NEW DELHI, July 29 - India has turned down the Bangladesh government�s plea for easing visa norms for its citizens, in the face of problems posed by illegal migration from the neighbouring country, highly placed sources disclosed.
At the Home Minister-level meeting held at the North Block here on Thursday evening, visiting Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan pressed New Delhi to ease restrictions on issue of long-term visas and opening more points in Northeast for entry of Bangladeshi nationals, said sources.
However, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, who was part of the Indian delegation, impressed upon the Bangladeshi side about the problems associated with such a move, particularly in the northeastern region, said sources. India, however, conveyed to Bangladesh that it would be considering the requests, said sources.
Sources said Bangladesh wanted India to ease the visa processing system for its people and requested the Indian authorities to revise provision which currently required travellers to return home only from the port through which they entered the country. Bangladesh urged India to allow their nationals to allow separate ports for their entry and exit as per convenience, said sources.
Bangladesh also requested India to provide long-term visas to senior Bangladeshi citizens and 1971 freedom fighters.
As reported by this newspaper, at least 43,000 Bangladeshi nationals, who entered India on valid documents, have vanished during the last four years, whereas only 19,995 such persons could be deported during the same period.