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Police to back BSF in operation pushback

Calcutta/Behrampore, Feb. 19: The government will assist the border troops in identifying and pushing back illegal immigrants in Nadia and Murshidabad, state police chief D.C. Vajpai told senior Border Security Force officers at a meeting in Murshidabad today.

An insider said the director-general of police echoed the chief minister that infiltration was on the rise and “urgent and decisive’’ steps were needed to prevent the situation from going out of hand.

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, after a one-to-one with deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani in Calcutta airport recently, had said his government would take “all possible steps within its means to prevent infiltration from across the border and push back immigrants”.

Sources said Vajpai directed his officers to identify the dalals (middlemen) responsible for ferrying people across the border for a fee. “Local police should coordinate with the BSF in cracking down on these middlemen. We have to eliminate them and then step up efforts to identify illegal immigrants sheltered in the districts,” Vajpai was quoted as telling officers in the meeting.

Vajpai cleared a proposal by Murshidabad and Nadia police to conduct a door-to-door survey to identify migrants, said the sources, adding that special teams of the district intelligence branch would conduct the survey from next week.

Murshidabad superintendent of police Virendra, south Bengal inspector-general of police N.R. Das, deputy inspector-general of police (Murshidabad Range) D.P. Tarenia and senior sector commanders of the BSF attended the three-hour meeting in the Behrampore circuit house.

The state police chief also addressed the concern of villagers about harassment by the BSF and is said to have asked the sector commanders to “appreciate their concern and take measures to assuage their feelings”.

The sources said Vajpai emphasised on intensified search of vehicles and people on national highways and railway stations to trace infiltrators.

Bangladeshis held

Three Bangladeshis, who posed as Indians and tried to escape to Singapore on a pre-dawn flight, were arrested. Matilal Haldar, Shyamal Ray and Shyamal Saha tried to pass themselves as residents of North 24-Parganas and Nadia, but confessed after sustained interrogation.

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