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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Roads in Navi Mumbai’s Sanpada turn into free cricket ground for illegal Bangladeshi immigrants

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It has been more than two years that GoaChronicle first told you about the settlements of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, which had been thriving without any difficulty in the Sanpada and Vashi areas of Navi Mumbai, and we should not forget the fact that there exist innumerable such pockets not only in the areas mentioned above but all across Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, and India, where Bangladeshi Muslims have made settlements illegally, posing grave threats to our demographic fabric, economic opportunities, and society, being a nuisance and potential terrorists.

Now, after more than two years of reporting the matter, GoaChronicle had a word with the Sanpada local, who has been incessantly writing complaints to the concerned authorities, from the Chief Minister of the state of Maharashtra, to the NMMC, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation officials, haplessly, to no avail. Till date, the complainant has written 370 emails complaining about the settlement of illegal Bangladeshis near his residence in Sanpada, around Palm Beach Road, otherwise a posh area in Navi Mumbai.

What is shocking is that nothing has changed for the locals around the area, as they are still tolerating the nuisance created by the Bangladeshis. But for the Bangladeshis, things have changed, for the good. Now, these people have turned even more confident, and while earlier, only men used to roam around on roads and pavements, that too in a drunken state, now, children have come out of these shanties and can be seen brazenly playing cricket on the road itself. It seems that the main roads have now turned into free cricket grounds for these illegal settlers, and nobody is bothered to stop them!

Illegal Bangladeshis freely playing cricket on Navi Mumbai roads

Slowly and steadily, these Bangladeshis are increasing their settlements in Sanpada, and their roots are gaining a stronger hold here, while the authorities continue to sleep. What the authorities at NMMC do is a mere eyewash, whenever the pressure increases on them. They have never tried to deal with the menace completely, and whenever they put up a masquerade of demolishing the settlements, the illegal settlers can be seen back at their safe havens within a few hours.

Now, in a latest development, these Bangladeshis have broken the wall of a railway yard to gain access into it, and have started creating new shanties in it. They have openly started parking their illegal vehicles, and it seems they have also climbed up the social ladder, as now, even children can be seen carrying mobile phones. It is to be noted that they are involved in economic activities like selling fruits and vegetables in a flea market nearby.

Additionally, it has become terribly unsafe for women to walk freely, as the Bangladeshi men continue to create menace on the sidewalks, while smoking and drinking alcohol. Incidents of chain snatching have also been witnessed by the locals. They are enjoying an easy life in these settlements because they have been using the water supply from the NMMC taps, which is meant for watering the plants, to survive and complete daily chores like washing clothes, right on the pavements.

While all this is happening, right from the CMO officials to the urban development secretary, every one is busy forwarding the complaint emails from one department to other, pushing the responsibility of the same to someone else. No action has still been taken by the concerned authorities at the NMMC, who simply say that they cannot do anything as the land on which the Bangladeshis have settled belongs to CIDCO, but the very same NMMC do not waste a single day to demolish even an inch of illegal construction by a Navi Mumbai local.

The police too, does not do anything despite the danger looming large, and the new political dispensation of Maharashtra has proven to be equally ineffective to the older one.

Sonakshi Datta
Sonakshi Datta
Journalist who wants to cover the truth which others look the other way from.

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