Bengaluru, Sept 23: The number of ‘illegal’ foreigners living in Karnataka is two times more than those whose visa has expired, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra has told the Legislative Assembly.
According to written replies tabled by Jnanendra in the Assembly, Karnataka has 683 ‘illegal’ foreigners. However, foreigners with an expired visa living in Karnataka are just 260. This either suggests India’s porous borders or poor data-keeping on the part of the state government.
Number wise, Bengaluru tops with most of 622 foreigners who continue to stay even after the expiry of their Visa period, followed by Hubballi- Dharwad-18, Mysuru-16 and Ramanagar-11. While KGF has 7 illegal foreigners, Mangaluru (city police) - 3 and 1 in each of Bagalkot, Bidar, Chitradurga, Dakshina Kannada (rural police), Uttara Kannada and Vijayapura.
Of the 683 ‘illegal’ foreigners or immigrants, only 53 have been identified as Bangladeshi nationals, Jnanendra said. A majority of these 683 foreigners are in Bengaluru (619). A total of 112 cases for various offences have been lodged against them.
Jnanendra said the government had filed 88 cases against foreigners whose visa has expired since 2019. Also, 103 such foreigners have been deported. Some are kept in a detention centre as directed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
“To curb the illegal stay of immigrants, a Special Task Force has been constituted in every city and district. Personnel belonging to the special team and the police are constantly working to identify illegal immigrants,” Jnanendra said, adding that lookout circulars are issued against immigrants who are on the run.
The presence of foreigners is also linked with the drugs business, Jnanendra’s written replies suggest. In this connection, police stations have been asked to track information on foreigners and “special operations are conducted to take strict action against those who are indulging in (drugs).”