EXCLUSIVE: While Assam counts its citizens, 52 Bangladeshis with 'travel permits' deported from state

A total of 52 Bangladeshi nationals have been deported from Assam with 'travel permits' issued for the first time by the neighbouring country.

Rajeev Bhattacharyya July 31, 2018 15:01:05 IST

A total of 52 Bangladeshi nationals have been deported from Assam with "travel permits" issued for the first time by the neighbouring country. They crossed the India-Bangladesh border at Mankachar on 29 July in western Assam located 200 kilometre south-east of Guwahati.

"Most of them were lodged at the detention centres in Goalpara and Tezpur and a few were from other districts," said Amrit Bhuyan, superintendent of police of South Salmara Mankachar. The Bangladeshi nationals were convicted by the Foreigners' Tribunals either for entering the country through unfair means or for staying after the expiry of visas. All of them had served jail sentences at different districts of Assam.

EXCLUSIVE While Assam counts its citizens 52 Bangladeshis with travel permits deported from state

Representational image. PTI

An official said that the process to deport the group had begun three months ago when the Bangladesh High Commission was informed and requested to take back its citizens.

The issue of 'travel permits' to the group assumes importance since Bangladesh has never accepted that its citizens have been migrating to India. Last October, information minister Hasanul Haq Inu told this correspondent that citizens who had landed in India following the war in 1971 have returned to Bangladesh.

On several occasions earlier, migrants who had served their jail terms were pushed back across the border in small batches like some rebel leaders who were handed over to India by Bangladesh.

The development also comes in the backdrop of a hectic exercise in Assam to publish the list of citizens. Local organisations have also been demanding the deportation of illegal migrants to Bangladesh for the past several decades and their eviction from forests and grazing reserves.

State parliamentary affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary informed the assembly last year that 79,771 persons have been detected in the state as foreigners since 1986, of which only 29,729 have been deported so far.

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