By Times Headline Writer
Indian officials are registering all illegal Muslim Bangladeshi residents in the state of Assam in an apparent bid to reduce the Muslim population.
“The Hindu rate of population growth is declining. But the Muslim rate is rising. Most of the Muslims here are from Bangladesh. If this continues, the Assamese Hindus will become a minority soon — we will lose our language, our culture, our identity,” Assam’s finance minister told The Washington Post.
Assam shares a long border with Bangladesh, with much of it consisting of wetlands easily crossed by boat. The majority of the Indian army and its border force are positioned hundreds of miles away on the Pakistani border, particularly clustered over the disputed territory of Kashmir.
The registration and deportation effort is known as “detect-delete-deport.” Indian officials are now concerned that Bangladeshi Islamic terrorist organizations, like the Islamic State, can infiltrate India by posing as illegal immigrants. Officials say detecting illegal immigrants from Bangladesh will be exceedingly difficult, as some have false identity papers and have even voted. “As soon as they arrive, their priority is to enter their names into the voter list somehow. They forge all kinds of documents and pay bribes for this,” an Indian judicial official confirmed.
(With inputs from news agencies)