The 15 Bangladeshis who returned home yesterday are not the ones who survived the boat capsize in Mediterranean Sea on May 9.
These returnees are a different group of Bangladeshis, who were rescued by the Tunisian coastguard around the same time – between May 10 and 12.
ASM Ashraful Islam, labour counsellor of Bangladesh Embassy in Libya, told The Daily Star today they were on another boat and stranded on sea.
“It was another boat that ran out of fuel and spotted and rescued by the Tunisian authorities,” he said, clearing up the confusion in this issue.
It is uncertain from which point these Bangladeshis, along with other nationals, had left Libyan coast or from which point they were rescued by Tunisian coast guards.
After rescue, Tunisian authorities handed these migrants over to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), he said.
Ashraful Islam said during his visit to Tunisia last week, these 15 Bangladeshis were issued with travel passes as they had no passports.
They arrived in Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 5:30am Tuesday. No authorities told the media that they were not the survivors of the boat capsize of May 9.
Scores of reporters and photojournalists waited whole day yesterday, some at night, at the arrival of the airport, but found none from Tunisia coming out of the airport.
Last night, an immigration police said they were quizzing the returnees from Tunisia and were verifying the names and identities of them through the local police stations.
An official at the welfare desk of the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training at the airport said the returnees from Tunisia were released from immigration early today.