GUWAHATI: The authorities in Assam on Saturday deported 20 illegal immigrants to Bangladesh through Karimganj in Barak Valley.
They had illegally trespassed into Assam over a period of time from 2014. Nineteen of them were lodged in a detention centre in Barak Valley’s Silchar Central Jail while another was lodged in a similar cell for the immigrants in Lower Assam’s Kokrajhar Central Jail.
The immigrants, including 14 Muslims and six Hindus, are from Sylhet and Noakhali districts of Bangladesh. The police said the pushback took place at 1:30 pm via Sutarkandi border checkpoint in Karimganj.
“There was a woman among the 20 immigrants who were received by Bangladeshi authorities on the border. They had no complaints whatsoever,” Karimganj Superintendent of Police, Manabendra Dev Roy who was at the site, told this newspaper over the phone. He said the Bangladeshi nationals had illegally entered Assam since 2014.
“Some had entered in 2014. The others had entered from 2015 to 2018. Usually, after six months since the arrest of Illegal immigrants, they are sent to detention centres,” the SP added.
Prior to their deportation, some of the immigrants told journalists that they had illegally entered Assam as they were too poor to spend money on travel documents including passport and visa. They said they had come to meet their relatives who live in India.
One of the immigrants, Ikbal Hussain Talukdar who spent five years in the Silchar detention centre, said he was delighted that he would go back to his motherland. “I am very happy. I had come to meet my relatives who live in Barak Valley. As I am poor, I could not afford to arrange proper travel documents,” he said.
Similarly, Alorani Das, who spent two and half years in captivity, said she had come to meet her sister. “The next time I come to meet her, I will ensure that I am armed with proper travel documents,” she asserted. In January this year, 17 other immigrants were deported to Bangladesh.