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Agartala: With the efforts of the Bangladesh government assistant high commission in Agartala and the cooperation of the government of India, six citizens of Bangladesh returned to their homes on Thursday.

They were repatriated to Bangladesh through the Agartala-Akhaura border on Thursday. Family members were present at zero point on the border to receive them. Among them are three women and three men.

Speaking with reporters, Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner to Agartala Mohammad Jobayed Hosen First Secretary Md. Rezaul Haque Chowdhury, First Secretary SM Asaduzzaman (local) and Dr Monica Debabarma, a physician at the Modern Psychiatrist’s Hospital in the adjoining Narsinghgarh area of Agartala, and other staff at the health department, including the Agartala integrated check post. 

Akhaura Upazila Nirbahi Officer Rumana Akter, Officer-in-Charge of Akhaura Police Station Rasul Ahmed Nizami, Immigration In-Charge of Akhaura Check Post Md. Abdul Hamid and other officials were present on the Bangladesh side.

The six people who were handed over to their family members on this day are Ziarul Islam, Hanifa Akhter, Alpana Khatun, Rina Akhter, Manik Miah and Md. Shahjahan Miah. They could not hold back the tears after seeing their family members at the border after many years. Everyone broke down in tears including the family members. Among the family members, brothers and sons, came to take them back to their homes.

Standing at the ICP, Dr Monica Debabarma said police from different police stations in the state of Tripura admitted them to the hospital in a state of mental imbalance as per court orders at different times. 

“After recovering from long-term treatment, the hospital authorities wanted to know their names, addresses and identities. After contacting the Bangladesh Assistant High Commission through the state government, they are being sent back with their families. All those who are being handed over to the family on this day have been given the necessary medicine and two vaccines for COVID-19,” Debbarma said.

The hospital still has about 100 more people who reportedly came from Bangladesh. Their families have not been found so far and they will be sent home next time. She also said that one of the six people who were handed over to their families on that day was in hospital for about 10 years.

Assistant High Commissioner Hosen said it was learned through Indian authorities that Bangladeshi nationals had been sporadically detained by law enforcement in Tripura over the past few years in a state of mental imbalance and were being treated at a modern psychiatric hospital. 

“After their condition improves and they are declared fit for repatriation by the hospital, they are returned to their families through the Agartala-Akhaura check post subject to verification of their citizenship by the appropriate authorities of Bangladesh and permission of the appropriate authorities of India,” Hosen said.

Syed Khairul Alam, chairman of the Human Rescue and Safe Roads and Rail Implementation Council of Bangladesh, assisted in bringing all these people back to their families. He was also present at the border to receive them on Thursday. Similarly, the citizens of Bangladesh were handed over to their families from Tripura in three phases with the cooperation of all.

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