POST TIME: 7 April, 2020 10:16:09 PM
Bangladeshis to be brought back after withdrawal of lockdown in India
'Refrain from spreading rumours'
Independent Online/UNB

Bangladeshis to be brought back after withdrawal of lockdown in India

File Photo

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Tuesday said the government will bring back Bangladeshi citizens from India who got stuck there once the current countrywide lockdown is withdrawn there.

"The Indian government has requested us to wait a bit for withdrawal of the local lockdown," he said, adding that they have already talked to Biman Bangladesh Airlines for special flight operation.

The state minister said the government has already brought back Bangladeshi citizens from Kolkata by road with special permission. The returnees have been put on quarantine. 

He was responding to queries in a Facebook live conducted by television journalist Morshed Hassib.

India is under 21-day lockdown until April 14 which began on March 25 to slow the spread of coronavirus with a halt on bus, rail and air communications. 

Around 2,500 Bangladeshi nationals are currently in India who got stuck there and of them over 1,000 are students, according to Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi. 

There are broadly three categories of Bangladesh nationals currently in India - who are willing to stay back until the situation improves but facing cash crisis, students and those who are released from hospitals after necessary treatment.

The state minister also mentioned Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia from where people want to return. 

He said Bangladesh and Singapore will soon arrange a special flight to exchange a small group of people from both countries. 

Responding to a question from UNB, Shahriar said it is a matter of minutes to bring them under law who are spreading rumours in various ways in the country. 

He urged those spreading false news from foreign land to concentrate on their families, near and dear ones; and what is happening in the countries where they are currently staying. 

"This is an unprecedented situation. Refrain from spreading rumours at this critical moment," said the state minister.

He said each country is going through tests and laid emphasis on joint efforts to deal with the situation.

Shahriar said the government has the technology to identify who is doing what and from which location. 

Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi is in touch with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here to work out a proper plan as these Bangladesh citizens in India are not just from one city.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Bangladesh missions in India are looking into welfare issues of Bangladeshi nationals in India.

Officials at the missions are in constant contact with them over phone. 

The missions remain active to resolve any problems faced by stranded 2,500 Bangladesh nationals there including financial crisis, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.