Scores of Bangladeshis living in Mumbai illegally has been hot issue in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena and the MNS have been raising this issue on different occasions. Now just before state Assembly elections, matter of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants may gain momentum and this might be a poll issue as the Maharashtra Home Ministry has written a letter to the Navi Mumbai planning authority asking for land to build a detention centre for illegal immigrants.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik spoke to our correspondent Nikhil Sagare said, “The census of illegal migrants is done at a regular basis. If the government is following this process then it is justified. The deportation of illegal migrants is a continuous process.”
As per sources within the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), they have received a letter seeking a two-to-three-acre plot at Nerul in Navi Mumbai. This place is 20 kilometres away from Mumbai. The move came less than a fortnight after the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) list in Assam declared 19 lakh people as foreigners. Now Maharashtra is likely to implement NRC to oust illegal immigrants from Mumbai and entire state. The letter for seeking land in Navi Mumbai for detention centre has raised its possibility.
BJP worker Avdhut Wagh said, “Wherever there is a requirement of National Register of citizens it will be implemented in those states. Wherever there is a demand from citizens for implementation of NRC it will be implemented in those areas.”
However, the Maharashtra Home Ministry has denied of sending any such letter. According to guidelines issued by the Centre earlier this year, all major immigration points in the country need to build detention centre. Illegal immigrants can be kept in this centre when they will be caught by authorities. The Shiv Sena has been claiming that there are illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in Mumbai. Union Minister and Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant said recently, “NRC was needed in Assam to solve the problems of the original inhabitants of the region. That is why we supported the NRC move… want a similar exercise to be held in Mumbai to drive out the Bangladeshis living here.”
Thus, the Shiv Sena demanded that National Register of Citizens (NRC) should be implemented in Mumbai on the lines of Assam to solve the issue of illegal Bangladeshis living in the city. It is an apparent attempt to cash in on the issue ahead of the Assembly polls.
According to Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, there are nearly 1 crore Bangladeshis in greater Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and surrounding areas. But they are nowhere on record. Sanjay Raut said, “An NRC in Mumbai will help the citizens of the country, especially Indian Muslims who are defamed and blamed for the acts of these Muslims from outside India.”
It is worth mentioning that the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants also suits the BJP. Ministers of the BJP have raised the demand for an NRC-style exercise in Bihar. There are millions of Bangladeshi immigrants living in eastern parts of Bihar. If Devendra Fadnavis government takes steps to implement NRC, the BJP and Shiv Sena will be benefited as this move will polarise voters.