Bangladeshis are not only infiltrating West Bengal but they are getting sanctity in the state, an allegation the BJP has been making while lashing out at the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC). Now TMC leaders themselves cannot ignore the truth to illegal infiltration.
The illegal migrants we are referring to in the Sundarbans area in South 24 Parganas district, don’t have an Aadhaar card, voter ID card, ration card or any Indian identity card. How did they suddenly reach the Sundarbans area and have been living there for months, some even years? Was it not noticed before that the forests along the Matla river are being cut down to build their houses?
The infiltrators are allegedly Bangladeshi intruders who are illegally crossing the border of India and entering India. Of the 10,000 square kilometre mangrove forests, 6017 square kilometre is in Bangladesh while 4260 square kilometre is in India. Being a mangrove forest and the river that flows alongside it, the land and the riverine border is porous, making way for illegal infiltration.
“I am not yet a voter. I am still new. I have been here for four years. I have applied for the voter ID card, but am yet to get it,” said a Sundarbans resident Rashida.
TMC MLAs themselves are vouching for the fact. But the question is, are Bangladeshis being resettled in Sundarbans by destroying the mangrove forests? Does it boil down to politics of the vote bank behind allegations of allowing Bangladeshis to settle down in the Sundarbans illegally? Looking at them, one would wonder whether these are really intruders or Indians.
TMC MLA Shyamal Mandal from Canning West Assembly constituency says, “This has come to our notice a few days ago. Since 2014-2019, some people are cutting down the mangrove forests and digging the soil. The infiltrators are involved in this work. We have protested against this.” Mondol also says that there have been umpteen efforts to stop these attempts by infiltrators.
“They don’t have any voter ID card, ration card, or no identity. How can they cross the river, cut down the mangrove forests, and build houses illegally?” adds Mondol who had meetings with Police officials to keep an eye on infiltrators.
“Bengal has become a destination for Illegal activities and terrorist activities. This can happen in Sundarbans too as the gateway of Canning has a riverbank where infiltrators are crossing over and cutting down mangrove forests. This is done with the patronage of TMC leaders who are encouraging infiltrators,” said local BJP leader Sanjay Nayak, who also adds that the TMC MLA himself has admitted to illegal infiltration.
Infiltration gains significance once again, after nine Al Qaida terrorists were arrested by the National Investigation Agency(NIA) about two weeks ago, six of whom belonged to the Murshidabad district of West Bengal, while three belong to Kerala.
Another Al Qaida operative on Saturday from his residence in Murshidabad district on Saturday.