Knee jerk-No comprehensive policy was ever formulated and the Indian State’s response to migrants after independence has mostly been knee- jerk. While Pakistan closed the door to immigrants in 1947, India continued to take in migrants from East Pakistan.
The constitution of India prescribed July 19, 1948 as the cut-off date which was changed to 1950 under the Nehru- Liaqat Pact. After 1965, the Border Security Force (BSF) was given the responsibility for guarding the border and they were also entrusted with the task of identification and deportation of illegal migrants. However, the Indian state has failed to stop the influx after 1971 and people still continue to cross over. Inefficient policing of borders- Several factors are responsible for the ineffective border management.
Some of them are:(a) The erection of the fence along the lndo-Bangladesh border is not complete and continuous and hence has not helped in checking infiltration and other negative activities on the border. (b) The border does not have adequate border roads for patrolling. Terrain, in any case,makes it difficult to have continuous roads all along the border. (c) There are habitations on the border which come in the way of effective policing. in addition, the existence of Enclaves, Indian Enclaves inside Bangladesh and Bangladeshi inside Indian territory, make it an extremely porous and complex border. (d) The riverine stretches of the border is not adequately patrolled due to lack of mobility. Diplomatic arrangements- Through regular meetings with the Home Ministry and Border Security heads India has communicated her serious concerns to Bangladesh Government regarding the problems caused by the continuing illegal migration.
The deportation of these illegal migrants has been taken up with the Bangladesh side.There has been criticism that the Central Government’s ad-hoc policies have failed to address the problems caused by economic migrants. It has been felt that in the context of ‘pan- Indian politics’ and the international politics of the subcontinent, Assam’s illegal immigration problem has become embroiled in two sensitive issues: first, the treatment of India’s Muslim minority population; and second, India’s obligation to allow Hindu refugees from Pakistan to settle in India. However, Bangladesh has always denied the fact that its citizens have illegally migrated to India, but according to the census reports of Bangladesh, nearly 3.5 million people disappeared from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) between 1951 and 1961 probably as a result of partition.