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PM Modi expected to travel to Bangladesh on March 17


New Delhi, Mar 07: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to travel to Dhaka on March 17 in the midst of rising concerns in Bangladesh over India's new citizenship law and the proposed NRC.

Modi is visiting Dhaka at the invitation of his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina to attend the centenary celebrations of Bangladesh founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

During the visit, the prime minister is expected to assuage Bangladesh's concerns over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), sources said.

The CAA, which was notified on January 10, grants Indian citizenship to non-Muslim minorities -- Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian -- who migrated to India from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh till December 31, 2014, following persecution over their faith.

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Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla was in Bangladesh earlier this month and during his visit he had assured Bangladesh that the updation of the National Register of Citizens will have "no implications" for its people, asserting that it is a process that is "entirely internal" to the country.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan cancelled their visits to India in December over the prevailing situation following the passage of the new citizenship bill by Parliament.

Dhaka was also apparently upset following the roll out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam even though India conveyed to it that the issue was an internal matter of the country.

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    "Updation of National Register of Citizens is a process that is entirely internal to India," Shringla had said in an address in Dhaka.

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    "India assures Bangladesh that NRC will have no implications for the country and its people," he had said.

    Prime Minister Modi's visit to Brussels this month to hold a summit meeting with the European Union has been postponed in view of the global spread of coronavirus.

    On Modi's visit to Bangladesh, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the prime minister will go to the neighbouring country to attend the centenary celebrations of Bangladesh's founder.

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