India sends nine-year-old Bangladeshi girl back in goodwill gesture

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New Delhi:  In a goodwill gesture, India has sent back a nine-year-old Bangladeshi girl, who had illegally crossed border along with her mother and brother four years back, with a Border Security Force (BSF) delegation which landed in Dhaka today for the bi-annual border talks between the neighbours.

The girl, whose mother has since died and whose brother was repatriated earlier, was handed over by Border Security Force (BSF) chief Subhash Joshi to his counterpart in the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).

Top brass of the BSF is in Dhaka for a five-day Director General level talks which are held bi-annually.

The young girl, Afroza Khatun, was living with an NGO in West Bengal's Nadia after her mother had died in 2009 in a hospital while serving a punishment handed down by an Indian court for illegally crossing the Indo-Bangla border.

The BSF had intercepted Khatun's mother Manowara, a resident of Natore district in Bangladesh, at a border post area in South Dinajpur in West Bengal in January 2009.

Senior officials said while Khatun's 13-year-old brother Parvez was sent back to his country in 2010, she was held back in India for completion of certain legal travel procedures.

A special BSF team, which travelled from Kolkata to reach Dhaka for the meeting today, took the girl along and subsequently the paramilitary chief handed over Khatun to BGB DG Maj Gen Aziz Ahmed.



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