We're Live Bangla Tuesday, June 06, 2023

WB govt refuses to allow Indian citizens to return from Bangladesh


The West Bengal government after refusing to allow trade for weeks via key land border with Bangladesh in a surprising step has prevented 2,500 Indians from crossing over to their home state.

More than 4500 Indians have returned from Bangladesh by flights operated under Vande Bharat.

Surprisingly, 2500 Indian citizens from West Bengal, among others, are still stranded in Bangladesh who await repatriation through the land borders, ET has reliably gathered.

Majority of these are willing to return through either the Petrapole-Benapol or Phulbari-Banglabandha check-points.

These people mostly belong to financially weaker section cannot afford flights or paid quarantine. Most of them were visiting relatives in Bangladesh. To make matters worse, their hosts also belong to similar weaker socio economic background, and not able to sustain their stay of their Indian relatives leading to their abandonment, ET has learnt.

It is learnt that many such Indians have no other option but to live in public places not fit for human habitation.

There are also more than 50 cases of humanitarian distress, with death in the family, separation of small children and parents, etc.

West Bengal has not allowed even them to return despite the central government repeatedly flagging the issue, ET has further learnt.

While it is ironic that a state government is not allowing its own people to return, the situation is serious with people despairing and some even threatening self-immolation.

This comes even as the two countries marked another historic achievement towards strengthening India Bangladesh maritime and economic partnership.

The first time ever movement of container cargo from Kolkata to Agartala through the Chattogram Port was successfully concluded. The cargo was received on Thursday morning by Chief Minister of Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb.

With this, the distance and time taken in transportation of goods for India particularly the north eastern states will get reduced. It will enhance business services and revenue generation in Bangladesh. Logistical sector will also get a big boost .

This movement was undertaken under the Agreement on use of Chattogram and Mongla Ports for movement of India’s transit cargo through Bangladesh. This development is in line with the vision that the two countries have towards further strengthening bilateral connectivity and a mutually beneficial partnership aimed at benefiting people on both sides.