Meghalaya govt detects over 12,000 Bangladeshis infiltrators

By IANS, Shillong September 7, 2012

Over 12,000 Bangladeshi infiltrators were detected in Meghalaya in less than five years, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said Friday.

“From 2008 to July this year, 12,321 Bangladeshis were detected in different parts of Meghalaya,” Sangma told the assembly during the question hour.

Out of the 12,321, Sangma said 697 were prosecuted, 564 were deported to Bangladesh and 11,644 were “sent back directly” to the places where they claim to belong.

However, the chief minister informed the House that the government does not have any material evidence to confirm the presence of Bangladeshi infiltrators in the state.

In order to detect infiltrators entering the state, Sangma said the government is maintaining a strict vigilance on the international borders through watch-posts, patrol posts, passport checkposts and by intensive patrolling at all border checkposts.

Special squads have been set up in each of the state’s seven districts to check infiltration, he informed.

Meghalaya shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh, part of which is porous, hilly, unfenced and prone to frequent infiltration. The state also shares a 696 km long inter-state boundary with Assam.

Sangma, meanwhile, told journalists that no social organisations have been given legal sanctity to prosecute infiltrators, but once the proposed directorate of infiltration is in place, these social organisations would “coordinate” with the government in detecting illegal infiltrators”.