Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said there had been attempts to deport people from India, but Bangladesh’s border guards (BGB) thwarted the bids.
The number of such people was in “several hundreds, not thousands”, he told reporters at the Secretariat in Dhaka on Tuesday, urging all not to “panic”.
The exclusion of over 1.9 million people from a recently published list of citizens in the Indian state of Assam following years of scrutiny has triggered fears of their deportation to Bangladesh, reports bdnews24.com.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been telling Bangladesh not to worry about the list, calling it an “internal matter” of India.
Concerns grew on both sides of the border after The Federal, a news publisher of India, reported dozens of “Muslim Bangladeshi rag pickers” were transported to West Bengal for deportation.
In Bangladesh, the border guards detained 238 people, who entered Bangladesh through Maheshpur in Jhenaidah in November.
“The BGB did not allow the entry of these people,” Khan said.
“They had tried to send five to 50 people in each attempt previously, including Rohingyas who had entered India. We did not allow them to enter Bangladesh.”
Khan said Bangladesh would receive the people only on confirmation that they were citizens of the country.
“We won’t allow anyone other than Bangladeshis to enter our country. Our BGB is on the alert,” he said.
The minister admitted that the deportation of people from India increased to “some extent recently”.
“It may be because they [India] increased restrictions in some states. Maybe those who did not care about the expiry of their visas tried to enter Bangladesh unofficially,” he said, noting that many labourers cross the border for work.
He also said the government should be certain first whether these are people who are trying to return illegally after crossing the border the same way.
Khan, however, does not want any official discussion with India now over the issue. “There could be talks if the number was in thousands. They are only a few in numbers. The Indian government has not written to us either.”