Supreme Court urges government to prevent Bangladeshi influx


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Wednesday asked the government to “take all possible steps to prevent the illegal immigration and infiltration” of Bangladeshis into India.

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A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan issued direction to the government while largely approving various steps, like fencing off the India-Bangladesh border, to prevent the illegal immigration from the eastern neighbour of the country.

While disposing of a public interest lawsuit seeking the court’s direction to prevent the immigration from Bangladesh and identify illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in the country, the bench asked the government to “continue working” to prevent the infiltration. Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal also represented the bench.

The lawsuit was disposed after taking note of the government’s status report, which detailed various measures to secure the eastern border and to improve infrastructure to identify and deport illegal immigrants.

The government told the court that it has set up 21 more tribunals in Assam, besides the 11 existing ones, to ascertain the nationality of immigrants and deport them back to their native place.

The government said the first phase of its border fencing work has been completed while the work on the second phase is on.

In the first phase, the government had planned to fence 857.37 km of the border, of which 854.35 km have been closed. The remaining three km could not be fenced as the border is yet to be demarcated, the government said.

In the second phase, the government has decided to fence off 3,579 km. Of thia, work on fencing of 1,783 km has been completed and the work is going on for the remaining stretch.

The government also told the court that it has taken steps for round-the-clock patrolling and surveillance of the border for which it is setting up outposts for the Boarder Security Force.