The Asian Age

Bangladesh­is in Assam may get ‘ long- term work permit’


In what may have a farreachin­g political impact, the Centre is considerin­g a proposal to provide long- term “biometric work permits” to all those declared as foreigners by the Foreigners’ Tribunal in Assam. Security sources said the proposal was under active considerat­ion of the Union home ministry, adding that those who were stripped of Indian citizenshi­p would no longer have any political rights nor the right to buy immovable property. Noting that the process of deporting a person declared as Bangladesh­i by the Foreigners Tribunal was very slow and time- consuming, the sources said pushing them back through the internatio­nal border was not feasible as Bangladesh was also a sovereign nation.

The sources said the MHA was discussing all the modalities and other pros and cons of the proposal, and it may be put up for public scrutiny soon. Union home minister Rajnath Singh had already taken up the influx issue with his Bangladesh counterpar­t during his recent Dhaka visit, and the sources said the two sides had agreed to tighten vigilance on the border. The sources said the Centre was extremely worried at the slow and lethargic process of deporting foreigners. It is significan­t that over 20,000 people were declared foreigners by the Foreigners’ Tribunals in Assam and have been kept in various detention centres.

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