Increase in number of foreigners overstaying: Govt

Nearly 65,000 foreigners had violated the stay period granted in their visa in 2008, over 11,000 more than the previous year, according to latest government data.

As per figures, out of the total of about 53 lakh tourists who arrived in India in 2008, about 65,000 were found to have overstayed, over 11,200 more than the number in 2007. Different security agencies arrested 7,426 such people and deported over 13,000 of them.

In 2007, about 51 lakh visitors had arrived in the country, out of which 54,000 overstayed. Whereas in 2006, about 50,000 tourists had extended their stay out of the arrival of 44.50 lakh foreign nationals, the data said.

"Police and maintenance of law and order being state responsibility primarily, the detection of missing foreign nationals including those involved in illegal activities and terrorism is a continuing priority for all states or Union territory administrations.

"As and when such persons are detected, cases are registered against them by the local police authorities," a Home Ministry official said today.

People from as many as 161 countries had visited India between 2006 and 2008, the data said.

There are some instances where these people, mainly from Bangladesh and Afghanistan, have been found to be involved in illegal activities, he said adding, "State police forces take necessary legal actions to check such sort of activities."

The official said police have found most of the illegal migrants have successfully acquired different identity proofs - ration cards, voter card and driving licenses among others - in different parts of the country.

Police deported 14,933 foreigners in 2006 and 13,348 and 13,995 respectively in 2007 and 2008.

"Detection and deportation of illegally staying foreigners (including Afghani and Bangladeshi immigrants) is an ongoing process and powers to deport them is vested with state governments," the official said.

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