Three days after the bombing of Jaipur, allegedly by a terrorist group based in Bangladesh, the Rajasthan government has decided to go after Bangladeshis.
Collectors and police chiefs of all districts have been told to scrutinize ration cards and voter IDs that have West Bengal addresses, and check their authenticity with the government in Kolkata, Rajasthan’s PWD and parliamentary affairs minister Rajendra Rathore said.
The verification process will be completed in 30 days, and anyone found to have given a fake address will be thrown out. Rajasthan is in touch with the special secretary, home, of the central government in this regard, he added.
An estimated 50,000 Bangladeshis live illegally in Rajasthan — a fifth of them in Jaipur — and most claim they belong to Cooch Behar or North or South 24-Parganas in Bengal.
Tuesday’s bombings are thought to have been carried out by the Harkat-ul Jehad-al Islami (HuJI), which started out in Bangladesh, and whose operatives are often believed to hide in Bangladeshi migrant communities spread across major Indian cities. According to the shopkeepers who sold the cycles used in the attacks, the buyers had strong Bengali accents.
The opposition Congress and civil rights groups reacted sharply to the government’s decision, accusing it of targeting Muslims on the pretext of fighting terror.
“If any person is anti-national then he or she should be expelled, but the BJP government is trying to implement its communal agenda with the aim of deriving political mileage,” state Congress chief Dr C.P. Joshi said. “The BJP is trying to exploit a tragedy.”