Guwahati: While the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to detect illegal immigrants is going on in Assam, the state government on Saturday deported 21 Bangladeshi nationals to their country.

 The immigrants who were deported included 19 men and 2 women. They were deported from the international border at Sutarkandi in the Karimganj district after following proper legal procedures.

Officials from the Union home ministry, Assam government, Assam Police and Bangladesh Border Guards were present during the deportation process.

 The Bangladeshi nationals had reportedly entered India through Assam and Meghalaya without valid documents.

The Bangladeshi nationals were identified as Bablu Ahmed, Suman Fakir, Masum Ahmed, Nazim Uddin, Asraful Alom Choudhury, Liton Kanta Das, Tofique Ali, Raju Ahmed, Dilwar Hussain, Abdus Sukkur, Shamim Ahmed, Rubel Ahmed, Sabel Ahmed, Khayrul Islam, Ramjan Ali, Jahida Begum, Sufia Begum, Abdul Wahid, Nasir Hussain, Mir Pabel Mia and Sofiqul Islam.

They hailed from Bangladesh’s Sylhet, Gopalganj, Tangail, Mymensing, Rangpur, Kishoreganj and Kanaighat districts.

The immigrants were arrested over a period of four years and lodged at the Silchar detention camp.

“The 21 illegal Bangladeshis were apprehended in the past four years, since 2015. After the judicial process, they were lodged at the detention centre in Silchar. After completing all formalities for the deportation process, we have got formal approval from the home ministry and high commissioner of Bangladesh to deport them,” said Karimganj district border police officer Abdul Wakis.

This is not the first time India has deported Bangladeshis back to their country. In July 2018, India had deported 52 Bangladeshi nationals from Assam’s Mankachar check post. In 2017, 17 Bangladeshi nationals were sent back through the international border in Assam’s Karimganj district.

In 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, 5,234, 989, 474 and 308 immigrants had been sent back to Bangladesh respectively.