283 illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Karnataka: Minister

Karnataka government today said there were 283 illegal Bangladeshi migrants in the state and process was on to deport them, but the opposition rejected these figures claiming that they were in thousands.

Home Minister G Parameshwara in reply to a question raised by Sunil Kumar V (BJP) said there were 748 Bangaladeshi's in the state out of which 283 are illegally here as per Foreigners Act, 1946.

To detect illegal migrants, special task force had been constituted at district and city levels, and local police asked to maintain a vigil and find out about such migrants in their respective jurisdictional area, he said.

A total of 283 illegal Bangladeshi migrants are in the state, they include 16 in Mandya, one in Dakshina Kannada, three in KGF, 11 in Ramanagara, 13 in Mysuru district, one in Chikkamagaluru, 14 in Bengaluru district, 25 in Mysuru urban, 197 in Bengaluru urban and two in Shivamogga.

Rejecting these numbers, Kumar said it looks like government was trying to protect illegal migrants.

Asking government to consider this issue as a matter of internal security as most of them were involved in "anti social activities", he said it should take action against them.

On which, Parameshwara said there were about 25 cases under which these Bangladeshi nationals have been punished for involvement in some kind of offence.

He said 52 of them have been deported and there are also some cases that are in courts and under investigation.

Noting that the state government is in no way supporting illegal Bangladeshi migrants, the Home Minister also said to stop this problem, "We have to protect our borders with Bangladesh and the central government should be doing it."

He said the government was also checking coffee plantations in Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu districts where the reports suggest a large number of illegal Bangladeshi migrants have been employed as contract labours.

Intervening, Opposition BJP Leader Jagadish Shettar questioned as to why those identified as illegal migrants were not being deported and added they were thousands in numbers in the state.

Senior BJP MLA K G Bopaiah said there should be one lakh of them in Kodagu district alone and they were even taking benefits of government schemes, while Kumar alleged that ration cards and voting cards have been issued to them.

In reply, Parameshwara said the state government considers illegal Bangladeshi migrants issue as a matter of internal security and is not taking it lightly.

"We are with utmost seriousness checking about their presence in the state. Whatever their number may be, we will deport them," he said.