Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) might be an important agenda of discussion during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to neighbouring India in early October, reports Hindustan Times.
During her meeting with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, Sheikh Hasina is expected to bring up its concerns that those excluded from the NRC in Assam could be deported, the Indian daily reports quoting the people familiar with the developments.
This will be the first meeting between Modi and Hasina in the current terms. Besides holding talks with Modi, Hasina is set to address the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum on October 4.
Hasina secured a third consecutive term with a landslide victory in December 2018 while Modi began his second term in June. India-Bangladesh relations have been strengthened under the two leaders, who have jointly launched several projects, especially in connectivity, Hindustan Times reports.
The concern over the NRC has been triggered by public comments by politicians in Assam, such as Indian Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, who has said India will have to convince Bangladesh to accept its citizens who were left off the NRC.
During his first visit to Bangladesh in August, however, external affairs minister S Jaishankar told his Bangladeshi counterpart AK Abdul Momen that the process of identifying illegal migrants in Assam is India’s “internal matter”.
The external affairs ministry on Thursday also said the process of deciding the fate of 1.9 million people left out of the NRC in Assam is expected to be “fairly long” and they have the right to appeal to Foreigners Tribunals and higher courts, Hindustan Times reports.
The people cited above also said the Bangladeshi side is expected to seek India’s support for facilitating the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.
The two sides are also expected to review progress in the implementation of development projects funded by India and the sharing of river waters, the people said. The two sides have strengthened anti-terror cooperation, especially the radicalisation of youngsters by terror groups, they added.