JAUNPUR HAS become the first district in the State where a census of illegal Bangladeshi migrants has begun. Their antecedents are being cross-checked.
Ironically, no such measure has been taken in any of the other districts where the number of Bangladeshis has been growing and their involvement in anti-national and criminal activities has been established.
Various government agencies have submitted reports dubbing them a potential threat to peace and law and order.
The agencies have even warned of the Bangladeshis’ involvement in terrorist and disruptive activities. Their warning came true when two Bangladeshis were found involved in the Shramjeevi Express bomb blast case. The trial is going on in the court of the Jaunpur district judge.
Indeed, it was the bomb blast that made the Jaunpur district administration decide to maintain a record of the number of Bangladeshis, their family members and activities.
Jaunpur district magistrate Anurag Yadav said it was strange that so many people lived in the district without being on record at any level. That was why he had ordered a proper census, either to give them the right to become legal citizens, or throw them out, if they were found to be illegal migrants.
Confirming that such a census was under way, Jaunpur police chief Shachi Ghildyal, however, said the number of illegal Bangladeshi migrants was not more than 50 in the district. She said they lived in areas under the Kirakat, the Sikrara and the Kotwali police stations.
“With our limited resources, we are trying to verify and confirm their antecedents, including their addresses in Assam. Most of them claim to be Assamese, and not Bangladeshis,” said Ghildiyal, adding that details of family members, and their source of income was part of the ongoing census.
Concentration of Bangladeshis has assumed alarming proportions in 24 districts, including Lucknow, Pilibhit, Ghaziabad, Lakhimpur Kheri and Allahabad. But, the authorities have failed to take any action to check their growing number. In certain districts, particularly in Pilibhit, the whole demographic pattern has changed, causing concern among political parties, which depend on caste politics to win elections.
However, the State Government has so far not taken cognizance of the unprecedented growth in the number of Bangladeshis in different districts, despite Intelligence inputs expressing concern over their activities. Investigation by a State security agency revealed that a majority of them belonged to Bangladesh, but they had given fake addresses of the North-East to hoodwink the agencies.
In their report submitted to district police chiefs, Intelligence sleuths suggested a thorough probe and legal action to deport the illegal migrants.
The Bangladeshis can be seen moving freely and picking rags even at 5 am in the Lucknow Police Lines and other areas supposed to be prohibited to outsiders, said a senior police officer, adding that their 'jhuggis' were a safe haven for terrorists and for storing RDX etc. Their involvement in criminal activities and supply of drugs and arms had also come to light.
The report identified 13 places in Lucknow where concentration of Bangladeshis reached alarming proportions.
This includes 1,000 Bangladeshis staying at Chadan village in Ghazipur police circle, 250 huts near Daliganj railway station, 40 huts, under the Aishbagh Bridge, 50 huts on Campbell Road and 100 huts near Hussainabad bund in Thakurganj.
Leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha Lalji Tandon had said while raising the issue in the assembly, that the Bangladeshis were involved in anti-national and anti-social activities, including land-grabbing, extortion, loot, and drug-peddling.
He alleged that police and local toughs were taking 'hafta' from the Bangladeshis and helping them get ration cards and have their names included on the voter lists to validate their claim to citizenship.