PM Modi's Bangladesh Visit "Deferred" Over Coronavirus

PM Modi was invited by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to an event to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of the country's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

PM Modi's Bangladesh Visit 'Deferred' Over Coronavirus

Bangladesh on Sunday detected three cases of coronavirus (File)

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's next week visit to Bangladesh has been deferred after coronavirus cases were detected in the country, the Ministry of External Affairs informed on Monday.

PM Modi was invited by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to an event to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of the country's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, but since the event has been postponed, his visit stands "deferred", the MEA said.

"The Bangladesh government has advised us that fresh dates for these commemorative events will be conveyed later," the MEA was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

"In this context, the Prime Minister's visit to Bangladesh next week at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is being deferred," it added.

The ministry said India is ready to work with Bangladesh as partners to combat coronavirus, which since its outbreak in China last year has killed over 3,000 people across the world.

PM Modi's visit was planned amid India's efforts to assuage Bangladesh's concerns over the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Amendment Act.

The Citizenship law, which has led to violence in several parts of the country over the last few months, makes it easier for persecuted non-Muslim minorities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan to get Indian citizenship.

Within weeks of the passage of the law in parliament, Bangladesh had cancelled several high level visits.

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla earlier this month visited Bangladesh where he assured the country that India's decisions with regard to NRC and CAA will not impact them, news agency PTI reported.

Bangladesh on Sunday detected three cases of coronavirus. Two people contracted the virus in Italy, infecting the third on their return home.

India is also grappling with the virus as at least 45 people have tested positive. PM Modi last week said he will not participate in any Holi event to prevent spread of the virus.

With inputs from PTI