KENDRAPARA: With the publication of final list of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, the issue of deportation of large number of Bangladeshi immigrants from the district has cropped up again.
The issue of NRC for identifying illegal Bangladeshi immigrants had come up recently with the High-level Committee, formed under supervision of the Orissa High Court for conservation of wetlands, recommending to the Home Department to seek permission from the Centre for preparation of the citizen’s register in the district. However, the State Government subsequently backed off.
Collector Samarth Verma said in 2005, the State Government had issued ‘Quit India’ notices to 1,551 suspected Bangladeshis in the district under the provisions of Citizenship Act and Foreigners Act after identifying them as illegal immigrants. However, no decision has been taken on their deportation.
Amarbar Biswal, vice-president of Kendrapara Citizen Forum, said “The decision of the Government to deport 1,551 Bangladeshis has been gathering dust in the official files since 2005. As the Centre is hell-bent to take stern action against the illegal immigrants, we hope the State Government should urge the former again to deport Bangladeshis from the district.”
However, many persons who had received the ‘Quit India’ notices hope that the BJP Government will protect them as they are all Hindus. “We are Hindus. India is our country. Nobody has right to deport us from our country,” said Ilarani Sardar of Kharinashi village.
The district administration in 2013 had refused to include around 1,700 suspected Bangladeshis of Mahakalapada and Rajnagar blocks in the voters’ list as they could not produce their land records, birth certificates and other documents to ascertain their Indian citizenship.
In 2015, the Chief Minister had informed in the Assembly that 3,987 Bangladeshis were illegally staying in the State. The highest number of 1,649 Bangladeshi infiltrators were staying in Kendrapara district followed by 1,112 in Jagatsinghpur. Similarly, 655 infiltrators were identified in Malkangiri, 313 in Bhadrak, 150 in Balasore, 106 in Nabarangpur and two in Bargarh.