Security threat from vanished visitors
By Harpreet Bajwa - CHANDIGARH
Published: 18th Aug 2013 09:03:01 AM
The fiasco over Liaquat Shah—the surrendered militant arrested by the Special Branch at the Indo-Nepal border as he crossed over to India and was released by the courts—left the Delhi Police red faced. In the meantime, an RTI (Right to Information) query has revealed that as many as 71,035 foreign nationals are overstaying in the country.
Of the unwanted guests, most are from Bangladesh (24,364), followed by Afghanistan (13,744) and Pakistan (8,037). The capture of LeT bomber Abdul Karim Tunda on the same border brought home the chilling reality of India’s porous borders with its neighbours.
The startling facts of the overstaying guests came to light when the Ministry of Home Affairs replied to RTI activist and advocate Rajesh Sharma of Karnal who had sought information on how many Pakistanis were illegally residing in the country and steps taken by the government to repatriate them.
Citizens from as many as 42 countries are visa violators. Other than Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, visitors from US (2,168) and Iraq (2,038) make it to the top five overstayers’ bracket.
Nationals from other countries featuring in the list are: Sri Lanka (1,956), Nigeria (1,528), Myanmar (1,402), Britain (1,094), Tanzania (1,004), South Korea (990), Oman (690), China (633), Canada (627), Japan (602), Australia (260), Italy (152) and Sweden (103).