Kendrapara, August 31 (LocalWire): The issue of deporting suspected Bangladeshi nationals from the seaside villages in Kendrapara district has cropped up again after the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was released on Saturday.
The final list of NRC excludes 19.07 lakh suspected Bangladeshis, even as the state government recently chalked out plans to launch a similar exercise in Kendrapara district to detect foreign nationals, as per the court order.
The threat of deportation is haunting over 1,551 suspected Bangladeshis who were served ‘Quit India’ notice in 2005 by the district administration.
“In 2005, the state government had wrongly served the notice upon me though I was born in this village.
My grandfather came to the seaside village Pitapatha from Midnapore district of West Bengal in 1948.
We are not Bangladeshis,” 45-year old Deepak Mandal said.
“Our grandfather came to the seaside village Hariabanka in 1948 from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) after the partition of India as a registered refugee.
But in 2005, the district administration had illegally served ‘Quit India’ notices upon me and my family members, branding us as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
We have challenged the order of the administration by filing a writ petition in the Orissa High Court and the court in 2016 directed the government not to take any coercive action against us,” 50-year old Asit Mirdha stated.
A similar sentiment is reflected by 46-year old Bhabotosh Ray from Hariabanka village. “Our grandfather came to this village in 1971 from Khulna district in Bangladesh. However, we are Indian citizens.
The government served ‘Quit India’ notices in 2005 on 1,551 Hindus including me, illegally branding us as foreigners.
The Narendra Modi-led NDA government had brought a bill a few months back to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant nationality to people belonging to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India.
After passing of the bill, nobody will call us foreigner,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the Director, Environment-cum-Special Secretary F&E Department, Dr K Murugesan has written a letter to the Home Department special secretary requesting him to grant permission for preparation of National Register of Indian Citizens in respect of Kendrapada district to identify and to deport the illegal Bangladeshis immigrants as per the order of the High Court.
The Orissa High Court-appointed Amicus Curiae Mohit Agarwal and the committee to recommend measures to conserve the ecology of the Bhitarkanika National Park and Chilika Lake in its report had stated that large numbers of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh are engaging in illegal prawn farming, tree cutting and similar works in Bhitarkanika impacting the local ecosystem.
However, Kendrapara district collector Samarth Verma said that his office has not received any order from the government to conduct NRC in the district.