NEW DELHI, May 7 - Despite pressure from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), India is unlikely to deport former Bangladesh minister Salahuddin Ahmed, who was acquitted of trespassing charges by a sessions court in Meghalaya in 2018.
Sources said that Ahmed, a standing committee member of the BNP who was allegedly kidnapped in Bangladesh and later found loitering aimlessly in the Golf Link area of Shillong four years ago, wants to return to Bangladesh.
He was arrested on charges of entering India without valid documents, but the East Khasi Hills District and Sessions Court acquitted him of all charges on October 26, 2018.
�Since then, I am waiting to be repatriated,� he told Bangladesh-based reporters.
The BNP in Dhaka has mounted pressure on the Indian High Commission to repatriate him following his acquittal, sources said. The sources said that Ahmed also wants to return to his country.
However, the case got tied up in diplomatic knots as the ruling Awami League is in no mood to accept him and �desires� that he stays in India.
Sources said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Meghalaya Government have decided to challenge the session court�s order in a higher court.
Ahmed, who served as state minister for communication of Bangladesh from 2001 to 2006, was allegedly abducted from Uttara on March 10, 2015. He was found in Shillong on May 11, 2015. The Shillong Police arrested him for not possessing valid documents and prosecuted him for trespassing into India.
After the BNP leader was found in India, the Bangladesh Government had said that he would be brought to Bangladesh after completion of his trial in India.
�I want to go back as doing politics from abroad is very much different from doing it in one�s native land,� said Ahmed, who was assistant personal secretary to the then Premier Khaleda Zia when the BNP had assumed power in 1991. Later, he left public service and was elected as an MP from Cox�s Bazar in 2001.
The trial court in Meghalaya, after deferring the verdict thrice, finally acquitted him in 2018.