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India will not do anything that may cause tensions in Bangladesh, hopes FM

  • Published at 10:36 pm December 6th, 2019
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Foreign Minister Dr AKM Abdul Momen and other guests at a discussion, organised by Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, at the Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium of the National Museum on Friday, December 6, 2019 Focus Bangla

Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee organised the discussion at the Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium of the National Museum, marking the 48th anniversary of India’s recognition of Bangladesh as a sovereign nation

People of Bangladesh want neighboring India not to do anything that may create an atmosphere of anxiety or tension among the citizens of both the neighbouring countries, said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.

“We hope this relationship will go deeper gradually. People of our country expect that friendly nation India will not do anything that may create tension between the people of the two countries,” he said.

The expectation from the minister came at a time when incidents of increased illegal crossing into Bangladesh from India have been reported in recent months amid the National Registration of Citizens (NRC) issue. 

“Bangladesh and India will go forward with mutual friendship as the expectations of the people of both the countries are fulfilled,” he said at a discussion about India’s role in Bangladesh’s glorious War of Liberation and Bangladesh-India relations.

Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee organised the discussion at the Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium of the National Museum, marking the 48th anniversary of India’s recognition of Bangladesh as a sovereign nation.

The NRC authority, headed by State Coordinator Prateek Hajela, released the final NRC on its official website and on social media, excluding more than 1.9 million people out of 32.9 million applicants in August this year.

The list, known as the National Register of Citizens, intends to identify legal residents and weed out illegal immigrants from the state.

The NRC aims to identify illegal immigrants -- primarily from Bangladesh -- who entered Assam and settled there after March 25, 1971, and deport them to their native country, reports Indian media.

In September, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina that the NRC in India will have no impact on Bangladesh and there is no need to be worried about it.

Later, the Indian Home Minister Amit Shah in November said that the NRC will be implemented nationwide.

'Modi, Pranab, Sonia likely to attend Bangabandhu’s birth centenary celebrations'

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, and former Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi are expected to visit Dhaka next year to attend Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birth centenary celebration, the minister said.

Mentioning that around 17,000 Indian soldiers were killed and many others were wounded during the liberation war of Bangladesh, Foreign Minister Dr AKM Abdul Momen said: “The Bangladesh government has taken all out preparations to honour 380 Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the country’s 1971 Liberation War. They will be honoured soon." 

Over time, the country will gradually honour all Indian soldiers who were martyred during the Liberation War, he added.

'Bangladesh always comes first'

Speaking as a special guest, Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh, Riva Ganguly Das, said that her government gives much importance to the India-Bangladesh relationship. 

“Bangladesh always comes first when it comes to our neighboring countries,” she said.  

She also said the bilateral relationship between India and Bangladesh is now better than ever. 

“Our relationship with Bangladesh is not limited to trade, border management, commerce, and security. We are extending our relationship in different fields including nuclear science, space, and information technology,” said Das. 

Meanwhile, Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee President Shahriar Kabir said radicalization of the Rohingya refugees will become a threat to South Asia if they stay in Bangladesh. 

He said he hopes India will play an active role in repatriating Rohingya refugees. 

Reminiscing about the days during the liberation war in 1971 and India’s contribution to  Bangladeshi refugees, human rights activist and parliamentary member Aroma Dutta said she got an opportunity to talk to the then Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi over the phone when the war broke out.  

“I told her that people are being killed like birds. Please, open the border. The only thing she said: ‘My dear, I will see’.”  

Former Supreme Court Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik and human rights activist Julian Francis who received the "Friends of Liberation War Honour" from Bangladesh for his contribution in 1971, also spoke at the program.