Police detains 60 suspected Bangladeshi immigrants: Bengaluru

29 men, 22 women and nine girls were picked up during a raid in Marathahalli, Bellandur and Ramamurthy Nagar areas

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The Karnataka police have picked up at least 60 persons, including nine children on the charge of being undocumented Bangladeshi immigrants during a raid in three shanties across the city, The Deccan Herald reported.

The detainees, 29 men, 22 woman and the nine girls were rounded up from Marathahalli, Bellandur and Ramamurthy Nagar areas of the city on Saturday on October 26.

The move has come after the Indian government announced to extend its plans to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Karnataka after it being implemented in Assam on August 31, 2019.

Just like the six detention centers to house illegal immigrants in Assam have been created, the government has already begun constructing a detention center in Sondekoppa in Nelamangala, around 40 km from Bengaluru.

Home Minister BasavarajBommai told the Deccan Herald that he had already ordered poloce to start collecting data on those living in the state illegally, without documents or fake documents.

A police team from the Central Crime Branch (CCB) has been collecting information about the illegal immigrants in the city following instructions from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials, who have been camping in the city ever since the talk of NRC began.

The people detained in this exercise are mostly daily wage workers earning their living as construction labourers, garbage collectors and doing menial jobs under contractors. Some of them are also employed by the contractors of the Bruhat Bengaluru MahanagaraPalike (BBMP).

“All the arrested will be deported to Bangladesh. There is information about some foreign nationals who are overstaying in KR Puram, Bagalur and other areas. Efforts are being made to arrest them. The passport and visa documents of all foreigners staying in the city are being checked,” Bangalore Mirror quoted one official as saying.

Speaking to The Federal, BhaskarRao, Police Commissioner said that the detainees would be handed over to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) who will conduct a screening and hand them over to the Border Security Force (BSF). He also said that no case had been registered against the detainees under the Foreigner Act as he did not want to delay their exit from the country.

He said he wanted to follow a similar procedure to what the Delhi Police had followed when it detained and deported almost 500 Bangladeshis out of the country.

The raid conducted by officials of the Central Crime Branch came about by the inputs from the Intelligence Bureau. Though the detainees did produce valid nationality documents like the Aadhaar Card, Voter ID card, etc. the police dismissed them citing them to be ‘fake’. According to reports, the police identified the people to be illegal due to their ‘Bengali dialects’ which were different from the ones spoken in West Bengal.

On October 23, on the behest of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by city advocate KB Vijayakumar seeking to identify and deport illegal Bangladesh immigrants, the Karnataka High Court directed both the state and central governments to file their response in the matter.

The implementation of the NRC in Assam has left behind 19 lakh ‘stateless citizens’. During this process, the country has witnessed around more than 35 deaths, suicides and some due to ill health induced by deplorable detention camp conditions.

There has been recorded proof of officials declaring Indian nationals as doubtful voters (d voters) or foreigners even with all of their documents being in place. While this citizenship and humanitarian crisis unleashed on Assam has shown us the futility of the exercise – what will the fate of Karnataka in the hands of a right-wing reveal?

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