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10 September, 2015 00:00 00 AM
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ILLEGAL ENTRY UNTIL 2014

Bangladesh minorities won’t be liable: India

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT

The Indian government has decided to exempt Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals of different religious minority communities, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, from being liable under relevant laws for their illegal entry or overstay, and is considering regularisation of their entry and stay in India.     
“The central government (of India) has decided, on humanitarian considerations, to exempt Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities who have entered into India on or before 31st December, 2014 from the relevant provisions of rules and order made under the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and the Foreigners Act, 1946, in respect of their entry and stay in India without such documents or after the expiry of those documents, as the case may be,” said a press release issued by the Indian High Commission in Dhaka yesterday.
“The central government has accordingly issued two notifications in the Official Gazette today under the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and the Foreigners Act, 1946,” it said.
There are reports that a number of Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities in those countries, such as Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Parsis and Buddhists, were compelled to seek shelter in India due to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution, says the release.
“They have entered into India either without any valid document including passport/other travel document or with valid documents but the validity of such document has expired,” it said.
“The issue of regularisation of entry and stay of such Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals in India has been under consideration of the central government,” it added. When The Independent contacted State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam for his comment on the issue of religious persecution or fear of religious persecution, he said that he was yet to see the release.
“I can possibly comment on the issue tomorrow after going through the release,” he said.   Despite repeated attempts, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal could not be reached for their comments. Top foreign ministry officials were also not available for their comments in this regard.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque is in Europe on official assignments. Acting Foreign Secretary Mizanur Rahman is on his way to Washington to lead the Bangladesh delegation to the fourth Bangladesh-United States Security Dialogue to be held tomorrow.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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