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As many as 540 illegal migrants were apprehended by the Border Security Force (BSF) along Indo-Bangladesh border in the last eight months, said Nityanand Rai, Minister of State for Home in the Lok Sabha on Sunday.

In a written reply to a question raised by Congress MP from Assam Abdul Khaleque, Rai said that 9145 illegal migrants in between 2015-2019 have been apprehended by the BSF from Indo-Bangla border along with the West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura.

Out of the 4096.70 km long India-Bangladesh border, 3120.032 km have already been fenced and 976.668 km porous border is yet to be covered.

“The fencing work could not be completed due to difficult terrain, short working season, land acquisition problems, public protests, objections by Border Guard Bangladesh and recently the COVID-19 situation. The Government regularly monitors the progress of work along the Indo-Bangladesh border to ensure its completion,” said Rai.

He said that the riverine border along Indo-Bangladesh border is dominated through floating Border Out Posts, patrolling with boats, foot patrolling along river banks during day and night and by conducting special operations with state police as and when required.

“Floodlights are installed along the fenced border including small river and nallah gaps. Border Security Force conducts regular patrolling, lay nakas, establish observation posts and carry out anti-tunnelling exercises to stop illegal migrants,” he said.

However, some illegal migrants are able to enter in a clandestine and surreptitious manner, mainly due to difficult riverine terrain in parts of the International border with Bangladesh which are not amenable to physical fencing.

Replying to another question raised by MP Badruddin Ajmal, Rai said that 15012 persons from Bangladesh were given Indian citizenship from 2015 till 2019.

Statistics said that from 2015 to 2019, as many as 18855 persons from 56 countries got Indian nationality.

Rai said that records of persons granted Indian citizenship under section 5 (by registration) or section 6 (by naturalisation) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 are maintained as per the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and rules made thereunder.

“The citizenship of India can be acquired by birth or descent or registration or naturalisation or incorporation of territory. Acquisition of Indian Citizenship is governed by the provisions under the Citizenship Act, 1955 and rules made thereunder,” said Rai.

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