Bangladeshi prisoners to be repatriated,MHA writes to Bengalhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/bangladeshi-prisoners-to-be-repatriated-mha-writes-to-bengal/

Bangladeshi prisoners to be repatriated,MHA writes to Bengal

Bangladeshis lodged in various West Bengal jails are likely to spend the remaining part of their prison term in their own country.

Bangladeshis lodged in various West Bengal jails are likely to spend the remaining part of their prison term in their own country.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the Bengal government to appoint a nodal officer to identify Bangladeshi nationals lodged in correctional homes in the state. They will be repatriated through a nodal point identified by Indian and Bangladeshi authorities. Similarly,a list of Indian nationals undergoing prison terms in Bangladesh will also be prepared. Both sides will exchange their respective citizen later.

In a landmark move,India and Bangladesh on August 9,2010 agreed to exchange sentenced prisoners so that they could serve the rest of their term in their own country.

“An agreement between India and Bangladesh has been signed on transfer of sentenced prisoners with the objective to facilitate the social rehabilitation of persons who have been convicted and sentenced as a result of their commission of a criminal offence. This treaty provides an opportunity to such convicted prisoners to serve their sentence within their own country,” reads the letter sent to Bengal Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh by MHA Joint Secretary Sambhu Singh. The letter was dispatched on February 10.

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A state Home department official said that once the repatriation exercise is over,relatives of sentenced prisoners will get an opportunity to meet their kin.

After the MHA letter reached here,a nodal officer has been appointed to collect information about sentenced Bangladeshi prisoners. Inspector General (Prison) has been asked to monitor the process. “But undertrials would not be repatriated,” said the official.

According to state Home department officials,the MHA has informed the state government that a “nodal point has been set up” between the two sides for exchanging the prisoners.

Several Bangladeshi nationals who have completed their prison terms are still lodged at various correctional homes in India because of problem pertaining to their repatriation. To work out a permanent solution,both sides signed the agreement.