Bangladesh Foreign Minister cancels India trip amid Citizenship Bill row
New Delhi: Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister on Thursday postponed his trip to India after the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, however, the Ministry of External Affairs here said the two developments are not related.
Speaking to the media, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen had conveyed that he had changed his programme on account of domestic issues pertaining to the commemoration of the Victory Day of Bangladesh on December 16.
“They have informed us about the postponement of the visit. They have also conveyed that the minister had changed his programme on account of domestic issues pertaining to the commemoration of the Victory Day of Bangladesh on December 16,” Kumar said.
He added that any speculation that this development is connected with the legislation adopted by Parliament regarding the Citizenship Amendment Bill is “unwarranted”.
He said the current government of Bangladesh is taking care of religious minorities, quoting Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks from his speech in Parliament.
Kumar said both nations believes that this is the golden age of their relationship.
“We never said there was religious persecution in Bangladesh during the current government’s tenure.”
Momen has called off his scheduled two-day visit to India, just hours before his scheduled arrival.
Assam, bordering Bangladesh, had witnessed violence against the Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday night and by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Protesters in the state hit the streets in the thousands, burning tyres and wooden logs, prompting the administration to impose curfew in Guwahati and suspend mobile internet services in 10 districts of the state on Wednesday.
The protesters, including a large number of students, forcibly shut down shops and markets.