B’desh offers to take back its nationals living illegally in India
DHAKA, December 17, 2019:
Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Sunday said his country has requested India to provide a list of any Bangladesh nationals living illegally in the country, and said Bangladesh would allow them to return.
Responding to a question on India's national register of citizens (NRC), Momen, who cancelled his visit to India on Thursday citing busy schedule, said the Bangladesh-India relations are normal and "very sweet" and they will not be affected.
He said India has termed the NRC process as its internal matter and assured Dhaka that it would not affect Bangladesh.
He rejected speculation of "pushback" attempts by India, saying some Indian nationals are illegally entering Bangladesh through middlemen due to economic reasons.
"But if anybody other than our citizens enters Bangladesh, we will send them back," he told media here when asked about reports that some people are illegally entering the country through borders with India.
Momen said Bangladesh has requested New Delhi to provide a list of Bangladeshis living illegally in India, "if any," to be repatriated.
"We will allow them (Bangladesh citizens) as they have the right to enter into their own country," he said.
Asked why he cancelled his India visit, the minister said his busy schedule coinciding with the Martyred Intellectuals Day and Victory Day and also the absence of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shahriar Alam, and the ministry's secretary in the country made him defer his tour.
Diplomatic sources in New Delhi had said that Momen and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan cancelled their visits to India over the situation arising out of the passage of the controversial citizenship amendment bill in Parliament.
Momen cancelled his tour a day after he termed as "untrue" Home Minister Amit Shah's comments on persecution of religious minorities in Bangladesh.