The Indian authorities would not impose any fine for the next 15 days if someone’s visa expires
The Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata will re-issue No Objection Certificates (NOC) for Bangladeshis’ repatriation from West Bengal as the state announced a two-week-long complete lockdown starting Sunday.
"On government instructions, we had stopped issuing NOCs from May 8 but will resume again from tomorrow (Sunday),” Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata Toufique Hasan told Bangla Tribune on Saturday.
Some 3,200 NOCs have been issued so far, he said, adding: "Of them, 3,077 have crossed the Benapole port."
With so many people entering the country through a single port, the quarantine systems in Jessore and its surrounding districts were filled up and for this the issuing of NOCs were stopped.
According to the Bangladesh government's announcement, anyone entering the country from India will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day institutional quarantine.
Toufique Hasan said: "According to the government's decision, Bangladeshis can enter through three more land ports -- Darshana, Hili and Sonamasjid.”
When asked about Bangladeshis’ movement in West Bengal during the lockdown, Toufique said: “We have already spoken to the police and requested that the NOC be treated as a movement pass. The situation was similar last year and we followed the same approach.”
The Indian authorities would not impose any fine for the next 15 days even if the visa expires, which would help Bangladeshis, he added.
Toufique also said: "We have requested the West Bengal government through the Ministry of External Affairs to allow Bangladeshis to return home through any land port without any hindrance.
“The rule is to enter and exit through the land ports mentioned in the visa. But in this special situation, the Indian authorities have been requested to allow them to leave through any approved port.”
While speaking of the deteriorating Covid-19 situation in West Bengal, Toufique urged the Bangladeshis currently living there to be careful.
On Saturday, West Bengal authorities announced that the state will go under a complete lockdown for two weeks starting from Sunday till May 30 to curb the spread of Covid-19.
During this period, all institutions there except emergency service providers will remain closed. Food and grocery stores will be open for a limited time while public transports will also remain suspended.