M A I N   N E W S

Police watch on Bangladeshis
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The Punjab Police has started a survey to detect the presence of militants, if any, amongst Bangladeshi population in the state.

The survey, started in Ludhiana, is likely to be conducted in Amritsar and a few other areas of the state which attract a sizeable migrant population. This issue was discussed at a meeting called by Director-General of Police (DGP) N.P.S. Aulakh to discuss law and order situation in the state. The survey assumes importance in the light of the Jaipur bomb blasts, following which the intelligence agencies in the state, have been demanding such preventive steps.

The agencies feel influx of Bangladeshi migrants in the state, which has increased for the past few years, could harbour Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami (HuJi) militants who have increased activities in the country since the Varanasi blast. They had recommended such a survey in Ludhiana in view of the large number unverified migrant labourers, including Bangladesh residents, living there. The agencies feel HuJI could push its cadre into the state in the guise of migrant labourers, many of whom enjoy good cover and even possess documents like ration cards.

At present, though there are a few hundred Bangladeshis in jails in the state both as undertrials and prisoners, they mostly are accused of trying to cross over to Pakistan with the police yet to connect any of them with Bangladesh-based militant organisations like HuJI.

Meanwhile, sources said the survey was aimed at serving two purposes. “It is set to rattle militant sympathisers, if any, besides providing us a much-needed data base of migrant labourers as well as suspected Bangladeshi residents which we can access at any given point”, a senior intelligence officer disclosed.



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