The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Assam Police jointly apprehended 47 individuals on Wednesday, suspected of acting as middlemen facilitating the illegal entry of Rohingyas into India, as informed by Assam Police.
The operation, meticulously planned and executed nationwide on November 8, involved collaboration with various state police forces. Of the 47 detained, 25 are from Tripura, five from Assam, three from West Bengal, nine from Karnataka, one each from Haryana and Telangana, and three from Tamil Nadu.
The crackdown followed the detection of a group of Rohingyas on a train from Tripura at Karimganj Railway Station in February 2023. Subsequent investigations revealed a pattern of illegal entry through the Indo-Bangladesh border. Assam Police heightened vigilance, resulting in the prevention of 450 illegal migrants (Rohingyas and Bangladeshis) with the assistance of Border Guarding Forces.
Inquiries uncovered the crucial role played by middlemen in facilitating illegal entry. The Special Task Force (STF) of Assam initiated an operation in July 2023, leading to the arrest of 10 middlemen.
Further investigations exposed a nationwide network of middlemen, prompting the Assam government to request the transfer of a case to the NIA due to the serious national security implications.
The NIA, in collaboration with Assam Police, undertook the investigation, identifying and compiling a list of touts involved in this illicit activity.