Kolkata: The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reveals that West Bengal tops the list when it comes to crimes committed by foreigners, way ahead of national capital Delhi and tourist hotspot Goa. In 2016, as many as 520 foreigners committed crimes in Bengal, a figure that is three and a half times more than Delhi’s, the second on the list. Bengal government officials maintain that a huge porous border and infiltration from Bangladesh contribute significantly to the number of foreign criminals.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh, during a meeting with chief ministers and home ministers of eastern states on December 7, had called for stricter vigilance to plug border gaps. Even if 332 crimes committed by Bangladehis are deleted from Bengal’s figure, it still surpasses Delhi - with 143 foreign criminals. The NCRB report also shows that Karnataka, with 91 foreign criminals, comes third, followed closely by Goa with 80. Tamil Nadu is fifth with 64 foreign criminals.
Though in 2014 Bengal’s figure was 689 and it came down to 597 in 2015 and 520 in 2016, it is still far ahead than the rest of the country.
Foreigners booked for infiltration, drugs trade
Though the report didn’t specify the exact number of infiltrators, it made an approximate estimate that as many as 2,010 HuJI and JMB activists have infiltrated into three border states. Of them, nearly 720 made a safe passage to India through the Bengal border, the report said. According to the state home department, 47% of the foreigners were arrested because of illegal residence, closely followed by illegal immigration accounting for 23% of the crimes. Cheating and forgery cases made up 11%, while 7% were booked for drug peddling. Offences like cyber crime, trafficking and cross-border smuggling accounted for the rest 12%. Apart from Bangladeshis, the rest were from Myanmar, Nepal and Nigeria.