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NIA raids in 10 states against Rohingya infiltration, 47 touts arrested, 25 in Tripura

First Published: 8th November, 2023 19:25 IST

The operations in Assam and Tripura were carried out in coordination with Assam Police and assistance of Tripura police in their respective states.

In a massive crackdown by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 10 states against middlemen facilitating the entry of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis into India, as many as 47 middlemen were arrested on Wednesday including 25 from Tripura and 5 from Assam.

The operations and probe into this middlemen-infiltration nexus was carried out in coordination with Assam Police and with assistance from the Tripura police in their respective states.

In an official statement, Assam police informed that a months-long operation started in February this year after a group of Rohingyas were arrested from a train (coming from Tripura) at Karimganj Railway Station in Assam.

“During the course of enquiries and questioning, it was ascertained that the illegal migrants were facilitated in entering India illegally by those middlemen, who played a major role in the infiltration,” Assam Police stated.

Police said that during investigation, it was also learnt that “such middlemen are active on both sides of the Indo-Bangladesh border and also in some other states outside northeast. Thus, police launched an operation to root out the network of these middlemen”, the statement said.

The Special Task Force (STF), Assam launched the operation in July 2023 and they were able to arrest 10 such middlemen. Further investigation, revealed that the network of touts (middlemen) existed across India, which was a serious national security concern with inter-state ramifications, police said.

“The Government of Assam requested the MHA, Government of India to transfer one of the Cases to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) given the fact that Assam was being used as a corridor for this anti-National activity. Accordingly, NIA took up the case and by the investigation and a collaborative effort with the Assam Police,” Assam Police said in the statement.

According to the police, NIA and Assam Police collated a list of middlemen who were involved in this nefarious crime. After meticulous planning, a country wide operation was launched by the NIA and Assam Police jointly.

“During the wee hours of Wednesday (November 8, 2023) in association with various State Police Forces, 47 such Middlemen were arrested,”police said in the statement.

Out of these 47 middlemen, 25 were arrested from Tripura, 5 from Assam, 9 from Karnataka, 3 each from West Bengal and Tamil Nadu and 1 each from Haryana and Telengana, according to the police.

The Rohingyas after getting arrested in Karimganj in February told the police that they paid a big amount to those middlemen to cross India-Bangladesh border.

“They said that they crossed the border from an area near Tripura’s Agartala and before that they got copies of their fake Indian documents including AADHAR card, voters’ identity card etc,” the Assam police statement said.

Besides Assam and Tripura, NIA raids were also conducted in West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Haryana, Pondicherry, Rajasthan, and Jammu and Kashmir.

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