Police flush out Bangla migrants to stop terror tap

Friday, 22 August 2008 - 4:45am IST
Even as the indirect involvement of Bangladesh in terror attacks is coming to fore, Mumbai is reeling under the increasing number of illegal Bangladeshis flooding the city.

Many live illegally in the city, circulate fake currency


Even as the indirect involvement of Bangladesh in terror attacks is coming to fore, Mumbai is reeling under the increasing number of illegal Bangladeshis flooding the city. This year alone, a little over 600 Bangladeshis have been arrested while thousands of others are still holed up in slums.

Many of these illegal immigrants, who often jump bail after facing police arrests, form the crux of the chain that supplies fake currency and also constitute the lowest rung in the terror chain, say police. Post the blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, the Mumbai police have launched a special drive to flush out the illegal immigrants. Action has been taken against these illegal immigrants in Navi Mumbai as well.

While around 650 illegal Bangladeshis are arrested every year in Mumbai alone, at least 1,000 others jump bail after being arrested and abscond and subsequently indulge in criminal activities, said the top brass of the Mumbai police. They exploit the legal loopholes — all charges that are slapped against them are bailable — seek bail and continue to indulge in illegal activities.

“In the last couple of years, the involvement of Bangla-deshis in circulating fake currency has risen steeply,” said KP Raghuvanshi, former chief of the ATS, observing a pattern in the last five years.

A senior police official, on condition anonymity, said, “Pakistan’s ISI is funding terrorism through Bangladesh.”

The illegal migrants settle in slums in Mumbai, particularly Govandi, Kurla, Mira Road and Bhiwandi in Thane district. Since the borders are porous, the immigrants bribe security agencies and enter India through Bihar or West Bengal. The police, acting on tip offs, raid hubs where Bangladeshis huddle up. “The only document we demand is their birth certificate. When they are unable to furnish that, they get nailed,” said a police official.

Nearly 400 Bangladeshis are deported every year, after being convicted by courts and serving a prison term of a month. However, the vicious chain continues as they enter India again, with another name and identity. “There is no way we can keep a check on repeat offenders,” admitted the official.

Police officials said that the population of Bangladeshis is highest in metros, particularly Mumbai and Delhi, where they come looking for job opportunities and a better life.


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