Mahanta addressing the function in Dhaka

Former Assam chief minister and AGP founder president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta on October 25 said that the Indian government hasn’t yet formally informed its Bangladeshi counterpart about the infiltration problem that is affecting Assam to a greater deal.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 20th Triennial Conference of Bangladesh Awami League in Dhaka, the former chief minister said that religious persecution is not anymore a problem in Bangladesh.

On his return, Mahanta on October 25 said that he was surprised to know from the authorities there that the Indian government is yet to formally talk with their Bangladeshi counterpart on the infiltration issue. “We came to know that the Indian government has not formally informed the Bangladesh government about the problem of infiltration from the other side of the border. There should have been a repatriate treaty to solve the problem of illegal migrants,” Mahanta told reporters in Guwahati.

Mahanta, who attended the conference on October 22 and 23, also interacted with representatives of the religious minority organizations. “There were some problems earlier but under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, we have not heard any such religious persecution in Bangladesh. Durga Puja was celebrated at over 29,500 pandals in Bangladesh and Hasina engaged her ministers to visit the puja organizing areas and assisted with financial grant to conduct the puja. Under such circumstances, how can one say of religious persecution,” he added.

During his visit, Mahanta also requested the Bangladesh government to set up a visa office in Guwahati. “We welcome the people of Bangladesh open heartedly. I would like to take the opportunity in requesting your government (Bangladesh) to open a visa office in Guwahati for increasing people-to-people connect and help promote tourism and economic ties between the two countries,” Mahanta said during his speech in Dhaka.

Mahanta also hailed the Awami League for its work for a better Bangladesh. “I hail the party for all that it has done for Bangladesh. The Awami League has tried tirelessly to nurture the depths of human endeavour which has spurred it on in the march of its people to a higher quality of life. The League has committed to uphold and secure the political, social and cultural rights of its people,” Mahanta further said in his speech in Dhaka.

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