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‘Meghalaya has no records of Bangladeshis’

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Shillong, June 12 (IANS) Meghalaya has no record of Bangladeshis who entered the state on or before March 24, 1971, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said Thursday.


"While no census had been undertaken to detect the presence of those who had come to Meghalaya from Bangladesh on or before March 24, 1971, here were 5,735 Bangladeshi citizens who entered the state since 1972," Sangma told the assembly during the question hour.

He said these Bangladeshi nationals were detected and prosecuted under relevant laws.

Sangma stressed on the need to register all genuine citizens with the National Register of Indian Citizens to help the government in detecting Bangladeshi nationals.

The house witnessed a heated argument over the issue when opposition National People’s Party legislator James K. Sangma asked whether the 5,735 Bangladeshi citizens were deported.

However, the chief minister maintained it was the court which has to decide about the deportation of such nationals, and the government has to follow the court’s orders.

On the Meghalaya High Court’s May 15 judgment that Bangladeshi nationals who came to India on or before March 24, 1971 will not be sent back, the chief minister said the government has decided to contest this.

The court also said those who came after the stipulated date would have to be deported to the neighbouring country.

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