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Union Home Ministry rejects proposal to grant visa-on-arrival to Bangladeshis

MHA rejects proposal to grant visa-free entry to Bangladeshis under the age of 18 and over the age of 65.

New Delhi | Published: June 23, 2014 7:37 pm


Sushma Swaraj raises the issue of women's empowerment. Says Women's bill should be a milestone for the 16th Lok Sabha. Sushma Swaraj is likely to meet top Bangladeshi leaders, including President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and discuss a range of issues including relaxation of visa norms. (Source: IE archive)

The Union Home Ministry has rejected the Ministry of External Affairs’s proposal to grant visa-on-arrival facility to Bangladeshi nationals and visa-free entry to citizens of that country under the age of 18 and over the age of 65.

This came after the MEA had asked MHA to give its opinion to include the two issues as part of the tentative agenda of
discussions during the visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Bangladesh between June 25-27.

“We have out rightly rejected the two proposals. We have already communicated to the MEA our strong objection to the
proposals,” a Home Ministry official said.

The issue has generated strong reaction in Assam where Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi opposed the move and slammed the
Narendra Modi government for toying the idea.

Gogoi’s reaction came after the MEA sought the opinion of Assam government, among other stakeholders, on the two issues.

The Home Ministry, however, did not rule out another MEA proposal — long-term multiple entry tourist visa for Bangladeshis under the age of 18 and over the age of 65.

“This proposal can be considered subject to certain conditions, including appearance of the visa-holder before the Foreigner Regional Registration Office every year,” the Home Ministry official said.

Currently, Bangladeshis get multiple-entry visa for one year and the proposal is to extend the facility up to five years.

During the visit, Swaraj is likely to meet top Bangladeshi leaders, including President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and discuss a range of issues including relaxation of visa norms.

Swaraj’s Dhaka-visit is considered as part of Narendra Modi government’s outreach to neighbouring countries as was
evident in the invites sent to top SAARC leaders to attend the swearing-in of the Prime Minister on May 26.

The Prime Minister himself had visited Bhutan last week. Modi had during his campaign for this year’s general elections said if BJP comes to power, all illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in India will be deported.

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  1. A
    Al Bumenthal
    Jun 25, 2014 at 10:05 pm
    Terrorism cannot be thwarted by restricting visa, if that is the notion for denying these handful of countries the right to be treated at par with other countries.
    1. B
      Jun 23, 2014 at 9:37 pm
      India Govt's all good gestures and concessions to Bangladeshis should also be reciprocated by Bangladesh to India. For example, strong defense pact between India and Bangladesh, good trade & cultural relations, educational exchange, protection of Hindus in Bangladesh, Bangladesh's strong actions against terrorists and cooperation with India on terrorism and through(non-stop) train connections with Tripura and other parts of India through Bangladesh etc. can benefit the two countries immensely.
      1. R
        Rangaesh Gadasalli
        Jun 23, 2014 at 5:44 pm
        who is going to certify that some one is sixty years old or sixty five years old? what prevents them from comng here and getting married? what prevents them from becoming some body's maamu, or chacha and get enrolled as voter? case closed. we have been hurting the border states with this kind of inflow and hurting the nation big.Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists are cuted in Bangladesh. These should be welcomed and given India's citizenship on humanitarian grounds.
        1. G
          GV Rameswara
          Jun 24, 2014 at 2:32 am
          Real first step in controlling illegal and un briddled immigration from Bangladesh.
          1. N
            Jun 25, 2014 at 6:46 pm
            In the first place this proposal should not have come when the PM would be promised that post 16 May all Bangladeshis should pack their bags.This has come as a surprise and a rude shock to the North Easterners specially the people of am.People have reposed their trust with the Govt hoping for some good.Hope the new PM doesn't become another Joseph Goebbels of new India.
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