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62,000 Bangladeshis deported
M Chhaya in Kolkata |
August 15, 2005 15:27 IST
India has deported 62,458 illegal Bangladeshi nationals in the past 3 years and several thousands will soon be sent back, according to the Border Security Force.
During the same period, 21,539 Bangladeshis were either stopped at the border or arrested inside the city, a BSF official said.
Dhaka says there are no Bangladeshis living illegally in India, denying New Delhi's claim that there were around 20 million Bangladeshi nationals staying in the country without permission.
India has said illegal migration from Bangladesh has continued despite New Delhi fencing parts of the 4,000-km (2,500-mile) land and riverine border to stop migrants from leaving one of the world's poorest countries.
Also read: SC strikes down Illegal Migrants Act
The fence, which is objected to by Dhaka, would be completed by 2007.
The migrants become farmhands or river fishermen in villages. In towns they are often construction workers or rickshaw pullers and the women work as maids.
The BSF official said thousands of more such illegal aliens were either waiting for trial or serving their sentences in jails across India.
Deportation of illegal Bangladeshis is a hot-button issue in the northeastern region, where Bengali-speaking Muslims are facing harassment at the hands of the ethnic population, especially in Assam, where they are taken to be illegal migrants.