Refugees, illegal migrants and local perceptions in India's far east

Anup Saikia, Gauhati University

India's Far East comprises an area of 255,000 square kilometres. Its demographically larger neighbour, Bangladesh has been the source of several million immigrants. Two streams of migrants resulted: the Chakmas of the Chittagong Hills Tract, displaced by the Katpai dam and an numerically larger stream, that of an impoverished majority from the Bangladesh plains. How significantly have growth rates, religious, age and sex compositions and ethnic compositions been affected in three states Tripura, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are examined. How are these changes been spatially exhibited at district level are explored using GIS. Finally what has been India’s policy towards these two streams of migrants and the possible solutions to the protracted issue are sought. Immigration has reduced the tribals of Tripura to a minority over half a century and has been the root cause of insurgency. In Assam early signs of a change in the religious composition are evident.

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Presented in Session 66: Demographic effects of international migration on receiving countries