Considering the recent political turmoil in Afghanistan, the West Bengal police has launched a state-wide drive to check the details and the background of the Afghan people living in the state. The instructions given by the state home department is an effort to trace the movement of the Afghan citizens living in India and maintain basic surveillance on them to avoid any kind of untoward incident.
In an instruction sent to all the police commissioners and SPs of the commissionerates and districts it has been asked to prepare a log-sheet of all the Afghan citizens. They have also been asked to maintain a checklist including authentication of passports, duration of visas and a fresh background check.
“The details have been asked to be sent to the home department at the earliest,” a state home department official said.
“The relation of the Afghan people with this state is nothing new. They have been staying in West Bengal for years. They are mainly into the fruit business and money lending but in this present situation, we cannot leave anything to chance. The people who are coming and staying in the state for years don’t have any problem. We need to keep a watch so that the Taliban don’t enter and use the soil for terrorist activities,” the official said.
According to sources from Kolkata Police, the movements of foreigners residing in the state will be tracked in a bid to curb activities such as terror networks or espionage.
“Apart from Kolkata all the commissioners and the SPs have been asked to send an updated list of the people residing in their areas to the Home Department and also keep a watch on them. They have been asked to send all the details if they find anything suspicious,” the official added.
Already the Taliban are extending their hands towards several militant groups active in India. Some such groups are also quite active in West Bengal. One such group is Ansar-ul-Bangla Team (ABT), which has been recently christened as Ansar-ul-Islam. The top brass of this organisation claims to be the Bangladesh-wing of Al-Qaeda and they were responsible for killing a number of bloggers in Bangladesh.
Although this group has been operating in Bangladesh since 2007, it was declared as a banned organisation by the Bangladesh government in 2013. However, the organisation with a new name has become a headache for the state intelligence agencies. The sleuths believe that the terror connections with the foreign citizens residing in the state is really a major cause of concern and hence the efforts are being made to increase surveillance on them.