The Indian federal government has sought approval of the West Bengal state government to allow the return of 2,680 Indians stranded in Bangladesh since the coronavirus lockdown in March, a senior official said tonight.
"Our Mission in Dhaka has once again reported that 2,399 people are seeking to return to West Bengal from Bangladesh through the Petropole-Benapole integrated check-post and another 281 citizens are through the Phulbari-Banglabandha land border," said the letter written by Additional Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs Vikram Doraiswami to West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha.
The letter mentioned that the stranded Indians were mostly unskilled and semi-skilled labourers who went to visit their relatives. They are living in "extreme distress" as they are sheltered in school verandahs or public parks.
This was the second letter written by the federal government to the West Bengal state authorities to allow the repatriation of the Indians stranded in Bangladesh.
The first letter was sent a few weeks ago to allow these citizens to return to India through the two of the six land borders it has with Bangladesh.