Other States

The curious case of 59 Bangladeshis who vanished

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Govt. and police officials of Bengal claim to have no information on the group brought to Kolkata by Karnataka police

A week after a group of 59 alleged Bangladeshis were brought to Kolkata by the Karnataka police, the whereabouts of the detained persons, including about a dozen children, remains a mystery.

The “Bengali- speaking alleged foreigners” were handed over to the Railway Police, under the West Bengal government last Sunday and eventually shifted to a temporary shelter in Howrah district.

Illegally ‘pushed back’

Civil rights groups allege that they have been “illegally” pushed back to Bangladesh, while Indian border forces deny the charge.

The curious case of 59 Bangladeshis who vanished
 

West Bengal government officials have said “Bangladeshis are not in Indian soil”, while the Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Kolkata is in the dark about the whole episode.

Kolkata-based civil rights group, the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) has claimed that all the 59 persons were “pushed back to Bangladesh in the most inhuman way” violating a 2015 Memorandum of Understanding between India and Bangladesh.

JTF not engaged

“There is a Joint Task Force to look into this issue which was not engaged. The detained persons were pushed back at the deep hours of the night, encouraged by the West Bengal government, which triggers a fear related to stripping of citizenship in Assam. [Will those excluded by the NRC] Also be pushed back like these 59 people,” noted the APDR statement.

‘Push back’ from India to Bangladesh is a regular, albeit legally unclear, feature of returning alleged Bangladeshis to their country through the Bengal border,” say senior State government officials.

Seeking shelter: The authorities have been accused of violating a MoU between two countries and ‘pushing the 59 persons back to Bangladesh in the most inhuman way’.

Seeking shelter: The authorities have been accused of violating a MoU between two countries and ‘pushing the 59 persons back to Bangladesh in the most inhuman way’.  

 

At times the migrants are caught and sent back immediately or they serve a sentence for illegal entry and then are asked to cross over.

The APDR has asked how the detained persons were identified as being “all Bangladeshis” without a legal procedure.

The civil right group also blamed the Bangladesh High Commission for its studied silence. Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Kolkata Toufique Hasan denied having “any official knowledge” about the detained persons.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 2:54:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/the-curious-case-of-59-bangladeshis-who-vanished/article30131580.ece

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