Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai on Tuesday informed the Lok Sabha there have been reports regarding the presence of illegal immigrants in the country and that possibility of their staying in religious places may not be ruled out. The Minister gave out this information in a written reply in the Lower House of the Parliament.
"There are reports regarding the presence of illegal immigrants who have entered the country without valid travel documents. Some of them are illegally staying after the expiry of their stay. Possibility of their staying in religious places may not be ruled out," said the Minister.
To another question in Lok Sabha, the Minister said statistics of foreigners arriving into India are not maintained community-wise. "Statistics of foreigners arriving in India are not maintained community-wise. However, 25,782 persons belonging to minority communities in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan granted Long Term Visa (LTV) from 1 Jan 2015 to Dec 2019," Rai informed. The minister said the government has extended various facilities to such people living in India on LTV.
These include a grant of LTV for a period of five years at a time, allowing their children to take admission in schools, colleges, universities, technical/professional institutions without any specific permission from the state government/UT administration, permitting them to engage in employment in the private sector, purchase of dwelling unit and accommodation for carrying out self-employment, the opening of bank accounts, issuance of driving license, PAN card and Aadhaar number, he said.
Meanwhile, Opposition members, including from the DMK, Congress and NCP, on Tuesday, walked out of the Lok Sabha claiming they were not allowed to ask supplementary questions during the Question Hour.
Some Opposition members stood up in protest when Nityanand Rai was replying to a question related to the official language. As Speaker Om Birla took up the next question during the Question Hour, DMK leader T R Baalu vociferously protested that they should be allowed to ask supplementary questions.
Amid the din, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi intervened and said it was an issue at the heart of the people of Tamil Nadu and that supplementary should be allowed. He was apparently referring to issues regarding the official language.
With the Speaker continuing with the next question, members from various Opposition parties, including DMK, Congress, and NCP walked out from the House. Some Congress leaders were also seen talking to TMC leader Sudip Bandhoypadhya but the party's members remained in their seats.
(With agency inputs)