Sunday, December 15th, 2019

Illegal migrants from India are entering through middlemen: Momen

Published 9:21 pm | December 15, 2019

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Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said illegal migrants were entering into Bangladesh from India through middlemen for economic reasons, ruling out speculations of “pushback” attempts by the neghbouring country.

“But if anybody other than our citizens enters Bangladesh, we will send them back,” he told newsmen at his office here today as asked for comments on reports that people were illegally entering through borders with India.

The minister, however, said India was not pushing anybody adding that it was economic prospects which prompted some of their nationals to intrude through middlemen to explore their livelihood.

Momen said Bangladesh by now requested New Delhi to provide a list of Bangladeshis living illegally in India, “if any”, to be repatriated.

“We will allow them (Bangladesh citizens) as they have the right to enter into their own country,” he said.

Responding to a question on India’s National Register of Citizenship (NRC), Momen said New Delhi termed the process as their internal matter and assured Dhaka that it would not affect Bangladesh.

“The Bangladesh-India relations are normal, It won’t be affected . . . the relations are very sweet,” Momen said.

Asked why he scrapped his planned India trip, the minister reiterated that busy schedules coinciding with the Martyred Intellectuals Day and Victory Day while absence of the state minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam and the ministry’s secretary in the country also prompting him to defer his New Delhi tour.

Momen was scheduled to leave home for India on Thursday last on a three-day visit to attend the sixth edition of Indian Ocean Dialogue (IOD) in New Delhi but cancelled the tour in last hour.

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