SILCHAR: Three Bangladesh nationals, who were arrested in Assam’s Barak Valley in the past for entering India illegally without valid documents and served their jail terms, were repatriated to their country via the Indo-Bangladesh international border in Sutarkandi in Karimganj district on Tuesday.
The Bangladeshi nationals have been identified as Reshma Begum (40), Sihab Uddin (35) and Reyhan Ahmed Talukdar (21). While Reshma hails from Noapara, Sihab and Reyhan are residents of Zakiganj and Kanaighat, respectively.
Sources said the three persons had entered India illegally with the help of some agents and they had come here in search of jobs. After a few days, they were arrested by law enforcement agencies after being found without any valid documents, produced before a court and sent to judicial custody.
On Tuesday, the three persons were handed over after necessary formalities for Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) personnel in Sutarkandi, about 70 km from Silchar town, in the presence of Border Security Force (BSF), Assam police and immigration police officials. Family members of the three Bangladeshis were present near the border (on the Bangladesh side) to receive them, sources said.
Sharing her reaction, Reshma told reporters (before they were being handed over to the BGB officials) that she was very worried for her family members. “I cannot express in words how I was feeling in those times in jail. There was no way to communicate with my family members and this helplessness was killing me from inside,” she said. She added that she would visit her relatives in India in the future, but this time she would come legally with valid papers.
Sihab Uddin said he had come to India at a relative’s home and was held on the charges of entering the country illegally. He could not contact his family members and later he was sent to jail by the authorities, he said. He added that he was relieved to have completed his jail term and was able to go back to his country.
Reyhan Ahmed Talukdar said he had come to India with the help of some agents around two years ago to find a job. He had given around Rs. 30,000 to the agents who helped them reach India illegally, but he was caught by police. He was later sent to jail, where he stayed for about 18 months, he said.
From India (Assam), officials including ASP, Assam police Siddeshwar Sonowal, APS, Customers Department Samarendra Chakraborty, 7-Bn BSF Commander Ashok Minaj were present. From Bangladesh side, 52 Number BGB Company Commander Babul Khan, Sheola ICP in-charge Niyaj Murshid Abir and a few immigration police personnel were present.
At least 38 foreigners have been repatriated from Barak Valley to their native countries in the past two years. In January 2021, 19 Bangladesh nationals, who were lodged in different jails of Assam, were repatriated to their country through the India-Bangladesh international border in Karimganj district. 19 Myanmar nationals, who were in Cachar district’s Silchar central jail for six months, were released from the jail and taken to Manipur and sent back to their country via the Indo-Myanmar international border at Moreh in Manipur in November, 2020.
In Barak Valley, Cachar and Karimganj districts share borders with neighbouring Bangladesh. Cachar district shares about 32km border with Bangladesh. Karimganj district shares around 92km border with that country out of which about 42km is riverine.
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