22 October, 2020

Loops And Holes In The Narrative

Bengali-speaking Muslims discover no proof is enough to dispel doubts

AFP (From Outlook 03 September 2012)
Loops And Holes In The Narrative

Bilal Mondal is an inmate in barrack number 6 in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail. Arrested for being an illegal Bangladeshi immigrant, Mondal does not deny he is from the country. What he claims is that he came on a valid visa but overstayed, drawn by the lucrative wages offered by builders in the city.

Mondal is not the only ‘Bangladeshi’ languishing in Indian prisons. A diplomat at the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi, Enamul Hoque Chowdhury, confirms there are around 600 Bangladeshis in different Indian jails. But the extent of illegal immigration from Bangladesh, he insists, had gone down dramatically in the last two decades. Had it been a serious concern, he says, it would have been raised at ministerial-level meetings between the two countries.

The leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, however, holds that ‘foreigners’ constitute 60 to 80 per cent of the population in districts like Dhubri and Goalpara in Assam. Bijoya Chakrabarty, BJP member of the Lok Sabha from Guwahati, succeeded in stunning the House...



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