Amid the raging debate over Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft which excluded nearly 40 lakh people, IndiaTV has obtained video evidence which shows how despite round-the-clock patrolling by the Border Security Force (BSF) infiltration from Bangladesh side continues through the porous border in Assam.
The 16-minute video was part of a report submitted by a one-member commission which was tasked by the Supreme Court in 2015 to study the on-ground reality of infiltration in Assam through Bangladesh. The video provides ample evidence that infiltration and smuggling continues unabated in the region.
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The video, which was made by senior Supreme Court lawyer Upamanyu Hazarika as part of his report submitted in the apex court, shows how villages situated close to Indian posts on the Bangladeshi side serve as an easy launchpad for those who cross the border illegally.
Assam shares nearly 272 km-long border with Bangladesh. The north-eastern state has 95-km long 'river border' with Bangladesh and it is this area which is at the core of illegal infiltration.
During the course of preparation of his report, Hazarika interacted with BSF jawans, officials, locals to understand the ground scenario. He was also visited a village - Takmari - situated barely 20-30 metres from the international border. Houses on the other side of the fencing-less border are easily visible from here.
The then BSF DIG, Dhubri sector, Ajay Singh, told Hazarika that there was urgent need to relocate the village as the place was an easy route for infiltrators. Cattle, arms and fake Indian currency are smuggled from Bangladesh into India through this area. However, as villages is thickly populated on both sides of the border, the BSF faces a lot of issues in tackling the challenge.
What the commission said in its report
The one-man commission headed by senior lawyer Upamanyu Hazarika, in its 53-page report, had suggested shifting of of cattle 'haats' 20km away from the boundary area and re-location of the villages from the border fencing area.
The report noted that a Bangladeshi passport holder can not only own land in Assam but can also contest Assembly elections and it all was possible due to the illegal migrants lobby working in the state.
There is an "established institutionalised mechanism" which enables a Bangladeshi national to freely come into the country, acquire citizenship and voting rights here and a large scale racket of fake certificates is involved, the final supplementary report by Upamanyu Hazarika stated.
The racket "is carried out with the aid and connivance of government personnel" and no offender is brought to book.
"There is one significant fact which emerges from the fact finding undertaken since May 2015 and resulting in the four reports, including the present one, and which is that there is an established institutionalised mechanism which enables a Bangladeshi national to freely come into the country, acquire citizenship rights and more importantly voting rights, which is where their strength lies," the report added.
WATCH: EXCLUSIVE: How illegal migrants sneak into Assam from porous Bangladesh border