Shah has asked intelligence officials to identify around 100 ‘infiltrators’ in each state, check their documents, arrest and deport them, and continue with the crackdown even if the neighbouring countries do not accept them.
Union home minister Amit Shah has asked top intelligence officials to detect, detain and deport “illegal migrants” in each state, and continue with the targeted crackdown even if the neighbouring countries do not accept them, the Hindu reported.
In a meeting with the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureaus (SIBs) of all states on November 9, Shah tasked the officials to identify around 100 “infiltrators” in each state, check their documents, and arrest them if possible, sources told the newspaper.
However, this is not the first time Shah has flagged an influx of “illegal migrants”, or “infiltrators”, in the country.
In 2018, he had said that the National Democratic Alliance government had begun the process of identifying “infiltrators” and removing them from the voters’ list.
Then, even after over 1.9 million people were left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam in 2019, he said that the exercise will be carried out across the country.
NRC is an official record of those who are legal Indian citizens. Such a database has been maintained only in the state of Assam.
‘Religious conversion and demographic changes’
In the November 9 meeting, he had also asked the officials to look out for incidents of religious conversion by Christian groups, referring to incidents of Sikhs converting to Christianity in Punjab, another official present at the meeting said.
In September, the Akal Takht Jathedar had said that the Sikh community needs to think about demanding an anti-conversion law in Punjab. He had claimed that Christian “missionaries funded by foreign forces” were converting poor Sikhs and Hindus.
According to the 2011 census, Christians made up only 1.26% of the state’s total population. The latest demographic changes are not known as the census, which was scheduled to be held in 2021, has been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) had organised a National Security Strategies Conference, which was attended by the chiefs of state police.
In the meeting held on August 17 and 18, Shah had asked the state police chiefs to keep a strict vigil on alleged demographic changes and radicalisation in border districts.
The IB also made a presentation on the rising Muslim population in the border districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. It further sought to link these population changes to extreme poverty in these areas, citing the National Family Health Survey data.
An official who attended the meeting told the daily that Shah was not convinced with the explanation and asked for a thorough analysis of the factors contributing to such changes.
Separately, an annual Director General of Police conference was held from November 19 to 21, 2021, where the Uttar Pradesh police had claimed that the population growth in border areas was higher than the national average, the newspaper reported.
It said that there has been a steady growth in Muslim population in the border villages. It added that a significant increase in the numbers of mosques and madrassas over the past few years have confirmed the fallout of changing demographics on both sides of the border.
According to the UP Police’s presentation, out of 1,047 villages in seven border districts of Maharajganj, Siddharthnagar, Balrampur, Bahraich, Shravasti, Pilibhit and Khiri, 303 villages had a Muslim population between 30-50%. It added that around 116 villages had a Muslim population of more than 50%.
The total number of mosques and madrassas in the border districts rose by 25% to 1,688 in September 2021 as compared to 1,349 in February 2018, the presentation said.