Influx of illegal migrants/immigrants into the state is, at the moment, one of the biggest issues/challenges facing the state. While there are issues such as corruption and unemployment that are being discussed at every possible level, one cannot deny that the issue of illegal migrants has become the biggest topic in the state. From population explosion to jobs to occupying land, they have become the centre of issue and discussion for various civil society organisations especially the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) which has been spearheading the movement for implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) systemin in the state. And despite the inner line permit coming into effect in the state since January 1, 2020, there seems to be no dearth of illegal migrants in the state. And one wonders why and how!
With the state cabinet announcing a state population commission with plans to strengthen the ILP system in the state, one cannot deny that steps and efforts are being taken by the government to prevent the influx of illegal migrants/immigrants into the state. Even chief minister N. Biren Singh announced last month that a door to door survey will be done to check illegal migrants settling in the state. However, amidst all efforts from every corner, reports of illegal migrants being arrested continue to flood daily newspapers. So, where did it all go and what is this curious case of illegal migrants in the state?
Over the past week, a man from Telangana was arrested for staying in state for 9 (Nine) long years with ILP or valid documents. A Myanmar national was also arrested for impersonating and possessing the Aadhaar card of a deceased man. So, what is really happening here? A further look into the details of such cases and one will realise that it is the work of rotten potatoes existing in our society. The Telangana man was married to a local lady while the Myanmar national was assisted by a local. These are not the first instances – many such related cases have been reported in the past where locals have been responsible for assisting illegal migrants with false/fake documents and helping them live amongst us.
So, in the end, what is the use of protesting, raising our voice against the government and the concerned authorities calling for strengthening ILP system or implementing National Register of Citizens (NRC) if it is we, the citizens, who are only going to sell of our land and rights by secretly helping illegal migrants? As citizens, is it not our duty to help the government fight against the influx of illegal migrants as much as we are raising our voices against it? It is not our fight to protect our land and rights from the hands of illegal migrants? However, our actions, at times, seem to tell a different tale. It is time to take a sincere stand against illegal migrants or we will be responsible for our own loss in the future.
(The views expressed are personal)