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Illegal migrants eye coal mines

Silchar, Aug. 22: People from Bangladesh are allegedly entering through the porous international border near Latu in Assamís Karimganj district, to enter Meghalaya to work in coal mines in the Khleriat and Bapung areas.

According to police officials in Karimganj in south Assam, the racket came to light after the recent arrest of one Rohul Amin, 21, at Mahishasan checkgate on the border on August 12.

During interrogation, Rohul, a resident of Rajbari in Bangladesh, said a few persons based in Sylhet work in concert with a gang in south Assam, to allegedly bring workers from the neighbouring country to work in the coal mines in Meghalaya.

He also named four others ó Dudu Mian, Selim Ahmed, Shamim Ahmed and A.B. Ahmed ó who had entered India to work in the mines.

Sources say there has been a spurt in demand for workers from Bangladesh because of the slowdown in arrival of workers from Nepal recently.

Rohul also said the same gang which brought him to India, had arranged for his return, after he developed illness while working in the coal mines.

A BSF official said there is still a wide gap in the number of infiltrators getting caught while entering through the porous border and those who are successful in evading the security forces.

According to a BSF document, as many as 165 Bangladeshis were caught while entering India through the international border in Karimganj and Cachar districts between 2007 and 2010, but BSF officials believe a larger number have been successful in entering the country.

Even in 2011, 91 people were caught while trying to cross the border in Cachar and Karimganj districts.

The BSF and the Karimganj police will undertake joint patrolling along some selected frontier areas in order to keep a check on infiltration, Karimganj district deputy commissioner Debeswar Malakar said.

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