Some 14,000 Bangladeshi nationals were asked to return and prevented from crossing the Bangladesh-India border since 2019, reveals a Border Security Force (BSF) report.
The report also shows that as many as 9,233 Bangladeshis have been detained at the International Border (IB) while attempting to flee back after their undocumented stay in the country, reports ANI.
"At least 4,896 Bangladeshi nationals were held while trying to enter India from the neighbouring country during the same period, i.e., 1 January 2019 to 28 April 2022," it said further.
The number of Bangladeshi individuals caught while crisscrossing the border in just over three years has tallied up to 14,361.
The majority of the illegal immigrants were found to be from the South Bengal border. 11,034 Bangladeshi nationals out of a total of 14,361were held at IB during the infiltration attempts, while the majority of them were held at the South Bengal border.
A senior BSF officer revealed that around 80 per cent of the illegal immigrants entering or leaving India from Bangladesh take place in the southern parts of Bengal due to the unfenced and riverine borders.
South Bengal border streches from Sundarbans to Malda.
"Most of the illegal immigrants were lured of better employment, pay and quality life in India and they were asked to pay a large sum to assist them in illegally crossing the International Boundary," said the senior BSF officer.
Over the years, however, the approach has changed, explained a senior official from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
"To deal with illegal immigration problem at Bangladesh borders, we have asked security forces to hand them over to the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) as a goodwill gesture, after verifying if they were not involved in any criminal activities in India. Because there was no purpose of putting them in jail," he said.
Many of the people who were detained for attempting to cross the border illegally were motivated to do so by the idea of financial stability.
"Most of the illegal immigrants were lured of better employment, pay and quality life in India and they were asked to pay a large sum to assist them in illegally crossing the International Boundary," said the officer.
He also mentioned that over the past few years, the infiltration has gone down significantly due to stricter border management with the coordination of Bangladesh counterparts as well as fencing at the border and technology-supported patrolling.
"We won't call it exodus but crackdown of various government agencies on illegal immigrants, all over the country, that have forced many of them (immigrants) to leave and go back to their country," he said.
The BSF officer revealed that 85 percent of the India-Bangladesh border has fencing built along with it. However, the parts that have damaged fencing are being replaced by Anti Cut- Anti-Climbs.