After a long pause in their activities aimed at flushing out illegal immigrants from the twin-city, the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) of the Mira Bhayanda-Vasai Virar (MBVV) Police Commissionerate, apprehended 14 Bangladeshi nationals for their unauthorized stay in the country on Friday.
However, the action has once again triggered panic among natives of West Bengal who continue to bear the brunt despite being original Indian citizens.
According to the police, the migrants suspected to be of Bangladeshi origin were rounded up from near the Rassaz Multiplex and below the sky-walk in Mira Road which falls under the jurisdiction of the Naya Nagar police station.
After the suspects failed to produce legitimate documents to authorize their stay in the country, they were arrested, police said.
Notably, many Bengali-speaking people, especially those working as housemaids and construction workers in the twin-city, have returned to West Bengal under the fear of being branded as Bangladeshis.
This despite having valid proof of citizenship as they are scared of possible action against them.
Apart from Bangladeshi immigrants, a large number of people who work in Mira Road are from remote villages in West Bengal.
“Despite having all valid documents, including Aadhaar card, bank passbooks and PAN card to prove that we are not Bangladeshis but true patriotic Indians, we are scared to live and work here in our own country due to late-night combing operations and allegations that the documents were forged,” said Meena Mandol (name changed)-a housemaid.
"Action against illegal immigrants is needed, however those having valid documents to prove their nationality as Indian need not fear any action, after all, they have a right to work in any part of the country," said a senior police officer.
Moreover, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) had also triggered a massive exodus of West-Bengal based housemaids and workforce from other industries who left the twin-city to procure documents from their villages.
Meanwhile, the suspected immigrants have been booked under the relevant sections of the Indian Passport Act and Foreigners Act, police said. The Naya Nagar police are conducting further investigations into the case.