Bangladeshis asked to enrol names with high commission in Delhi
The government is making efforts to bring back home the Bangladesh nationals stranded in India, which is currently under lockdown to tackle the global coronavirus pandemic.
At the same time, Dhaka is in touch with New Delhi so that the stranded Bangladeshis are looked after by the local authorities.
"We have come to know that some Bangladeshis got stuck in India. And, they want to come home. Most of them had gone for treatment," State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam told Dhaka Tribune on Sunday afternoon.
"You know everything is closed in India. Our high commission in New Delhi is preparing a list of people who have approached the mission," he said.
So far, the list comprises 116 names and this number will certainly rise, said the state minister, urging the Bangladeshis there to contact the high commission through its phone number — 8595552494 — and enrol their names.
"Once we have the full list, it will be convenient for us to take the next steps including logistics," he said.
About the modes of transportation, Shahriar said that those who are in Kolkata could be brought back by road, while flights seem to be the only option to bring those who are in Chennai, Vellore or in Delhi.
"Look, it all depends on so many aspects. It's too early to say when we can begin. Our efforts will be on. We will think first about the areas where there are more people. As we understand there are more people in Chennai and Vellore," he said.
And, he added: "People will need to come to big cities to take this opportunity whenever it's available."
The government is also ready to get money to the stranded Bangladeshis from their families in Bangladesh through the missions, he said.
When contacted, Foreign Ministry officials could not tell the exact number of Bangladeshis who are stranded in India. But, an official said that the number may be between 5,000 and 7,000.
The state minister on a Facebook post later also said: “We have made a list through our high commission. Those, who are yet to report, are requested to inform the number of people together, location, names, passport IDs and contact numbers to Bangladesh High Commission in Delhi.
Apart from the Delhi high commission phone number, he also gave another number for the Mumbai consulate — 9833159930.
Shahriar also mentioned the condition of staying in 14-day quarantine at Kurmitola or other hospitals for sick people and Ashkona Haji Camp for other returnees.
Meanwhile, 203 Bangladeshis returned home from India through Satkhira's Bhomra land port in the last 48 hours.
Bhomra immigration police OC Bishwajit Sarkar told reporters that 113 of them entered on Saturday and the other 90 arrived on Friday. All of them have been advised to undergo 14-day home quarantine.