The Supreme Court of India.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a plea seeking direction to the Central government to identify and deport illegal migrants and infiltrators, including Bangladeshi nationals and Rohingya refugees, within one year.
Taking note of submission of the petitioner, lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta agreed to an urgent hearing and posted the matter for July 9.
The plea claimed that huge numbers of illegal migrants who have occupied vast tracts of land, particularly in the sensitive international border areas, which has "very serious implication for national security."
Upadhyay also accused such people of indulging in illegal and anti-national activities, mobilization of funds through hawala channels and human trafficking. In his plea, he has also sought a direction to amend laws and declare illegal migration as cognizable and non-compoundable offence.
"Large-scale illegal migrants, particularly from Myanmar and Bangladesh have not only threatened the demographic structure of bordering districts but have seriously impaired security and national integration, particularly in the present circumstances," his petition said.
"The need for expeditious identification of illegal migrants is more pressing now than ever. It is not a matter of dealing with a religious or linguistic group but question of identifying those who illegally crossed over the border and continue to live in India contrary to law and the Constitution," he said.
Upadhyay also claimed a sharp increase of Muslim population in bordering districts, adding that the ethnic, linguistic and religious commonality between these people with residents of the country's border areas makes their detection difficult and enables them to find shelter in the country.
Some political parties have been encouraging and even helping illegal migration with a view to build 'votebanks' and these immigrants work for lower remuneration than local people, the plea said.
The plea alleged there was an organised influx of illegal immigrants from Myanmar, with agents and touts facilitating ingress of Rohingya refugees via Benapole-Haridaspur and Hilli (West Bengal), Sonamora (Tripura), Kolkata and Guwahati.
It also added that apart from immigrants, a large numbers of smugglers regularly cross the border and are engaged in smuggling goods and livestock from India into Bangladesh to avoid high tariff imposed on some Indian goods by the Bangladesh government.
Bangladeshi women and girls are also trafficked to India and via India to Middle East for forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation, the plea said.
Upadhyay also sought action against the travel agents, government employees and other people involved in providing fabricating documents to illegal migrants and infiltrators.