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regular-article-logo Monday, 04 March 2024

National Investigation Agency-police team ‘picks up’ 47 persons for ‘aiding’ influx

Accused were allegedly facilitating the entry of 'illegal Rohingiyas/infiltrators' into India through Indo-Bangladesh Border

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 09.11.23, 06:27 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday apprehended 47 persons from seven states, including West Bengal and Assam, for allegedly facilitating the entry of “illegal Rohingiyas/infiltrators” into India through the Indo-Bangladesh Border.

The Assam police, disclosing the development in Guwahati, said the country’s central counter-terrorism law enforcement agency launched a countrywide operation with the Assam police and other state police forces in the wee hours of Wednesday and “picked up” 47 suspected touts/middlemen for having “facilitated” the entry of the illegal migrants.

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They were picked up from Tripura (25), Assam (5), West Bengal (3), Karnataka (9), Haryana (1), Telangana (1) and Tamil Nadu (3).

Of these states, Tripura, Assam and West Bengal share border with Bangladesh.

State police teams “assisted” the NIA teams in Assam, Tripura and Northern India. “We have 17 teams on the ground for the operation,” the state police said.

The trigger for the operation was the detection of a group of Rohingyas at the Karimganj Railway Station in Assam in February. They were coming from Tripura.

Police investigation revealed the “illegal Rohingyas/infiltrators were entering India, through the Indo-Bangladesh Border”.

Assam Police’s increased vigil and operations resulted in 450 illegal migrants (Rohingyas/Bangladeshis) being stopped and turned back with the assistance of the border guarding forces, the Assam police said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The BSF (India) and BGB (Bangladesh) guard the Indo-Bangladesh border.

The following inquiries and questioning revealed that touts/middlemen were playing a major role in infiltration, a sensitive issue in Assam since the seventies.

“During the investigation, it was also learnt that the touts exist not only on both sides of the Indo-Bangladesh border, but also in the mainland (of India). Thus, began an operation to root out the network of touts. The Special Task Force (STF), Assam, launched an operation in July 2023 and were able to arrest 10 such touts/middlemen,” the police said.

Further investigation revealed that the network of touts existed across India, which was a serious national security concern with inter-state ramifications.

“Therefore, the government of Assam requested the MHA, Government of India to transfer one of the cases to the NIA given fact that Assam was being used as a corridor for this anti-national activity,” the police said.

Accordingly, NIA took up the case and through “collaborative effort” with the Assam Police collated the list of touts involved in the trafficking of illegal migrants and after “meticulous planning” launched a country-wide operation resulting in the netting of the 47 touts on Wednesday.

Last year, the NIA arrested a man from Assam in Bangalore for allegedly helping Rohingya refugees with fake documents so that they can settle in India.

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