The first batch of Bangladesh nationals, who got stuck in India due to countrywide lockdown there, returned home from Chennai on Monday.
The government in coordination with Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi facilitated the return of 164 Bangladesh nationals in the first batch.
More similar special flights will be operated in next few days to bring back Bangladesh nationals who got stuck in India after going there for treatment.
A good number of Bangladesh nationals from Kolkata, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and other border areas returned home with the support of Bangladesh missions there, said the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.
US-Bangla Airlines is operating the special flights with the support of the government to bring back Bangladesh nationals who got stranded in Chennai and Kolkata due to countrywide lockdown in India amid coronavirus outbreak.
The US-Bangla Airlines said they will operate five more special flights on Chennai-Dhaka route until April 25.Two more special flights will bring back the Bangladeshis from Kolkata to Dhaka on April 21 and April 23.
Some 2500 Bangladesh nationals including over 1000 students got stuck in different Indian cities due to current lockdown there, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The government earlier urged the Bangladesh citizens, now got stuck in a number of Indian cities, to have patience assuring them of their gradual repatriation after bringing back patients from South India.
“We won’t put any of our citizen abroad in unbearable sufferings,” said State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam in a video message recently.
He urged all including Bangladeshi students in India not to create any unnecessary situation there noting that the image of Bangladesh is linked with their behaviours
The State Minister said people in all coronavirus affected countries including Bangladesh and India are facing problems but it will considered as their contribution in a positive way if they hold patience.
“We are keeping track of your wellbeing always,” he said assuring the students, specially those three hundred students from Lovely Professional University in Punjab that the government of Bangladesh and the High Commission are beside them for any support.
Shahriar said the government will take initiative to bring back Bangladesh citizens from other Indian cities including Punjab and Delhi after bringing back patients who went to India for treatment.
The State Minister said Bangladesh High Commissioner to India is in constant contact with the University authorities and ensured everything necessary for the students.
On Thursday, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said the government will bring back Bangladeshis who got stuck in various countries amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“On the basis of need, we’ll bring them back home. We’re bringing them back home from where we are getting scope,” he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after an inter-ministerial meeting.
Dr Momen mentioned that it remains difficult to bring back Bangladeshis from India due to the ongoing lockdown there.
The government has already brought back a good number of Bangladeshis from Kolkata by road with special permission. The returnees followed quarantine.
There are broadly three categories of Bangladesh nationals currently in India – who are willing to stay back until situation improves but facing cash crunch, students and those who have been released from hospitals after necessary treatment.