New Delhi: India will sign an MoU with the United Kingdom to enable the return of illegal Indian migrants within a month of their detection by authorities, an official said on Wednesday.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju's visit to London along with a delegation on Wednesday is a step towards the move that could affect hundreds of Indians. The UK has consistently raised the issue of return of illegal migrants with India. The Memorandum of Understanding comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposed visit to the UK in March.
A Home Ministry official said: "The process was not streamlined yet. The British authorities will first identify the illegal migrants, inform the Indian authorities, followed by police verification back home.
"If the claims of the British authorities are found to be correct, then the travel documents of the person concerned will be readied and he/she deported by the UK authorities. This process will have a timeline of one month," said the official.
While the UK claims that the number of illegal migrants is in thousands, Indian agencies have found only 2,000 Indians were overstaying. The official said the Indian delegation led by Rijiju is expected to ask Westminster to "spell out" its position in court on businessman Vijay Mallya's extradition.
He said the UK had assured all possible help in the extradition requests by India. The MoU on sharing of criminal records is in line with a similar agreement signed with the US, the official said.
Rijiju is also expected to convey New Delhi's concerns on the continuing anti-India propaganda carried out by Sikh and Kashmiri extremist groups based in the UK that bear "serious repercussions on India's sovereignty".
He will also discuss with his counterpart the issues of sharing information about crimes and criminals.