Agartala-Akhaura immigration checkpost

The Tripura government has shut down the Agartala-Akhaura immigration checkpost on Sunday to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Tripura Principal Secretary (Home) Barun Kumar Sahu said in a notification, under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 closed the Agartala-Akhaura immigration post along Bangladesh on Sunday till March 31 to stop Indians entering from the neighbouring country.

Since March 18, the number of Indians entering Tripura from Bangladesh had increased manifold, he added.

“On an average 120 Indians are entering Tripura from Bangladesh a day. But on March 20 and 21, 802 Indians entered the state from Bangladesh. After coming to Tripura, the Indians are flying to others states through the Agartala airport,” he said.

Most Indians staying abroad were taking the Bangladesh route to return to the country. As Bangladesh is still allowing international flights, many Indians are landing in Bangladesh, particularly in Dhaka, and traveling by road to Tripura.

“This is negating the gains of cancellation of international flights by India. Many of these international flights are from Gulf countries, the high risk Covid-19 nations,” he said.

The official said 10-15 Indians, who entered Tripura from Bangladesh and had coronavirus symptoms, had been put into isolation.

The majority, however, had left Tripura for different destinations in the country.

The issue was discussed at the Saturday review meeting, chaired by chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb.

He later told the media the state government urged the Centre to seal the India-Bangladesh border to prevent people from entering the country.

“I have asked the Chief Secretary to urgently take up with the Union Home Ministry to seal the Bangladesh borders,” the chief minister said.

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