Sheikh Hasina
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina | Ramin Talaie | Bloomberg
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New Delhi: Bangladesh has sought a written assurance from the Narendra Modi government that it won’t send immigrants across the border after the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), multiple sources told ThePrint.

The move came even as Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina continues to face criticism for being “soft” on New Delhi over the issue of National Register of Citizens (NRC), the sources said.

The Bangladesh government had made a similar demand when Hasina was on a private visit to India in October months after the NRC exercise was carried out in Assam, diplomatic sources told ThePrint.

At the time, India had given a verbal assurance to Bangladesh that those rendered “foreigners” under the NRC in Assam will not be sent to Bangladesh. However, it had refused to give a written assurance, stating that the exercise was carried out as per directions of the Supreme Court, said the sources.

However, after the passage of CAA in Parliament this month, fresh concerns have cropped up within the political leadership in Bangladesh that India may now “push” Muslim immigrants deemed illegal under the Act across the border, the sources said.

Now the Indian government does not have compulsions of the court, so a written assurance will not be difficult, added the sources. However, they added, India does not seem to have given any kind of assurance to Dhaka yet that such a sovereign guarantee will be given.

The passage of CAA, which provides for citizenship to six non-Muslim communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, provoked massive protests across India amid fears that the proposed NRC in conjunction with CAA could result in targeting of Muslims. The government has said there have been “no discussions” on NRC.

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Also read: Won’t interfere in Citizenship Act issue, but situation should be de-escalated: Russia


‘Internal affair’

The matter was also discussed Sunday when Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) chief Shafeenul Islam visited India with a delegation to hold DG-level border talks.

Addressing a press conference concluding his visit, Islam said NRC is an “internal affair of the government” but refused to comment when asked about the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, the Sheikh Hasina government is having a tough time pacifying opposing voices questioning her “inability” to hammer out an “assurance” from India despite having a good rapport with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

For Hasina, the situation has gone from bad to worse after India reportedly detained around 60 illegal Bangladeshi immigrants from Bengaluru and took them to Kolkata to deport them back to Dhaka in November.

Earlier this month, a senior Bangladeshi diplomat was even attacked in Guwahati during protests against the CAA.

A visit to India by Bangladesh Foreign Affairs Minister A.K. Abdul Momen and Home Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Khan was also cancelled as tensions peaked in India over the CAA.


Also read: India’s Muslims an excuse. Modi govt also wants to take away Bahujans’ power with CAA & NRC


 

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18 Comments Share Your Views

18 COMMENTS

  1. Pakistan refused to take its own people, the Biharis, from Bangladesh to Pakistan in 1971 and even today, they are living in camps in Dhaka. If it is alright fro Pakistan, and many Muslim countries to deport their illegals, why would it be wrong for India to do so?

  2. It is alright fro Bangladesh government to drive out Hindu population from twenty percent in 1971 to less than ten percent now. And then they want India to shelter their illegal people whom they themselves cannot feed or provide jobs.

  3. Number of deportees to Bangladesh from 2014 to 2019 are 47261, 56674, 41626, 50148, 68382 and 65372,
    according to Prothom Alo, a local Dhaka newspaper.

  4. ”65,372 undocumented Bangladeshi workers deported in 2019. ” Prothom Alo

    Has Bangladesh asked written assurances from the Saudis and other Arab countries? NO.

  5. More than 100,000 Bangladeshi workers were sent back from abroad last year due to a host of reasons such as overstay and scarce jobs. Of the total, some 62,000 workers were deported from different countries in the Middle East. More than 50,000 were also sent back from Malaysia under its “Back 4 Good” programme. The Financial Express, Bangladesh

  6. ”Amid the ongoing crackdown on undocumented migrants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), a total 250 Bangladeshi workers have been sent back from the country on Thursday and Friday.” Dhaka Tribune ,
    5/10/19

  7. If friendship means we become minority in our own country, then hell with that friendship. Bangladesh will always go Pakistani way. they will hold guns on our head all the time and blackmail us.

  8. When Saudis deport illegal Bangladeshis and so do many Arab countries, you people have no problem because they are part of your ummah. Why on earth India would accept illegal Bangladeshi Muslims from your country as if taking Hindu minorities is not enough?

  9. The Muslim refugees from bangla desh have no right to live in India. Because BD is a Muslim country.If Other religion people may be taken according to merit ! If u still torture minority in ur country we will start the same in India too ,mind that Begam !!

  10. India fast losing friends … Sobering column in Indian Express. The line between domestic politics and foreign policy has got completely blurred. Difficult to judge whether after getting so much feedback from multiple sources, many well disposed towards India, any course correction will be effected.

    • Domestic politics, Foreign policy, Defence and economy have always been interlinked as they should be. No course correction is needed as much of the prevalent chaos is due to the tentacles spread over CAA and a possible NRC rather than what the CAA itself conveys. Every Sovereign state absolutely has the right to filter who comes into its country and who can seek its citizenship, on whatever basis it chooses to. Also, there isn’t a ban on Muslims seeking Indian citizenship, not even from the said 3 countries. No one should lose sight of the fact that Muslims from these countries continue to remain significant terror threats across the globe as the recent arrests in the UK and US expose. Morality and ethics always come a distant second after the basic instinct of survival.

      • Have you ever seen a cynical old man whining? The above reader is just that. I am sorry to say this, but his comments are a stale repetition, reflecting bitterness such that he will embrace Imran and Thackarey both because he hates BJP so much: nothing original or substantive, and least of all positive, to offer. He comments like a well-read, wise old man, but compile his comments from over last 12-14 months, you will see a pattern produced by a broken vinyl player.

          • Yes, a sweeping statement, perhaps based on some journalist’s column, that “India is losing friends.” I may NOT have much substance to counter it right away, but I am sure that if I do some bit of research myself, I will be able to offer solid arguments. This person ashok is downright expedient ideologist, full of biases (perhaps because he is old school stuck in Nehru-Indira era). He has no centrist position and reads what he finds is most critical of the government. You will never find his comments on scholarly articles. He has narrow perspective. More later as we go along.

    • If friendship means we become minority in our own country, then hell with that friendship. Bangladesh will always go Pakistani way. they will hold guns on our head all the time and blackmail us.

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