM had convened a meeting and asked us to step up the vigil along the border with Bangladesh. We have alerted all police stations on the border and officers have been directed to expand their network of sources and nurture them in the vulnerable areas.”
“As a result, we have arrested a large number of Bangladeshis from Bongaon. We are holding a meeting with senior BSF officials to determine how such a large number could cross over (into the country) and start living here,” he said.
Last week’s arrest of Bangladeshi don Nur Hossain, who was accused of kidnapping and killing at least seven prominent persons from an apartment clearly established the fact that the area is a safe haven for the Bangladeshi underworld.
Interestingly, Mamata had lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and even dubbed him as “Face of communal riots trying to divide Bengal on religious lines”, when he broached the topic of the presence of illegal Bangladeshis in the state. More importantly, the CM had categorically denied the presence of Bangladeshi nationals in West Bengal.
“He does not know history or geography. All Muslims living here are Indian citizens. He is threatening to deport them. I dare him to touch anyone as a Bangladeshi,” she had said.
But now, faced with a rising crime graph and the murders of TMC functionaries, allegedly done at the behest of their own party leaders, Mamata held the “criminal infiltrators,who cross over from Bangladesh, responsible for the deterioration in the law and order” in the border districts and the “erring police officials”.
The Central intelligence agencies had alerted West Bengal Police that along with the Bangladeshi mafia, Muslim fundamentalists might also have sneaked into India and set up bases in the state’s border districts.
One of the reports even said that terrorist organisations might carry out terror attacks in the state and the MHA had asked the state government to take necessary steps to foil them. Besides asking the BSF to remain vigilant, the Ministry had asked the state government to carry out combing operations in the border districts. Sources said during the political turbulence in Bangladesh a few months ago, at least 25,000 Bangladeshis, mostly criminals and “Islamic terrorists”, had sneaked into India.
A senior police official, while expressing concern at the development said, “Some terrorists sponsored by ISI are likely to use this opportunity and enter India. By using the city as a corridor they go to the other states to carry out subversive activities there.”
Meanwhile,the report by the central BJP team, which had visited Sandeshkhali near the Indo-Bangladesh border on May 31, after 12 of its workers sustained bullet injuries in an attack by alleged TMC goons had said,”The TMC leaders were harbouring activists and criminals of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh, who had crossed over into West Bengal to create communal tension and fan fundamentalist ideas. Some of them have openly canvassed for the TMC during the last elections and one of them, Abdul Barik Biswas was seen sharing dais with TMC MLA Debasree Roy.”