Apex court asks govt to tackle illegal migrants

SC wants Indo-Bangladesh border to be fenced

Apex court asks govt to tackle illegal migrants

Expressing concern over influx of people from eastern border, the Supreme Court has asked the Centre to update the national register of citizens in Assam within 11 months and hold a meeting with Bangladesh to deport illegal migrants.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman also directed the Centre to take immediate steps for “double-coiled wire fencing”, building of motorable roads, patrolling and floodlighting of the porous Indo-Bangladesh border.

Hearing a bunch of petitions contending huge number of migrants from Bangladesh resulted in riots in Assam, the court asked the Union government to enter into necessary discussions with the Bangladesh government to streamline the procedure of deportation.
The court, however, referred to a Constitution bench to adjudicate upon 29-year-old statutory mechanism giving citizenship rights to migrants from Bangladesh.

In its verdict, the bench noted the entire border between India and Bangladesh is roughly 4,000 km and the White Paper (submitted by the state government) showed that large portions of the border with Assam were yet to be fenced with double coil wire fencing, making the border an easy place to cross.

“We are at loss to understand why 67 years after independence the eastern border is left porous. We have been reliably informed that the entire Western border with Pakistan being 3,300-km long, is not only properly fenced but properly manned as well and is not porous at any point,” the bench said.

The estimated number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants into India as on December 31, 2001 was 1.20 crores, out of which 50 lakhs were in Assam, the court noted.

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