Bangladesh to bring home nationals rescued in Indian sea

By Xinhua,

Dhaka : Bangladesh will soon repatriate its around 100 nationals rescued from a rickety boat in India’s eastern sea coast last month, the country’s overseas employment secretary said here on Monday.

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Secretary of the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Abdul Matin Chowdhury told Xinhua on Monday, “We’ve already remitted money to our mission in Kolkata, capital of India’ s West Bengal state, to bear cost of bringing home our people at the earliest.”

On Dec. 27, Indian Coast Guard rescued the aforesaid people from few rickety boats with some Myanmar and Bangladeshi nationals in Andaman Islands in Indian sea territory.

Rescued people said there were many others like them in other boats who were trying to go to some neighboring countries in search of work illegally, local reports said.

Some 300 people from Bangladesh and Myanmar were reportedly missing and many of them feared dead off India’s eastern sea coast after they jumped from rickety boats and tried to swim ashore.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday last week, a wooden boat with nearly 200 people on board was found drifting off the northern tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra island. The people on board were also believed to be Bangladeshis and Myanmar nationals, according to local reports.

“We’ve asked our mission in Jakarta to enquire whether there is any Bangladeshi nationals. We’ll also take steps for repatriation if there are our people,” Chowdhury said.

Boat capsizal with illegal immigrants from Bangladesh is a recurring story, with Thailand, Malaysia and some other Southeast Asian countries being the destinations of illegal work seekers.

In November, 2007, a trawler and two boats sank off near Shah Parir Island in Teknaf sub-district close to Bangladesh’s southeastern border with Myanmar as they were overloaded with an estimated 230 people on board to go to Malaysia illegally.

Sources said there is a syndicate, comprising people from Bangladesh and neighboring Myanmar, who have long been involved in trafficking people from the country.