Saturday, May 28, 2005

DIASPORA: Illegal Bangladeshi Immigration: People Take the Mantle When the Government Gives Up

Illegal immigrants have been one of Assam 's biggest issues for the last two decades. Assam shares a 272-km-long border with Bangladesh . A vast stretch of that is still unfenced. India says that the large-scale infiltration from across the border was threatening the region's demographic profile. Though the exact number of illegal immigrants is not known, generally it is estimated that about 20 million Bangladeshis are illegally staying in India . Of this number, about 6 million are present in Assam alone. There are no official estimates for the number of migrants in Assam , but state governor Ajai Singh has said that up to 6,000 illegally enter the region every day. The outgoing judge of the IMDT Tribunal, which is supposed to detect and deport infiltrators has also admitted that infiltration is continuing on a large scale. Due to this unabated illegal immigration at least five districts of lower Assam is now dominated by the Bangladeshis.

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