The BJP on Saturday rang the alarm bell and said Odisha faces an Assam-like situation if immediate steps are not taken to deal with the problem of illegal immigrants. The party urged the Naveen Patnaik Government to set up a task force to identify the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in the State and initiate steps to deport them.
"Around five lakh Bangladeshi immigrants are now living in the State. It is the responsibility of the Centre and the State Government to identify these infiltrators and initiate measures to strike off their names from the voters' list and deport them," State BJP vice-president Ashok Sahu told mediapersons here.
Sahu, a former IPS officer, who has served in Assam, said the issue is no longer confined to Assam. A similar situation has arisen in West Bengal and Odisha as well.
A large number of Bangladeshis are illegally entering the country every day at the instigation of the ISI of Pakistan, triggering a dangerous demographic transition.
The UPA Government and Congress governments in bordering States are patronising the Bangladeshis for vote-bank politics, Sahu alleged. The infiltrators are getting State support to establish their citizenship and getting voters' identity cards and ration cards.
These Bangladeshi immigrants are responsible for the current strife in Assam which saw more than 70 people losing their lives. Unfortunately, the Assam Government and the Centre are supporting the immigrants and assisting them, Sahu charged.
In Odisha, while most of the Bangladeshi infiltrators are concentrated on the coastal districts of Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda, Bhadrak and Balasore, their numbers are increasing fast in the State capital.
The Bangladeshis have outnumbered the local workers in all the construction sites of the City and other places of the State, Sahu said. Neither the State Government nor the Centre has initiated any action to identify the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants despite the Supreme Court ruling and demand from various political parties to check infiltration and deport them.
What is disturbing, Sahu pointed out, is that the immigrants have now started demanding a separate State on the strength of their votes.