Bangladeshi MPs blame India for illegal infiltration to northeast


Guwahati: A 12-member delegation of Bangladeshi MPs Saturday blamed the Indian government for not taking up with Dhaka the issue of illegal migration from the country to Assam and other northeast India states.

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The statement by the visiting delegation of Bangladeshi parliamentarians at a press conference here assumes significance at a time when protests are on across the state over the issue of illegal infiltration from Bangladesh and the fact that the neighbouring country often refuses to accept the illegal immigrants after they are pushed back by India.

The delegation of MPs from different political parties added that Dhaka would never endorse illegal immigration.

“We will never accept illegal migration. In fact, the word itself is illegal,” Toffail Ahmed of the Awami League said. He added: “We will examine the issue if India takes it up with us”.

The delegation, however, said that the issue of illegal immigration would never affect the bilateral relation between the two countries.

“Common border management’ would help solve the problem of illegal migration,” said M.K. Anwar, a member of the delegation and a member of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

The delegation said Bangladesh also touched upon the issue of northeastern insurgents using the Bangladeshi soil and said that the country wouldn’t allow its soil to be used by the militants of India’s northeast.

“Our prime minister (Sheikh Hasina) made a commitment to India and she has fulfilled it,” Anwar said.

“Bangladesh has taken a very strong stand against the insurgents. (After the crackdown by Dhaka), there is currently not a single militant of the northeast in Bangladesh,” he said and added that discussions were on as regard the issue of the extradition of arrested United Liberation Front of Asom leader Anup Chetia.

The delegation said issues such as Teesta water sharing and the Tipaimukh dam could be resolved through bilateral negotiations.

Earlier in the day, members of the delegation visited the memorial of legendary singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika and paid their homage. The team would meet Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Sunday before flying back to Dhaka the next day.