Hundreds of Bangladeshis stuck in India on medical visa

More than a hundred Bangladeshis are stuck in the country due to the new conditions in terms of treatment with medical visa. They have been stuck for two weeks despite applying to the Indian Immigration Bureau office to return home. They are facing financial loss. The victims have demanded that travel to India be made easier by reducing complications.

One of the victims is Saidur Neer Salin. He said, ‘My father Mohammad Shah Alam is suffering from a complex disease. On the advice of relatives, I came to India last month with my father on a medical visa for better treatment. Please show a hospital certificate from Calcutta as per embassy requirements before arrival. But when I came to India I found out that better treatment is needed in Hyderabad. Later he was treated in Hyderabad instead of being shown in Kolkata. Later, the doctor gave the father first aid and suggested surgery. But I decided to come back as my father’s physical condition deteriorated and he needed a large amount of money for treatment.’

He said, “While returning on June 21, Petrapol Immigration of India wants to know why I saw a doctor in Hyderabad instead of Kolkata. At one stage we were temporarily banned from returning to our country. At the same time admitting the mistake, the officials asked to apply to the immigration bureau online. Compulsively checked into a residential hotel and applied online. But even after two weeks of application, I am not able to go to the country because I have not received permission from the immigration. We have to stay at the hotel.’

Victim Saidur Neer said, ‘I don’t even know when I can return. Many people like us come to India on medical visa and face this problem on the way back home. We are suffering because of the eccentricity of the Indian Embassy.’

According to related sources, 20 to 22 million passport holders use the Benapole-Petrapole port every year for advanced medical services, higher education, business inquiries and sightseeing. 19 lakh 85 thousand 407 people used Benapole Port in 11 months of 2022-23 financial year. And in 11 months of the last financial year, there were 19 lakh 98 thousand 447 people. In this case, the number of passengers has increased to 13 thousand 40 people. The annual income of the Indian Embassy from Benapole immigration users in terms of visa fees from this sector is over Rs 120 crore.

Talking to passengers with passports, it is known that even if the documents are in order, even if the mother’s visa is given, the accompanying child’s visa is often not available. Kept for next time application. In addition, in the case of medical, even if a six-month visa is given, many times there is an opportunity to travel once. It does not complete the treatment process. Later, you have to face financial loss to get a visa again or to finish treatment in India for a long time.

They said the six-month multiple tourist visa cannot travel through Petrapol immigration more than twice a month. Many times it is seen that even if you go for business visa repeatedly, you have to give different answers. But Indian passport holders come to Bangladesh easily for business, job or spending time with relatives without any such conditions.

Hundreds of Bangladeshis stuck in India on medical visa

Abdur Rahman, a passport traveler, said, “There was no restriction on booking a doctor for treatment in the medical visa and showing the same doctor.” But now there is a problem. I have heard from people that the embassy is adopting this method to increase the income of the West Bengal government in the field of treatment.

Another passport holder named Ratan Sarkar said, ‘Many are forced to go to India for treatment. But when returning to the country, you have to face a lot of trouble. Due to shortage of manpower at Petrapole immigration, one has to stand in line for 4-5 hours.’

Similarly, passport traveler Pooja Poddar expressed his anger. He said, ‘If I have to wait two months to get the passport submission serial for medical visa, how can I get emergency treatment?’

Travels businessman Ujjwal Biswas said, ‘Although passenger traffic has increased in India, they have not increased the quality of service. Everyone has to stand in line for more than three hours to leave Petrapole immigration.’

Rezaul Karim, Director of Benapole Land Port, said, “Even though they pass the Benapole port quickly, the passengers suffer a little at the Petrapol port.” Although they have promised to increase the quality of service in various meetings, they are not complying with it.

Jamal Hussain/SR/JIM