Bangladesh Foreign Minister: ‘I’ve seen media reports that India pushing people into Bangladesh’

Diplomatic Correspondent |Prothom Alo Nov 26, 2019

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said he did not
know anything officially about the matter of India’s pushing people into

The minister also said he has seen media reports about the matter and told
newsmen he would discuss it with India.

The foreign minister was talking to newsmen after a discussion at a hotel in
the capital.

“I don’t understand what’s there to be panicked about NRC (National Register of
Citizens). The NRC is yet to … It took 27… 34 years to prepare the list.
There’re so many things in the process. Besides, the government of India has
reiteratedly promised to us that NRC is their internal matter. It’ll in no way
affect Bangladesh. I am seeing newspaper reports that people are being pushed,
or they are entering Bangladesh out of fear. I don’t know exactly. We’ve to
discuss the matter,” Abdul Momen said.

He said Bangladesh and India have settled most of the major
problems through discussions. Very few neighbouring countries of the world
share the kind of mutual faith that Bangladesh and India enjoy. Minor issues
will also be resolved through discussions.

In response to a question about discussing the matter with
India, the foreign minister said, “Of course we had discussed the matter
with the government of India. We had asked questions about NRC.”

Responding to another question of a newsman, Abdul Momen said,
“I came to know about push in from media reports. Until now we don’t know
anything officially. Nowadays media publish many reports, some are true, some
false and some exaggerated. We’ve to know these things. We’ve to understand the
issue fully. Maybe then I’ll be able to discuss the matter.”

When the foreign minister’s attention was drawn to Jashore
and Jhenaidah deputy commissioners’ remarks about push in, he said, “We’ve to
know these things officially. Only then we could discuss the matter.”

Abdul Momen also told the media that he has not received any
information from the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) on push-in.

The number of infiltration from India to Bangladesh has
reportedly increased from the second week of this month (November). At least
203 people trespassed into Bangladesh from India through Maheshpur border area,
Jhenaidah between 10 and 20 November.

Besides, 59 people were sent to West Bengal’s Kolkata from
Bengaluru, capital of India’s Karnataka state, on Saturday to push into
Bangladesh. They have been kept in West Bengal due to protests by human rights
workers there.

Meanwhile, the BGB members detained 32 people while entering
Bangladesh from India through Gatipara border area in Benapole, Jashore early

UNB adds: acting on a tip off that a large number of people
will intrude the country from India, BGB conducted a drive and detained them
from the area, said BGB 49 commander Mozammel Hossain.

Earlier in September this year, Indian prime minister
Narendra Modi assured his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina that the NRC in
India will have no impact on Bangladesh and there is no need to be worried
about it.

India published the final citizenship list in the state of
Assam that excluded nearly 2 million people amid fears they could be rendered
stateless, UNB reports quoting AP.

The list, known as the National Register of Citizens,
intends to identify legal residents and weed out illegal immigrants from the

A total of 31.1 million people were included in the list,
leaving out over 1.9 million people, according to a statement from the
government of Assam.

Source: South Asia Journal
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