NEW DELHI: A ‘restricted’ CRPF report has expressed concern over illegal immigration in the Northeast and has identified religious secessionists comprising Islamic fundamentalists as a security threat. The report claims that jihadis have a long-term agenda of creating an exclusive homeland for the community in the region. The 48-page dossier on Northeast Insurgency prepared in 2008 by the Intelligence Cell of the Operations Branch of the CRPF headquarters has also highlighted concerns over demographic change, especially in south Assam. It says districts of Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi have seen a ‘significant rise’ in Muslim population. Infiltration of Rohingyas from Myanmar into the Northeast could further alter demographic profile and consequently disturb internal security in the region, warn experts.
“A major issue in the region and particularly the state of Assam is the concern over illegal migration from Bangladesh. It is variously argued that this immigration does not exist at all or is primarily economic in nature. The extreme poverty of these immigrants, however, makes them vulnerable to influences including from the fundamentalist,” the report noted. “Whatever may be the source of this immigration, it seems that it is gradually leading to a significant change in the demographic character of the affected areas. Available data from south Assam districts show that there has been a significant rise in the Muslim composition in these areas over a 10-year period,” the dossier further highlighted.
The development in Bangladesh may have repercussions in India with the possibility of the activation of Islamic fundamentalist groups among the local Muslim population. Hardline elements in Bangladesh may explore the possibility of using these to create security problems both in India as well as in Bangladesh.
“An assessment carried out on the Census reports of 1991 and 2001 shows that the proportionate composition of the Hindus and Muslims in the districts have decreased and increased by almost three percentage points respectively. Moreover, there is an increasing nervousness on the issue particularly among the ethnic communities,” claimed the report.