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How Govt Stats on Bangladeshi Jail Population in Bengal May Help BJP's NRC Poll Plank

The highest percentage of foreign prisoners countrywide, both convicts (63%) and undertrials (38.6%), were nationals of Bangladesh and most of them were lodged in Bengal prisons.

Suhas Munshi | News18.com

Updated:October 23, 2019, 7:09 AM IST
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How Govt Stats on Bangladeshi Jail Population in Bengal May Help BJP's NRC Poll Plank
News18 Creative by Mir Suhail

New Delhi: The highest number of foreign prison inmates in India are from Bangladesh and most of them are lodged in the prisons of West Bengal, according to the data compiled for 2017 by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

These two facts put together could give ammunition to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that is looking to dislodge the ruling Trinamool Congress in the upcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal.

BJP president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah has already claimed in an exclusive interview to News18 that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would be one of the big issues for his party ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections in the state.

According to the NCRB data, the highest percentage of foreign prisoners countrywide, both convicts (63%) and undertrials (38.6%), were nationals of Bangladesh.

It is West Bengal that has reported the highest number of foreign-convicts in its jails and they make for nearly 61.9% of its total foreign convicts. Bengal also has the highest number of foreign-undertrial prisoners — 25.6% — lodged in its jails.

Another detail emerging out of the NCRB annual data for 2017 is that most number of Pakistani nationals are lodged in the jails of Gujarat — the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Home Minister.

Gujarat has 59 Pakistani undertrial prisoners of the total 101 overseas prisoners in the state. Jammu and Kashmir has the second-highest Pakistani national undertrials at 35, according to the NCRB data.

While Shah has spoken on fighting elections in West Bengal on the issue of ‘illegal immigration’, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that there is no question of extending support to the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and possibility of setting up detention camps — similar to the ones in Assam and other states to accommodate infiltrators — in West Bengal.

“I would like to clarify that there is no question of implementation of the National Register for Citizens (NRC) in Bengal. Therefore, construction of detention camps does not arise. They did this in Assam because it is presently ruled by the BJP. In Bengal, it’s our government. We run the government. I would like to assure all that there is no question of NRC or detention camps here,” Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday.

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