Indian citizens returning from Bangladesh
An Indian citizen stranded in Bangladesh. Image credit - Indian High Commission

At least 23 Indian citizens from Tripura have remained stranded in Bangladesh due to COVID19-induced lockdown.

A stranded Indian citizen said they have so far failed to communicate with India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das.

Eyachin Khandak, one of the 9 Indian citizens stranded at Comilla in Bangladesh, said they have been passing miserable days at high risk in COVID19 affected areas.

COVID19 has so far claimed the lives of 745 with 37 more deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

The deadly virus has infected a total of 55,140 people in neighbouring Bangladesh.

“As per our record, there were 129 passengers stranded in Bangladesh due to COVID19 lockdown,” said Md. Zakir Hossain Bhuiyan, first secretary, Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner Office at Agartala.

“We have no objection; all ICPs are open to all Indian passengers stranded in Bangladesh to return their home,” Md. Bhuiyan added.

He informed that on May 28, a group of 106 Indian citizens was sent back from Bangladesh with escorts provided by India’s High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das.

“We cannot say why the rest 23 are still in Bangladesh. It is the matter of the Indian High Commissioner,” said Md. Bhuiyan.

Amena Khatun from Sonamura in Tripura’s Sipahijala district, who has remained stranded in Bangladesh for the last two-and-half months, said they went to the neighbouring country via Srimantapur-Bibir Bazar immigration check post (ICP) before lockdown.

She also said they thought the ICP would be opened and they would be able to return home. But even after 72 days, they have failed to return.

The resident from Sonamura also said they have now no money to stay in hotel.

“We have been taking shelter here like unwanted guests in our relatives’ residents,” Khatun said seeking the Indian authorities’ help in bringing them back to India.

Khandak said they heard that around 235 stranded people from Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam, and Manipur have returned home through three immigration check posts.

He also informed that they have failed to reach the Indian visa office at Comilla and the Indian High Commissioner’s office in Dhaka due to lack of public transport facilities.

“Later, with the help of one Salam Jubayer, a senior journalist based in Dhaka, I have sent our list to the Indian High Commissioner’s Office and we are waiting to get a response,” Khandak added.

He further said, “A list of 8 people stranded in Comilla has also been sent to our local MP, Pratima Bhowmik to communicate with the Indian Foreign Affairs Ministry. Till now, we are passing moments in uncertaint.”

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