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CAA effect? Number of Bangladeshi illegals exiting up, says BSF | India News

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KOLKATA: The number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants trying to exit India through the porous land border has “increased substantially”, though it can’t be called an “exodus” as of now, according to the Border Security Force.

BSF troops along the 913-km south Bengal frontier apprehended 268 Bangladeshi nationals — nearly 90% of them going back to Bangladesh from India — in the first 23 days of 2020, BSF inspector-general (South Bengal Frontier) Y B Khurania said in Kolkata on Friday. Most of them used the international border in North 24 Parganas’ Ghojadanga, he added.

Prodded by journalists whether this rise could be attributed to the new citizenship law, Khurania said that might be the case. “We believe that it is because of our increased vigil that fewer people from Bangladesh are trying to illegally enter India. Most of those without valid documents apprehended by us near the border were on their way out. But there seems to be no exodus-like situation,” Khurania said.

“We apprehended 1,677 Bangladeshis without valid papers in 2018 (or a daily average of 4.5) and 2,194 in 2019 (or a daily average of 6) and most of them were India-bound. But, in 2020, we have already apprehended 268 Bangladeshis (almost 12 daily) and 90% of them were returning to Bangladesh,” he added. Officials said all these figures pertained to only the 913-km south Bengal frontier (about a fourth of the total length of the India-Bangladesh border). Fewer people may have actually tried to cross over into India from Bangladesh illegally fearing detection by agencies after the passage of the CAA, they said.

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