No wonder Prime Minister Narendra Modi was harping before the Lok Sabha polls on the problem on infiltration from Bangladesh into India through West Bengal.
Infiltration from Bangladesh into West Bengal has increased a whopping fivefold between 2011 and 2013, which coincides with chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s regime.
While in 2011, 577 persons were apprehended for crossing the border into West Bengal illegally, the number shot up almost five times to 2,815, last year.
The figure lends West Bengal the dubious distinction of being the point of crossover for the maximum number of infiltrators in the country.
The number of arrests is an insignificant fraction of the total number of infiltrators that actually cross over.
Minister of state (MoS) for home affairs Kiren Rijiju in Lok Sabha on July 8 revealed that the figure (till June) stands at 1,109.
Other states lag behind the state’s figures by a long way.
In 2011, after West Bengal, Tripura with 92 apprehensions reported the second highest cases of infiltration.
Last year, Mehgalaya reached that position with 138 arrests, a mere 5% of that of Bengal.
However, infiltrators who were shot on the border have varied during this period.
In 2011, 14 infiltrators were killed on the border. In 2012, the number rose to 24, which was more than that of Jammu and Kashmir (16). In 2013, 17 Bangladeshis were killed by the Border Security Force in West Bengal.
“The remarkable increase in infiltration figures through Bengal is attributable to two reasons. One, the chief minister is openly supporting Bangladeshi infiltrators. Two, she is indulging in vote bank politics that Narendra Modi also accused her of during the Lok Sabha campaign,” said state Bharatiya Janata Party president Rahul Sinha.