SHILLONG, Apr 20: Since the inception of the state in 1972 till March this year, Meghalaya has detected 5995 illegal immigrants out of which 5970 were deported and 25 of them are still serving sentences in various jails of the state, the Meghalaya Assembly was informed on Friday.
In a reply to an unstarred question tabled by lone Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) legislator from North Shillong, Adelbert Nongrum, the Meghalaya government said that those who have completed their sentence period were deported by the Immigration Check Posts through BSF.
It also informed that whenever any detection is made in respect of foreign nationals/Bangladeshi nationals who illegally enter or stay in Meghalaya, they are prosecuted as per the provisions of the Foreigners Act and for those involved in criminal activities, regular criminal cases are taken up against them besides cases under Foreigners Act.
“The foreign nationals/Bangladeshi nationals after trial/ conviction are deported by the immigration check posts through the BSF. Further, people of doubtful citizenship who are detected at the inert state border without proof of Indian citizenship are sent back directly to their own place of origin,” the government stated in its reply.
The government also pointed out that there has been instances of persons with doubtful citizenship from the neighbouring states of Assam, Tripura and West Bengal claiming to be genuine residents of those states trying to enter Meghalaya.
“Such doubtful citizens without proper documents of identity are not allowed to enter the state and sent back after keeping records at the entry posts,” the Meghalaya government stated.
The government also stated that it has been making sincere efforts to tackle illegal immigration into the state from across the 443 km long international border as well as through the interstate border (884 km).
The government has sanctioned 498 posts of police officers and men under Anti Infiltration Directorate which became operational from April 1, 2013.
This man power is deployed at four watch posts, 10 patrol posts, two passport check posts, 17 check posts, four check gates, 11 special squads and three land custom stations.
Meanwhile, there is also focus at preventing and detecting entry of illegal immigrants into Meghalaya through India-Bangladesh border and interstate border with Assam.
The government also informed that to check infiltration and regulate international movements, there are 13 police stations near the Indo-Bangla border apart from various check posts, watch posts.
Moreover, the government has also set up 11 district task forces through a government notification dated May 11, 2006 for detecting Bangladeshi nationals in each district.
The government also enacted the Meghalaya (Benami Transactions Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2016 to strengthen the original Act which prohibits benami transaction between a tribal and a non-tribal.
Also the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 provides for a framework of verification and regulation of tenants residing in the state of Meghalaya. So as to enhance the security of the citizens of the state and for maintenance of public order. It also provides for establishment of Facilitation Centres at the entry/exit points.
The Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 came on January 1, 2018 and similarly Rules 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11 and 12 of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Rules, 2017 have come into force with effect from January 1, 2018.
The government also said that it is in process of creating 45 facilitation centres at various entry and exit points on the interstate border with Assam.
“Land acquisition for setting of these facilitation centres is under process,” the government said.