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18 Muslims with Aadhaar ‘sneak into’ Tripura from Bangladesh, police in a fix

Tripura officials said this was the first time that infiltrators claiming to be Indians have entered the state illegally from Bangladesh.

india Updated: Nov 02, 2017 09:04 IST
Priyanka Deb Barman
Priyanka Deb Barman
Hindustan Times, Agartala
A group of Muslim men, suspected to be from Bangladesh, have produced Aadhaar cards to claim to be Indians.(PTI file photo / Representative)

Police in Tripura are in a fix after 18 Muslim men of suspected nationality allegedly sneaked in from Bangladesh armed with Aadhaar cards, saying they were from Murshidabad in West Bengal.

Residents of Adamnagar village in Sepahijala district bordering Bangladesh caught the 18 people on Sunday and handed them over to police. A 9-km stretch of Tripura’s 856 km border with Bangladesh in the district is unfenced.

The 18 were thought to be Rohingya at first, but they produced Aadhaar cards to claim to be Indians.

Police are trying to establish if the Aadhaar cards are genuine and how the 18 reached Tripura from West Bengal via Bangladesh.

Sepahijala superintendent of police Sudipta Das said they were yet to get permission to interrogate the youths who are in judicial custody till November 6. “We are trying to find their identity through UIDAI and whether or not they are Bangladeshi nationals,” Das said.

Another police officer said that soon after their arrest, the 18 claimed they entered Bangladesh and stayed there for an unspecified number of days before straying into Tripura. “We are not ruling out the possibility of their connection with terror groups,” he said.

Officials in the state’s mobile task force said this was the first time that infiltrators claiming to be Indians have entered Tripura illegally from Bangladesh. Apart from Bangladeshis, an average seven Nigerians enter Tripura from across the border every year.

The state has deported several foreign nationals in recent years, including 1,679 till September this year.

First Published: Nov 02, 2017 09:03 IST