GUWAHATI, July 24: The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), an ally in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Government in Assam, opposed on Tuesday the Narendra Modi Government’s decision to ease Visa curbs and give long-term Visas to Bangladeshi citizens visiting India. AGP president Atul Bora, who is also a Cabinet minister, told reporters that easing Visa curbs and giving long-term Visas will facilitate more citizens from Bangladesh to enter Assam legally and illegally and stay for rest of their lives in the State. He said Assam, already burdened with lakhs of illegal Bangladeshis, cannot take any more load of citizens from the neighbouring country.
“Since the AGP is vehemently opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 that seeks to allow Hindu migrants from Bangladesh to take shelter in Assam, it cannot support the new Visa rules. Supporting new Visa rules will be tantamount to supporting the Citizenship Bill,” Bora said.
Under the new Visa rules for Bangladesh India will curb travel restrictions for ‘senior citizens’ and ‘Muktijoddhas’, who are basically veterans of the 1971 War. The Visa rules for senior citizens will be relaxed further and senior citizens from the neighbouring country could visit India more frequently.
Demanding the Centre to sign an extradition treaty with Bangladesh, Bora said without such an agreement it will be impossible to deport illegal Bangladeshi nationals detected in Assam.