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999 Bangladeshis were in India illegally, says Border Guards Bangladesh head

Border Guards Bangladesh Director-General Shafeenul Islam (left) signs a document in New Delhi in 2018.

Border Guards Bangladesh Director-General Shafeenul Islam (left) signs a document in New Delhi in 2018.   | Photo Credit: PTI

This is the first time in recent decades that Bangladesh has made public the number of its citizens who had lived “illegally” in India.

Nearly 1,000 Bangladesh nationals were detained in Bangladesh in 2019 for living in India “illegally”, and the Bangladesh government has initiated legal proceedings against them, Major-General Shafeenul Islam, Director-General of Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB), said in Dhaka on Thursday.

This is the first time in recent decades that Bangladesh has made public the number of its citizens who had lived “illegally” in India.

The announcement came following the talks between the Directors-General of the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh in New Delhi from December 25 to 30, 2019.

Nine hundred and ninety-nine Bangladesh nationals — 135 children, 258 women and 606 men — were detained, Major-General Islam said at a press conference. And 312 of them were arrested in November and 133 in December. Officials said they were arrested on the border, while going to India or returning home. Their identities were ascertained and legal proceedings initiated “as per law for illegally entering and staying” in another country. Those arrested were either kept in custody or freed on bail.

Dhaka’s assurance

A couple of weeks ago, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s foreign policy adviser Gowher Rizvi said in Kolkata that Bangladesh would take its citizens back if they were illegally staying in India. “But it has to be proved that the person is a Bangladesh citizen,” he had said.

Bangladesh also submitted a list of 96 Indians “illegally” staying in Bangladesh. Of them, 62 were handed over to the Border Security Force (BSF) and the rest were detained. Legal proceedings were opened against them. At least 35 Bangladesh nationals have been killed in border firing, Major-General Islam said.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 5:58:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/999-bangladeshis-were-in-india-illegally-says-border-guards-bangladesh-head/article30464179.ece

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