Salahuddin Ahmed gets travel pass, must return within 3 months

Salahuddin Ahmed

Former state minister and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) standing committee member Salahuddin Ahmed, detained in India on charges of trespassing, has been granted a travel pass. He was given the travel pass on Monday.

According to the terms of the pass, he must return to Bangladesh within the next three months. Salahuddin Ahmed informed Prothom Alo of the matter over phone today, Tuesday.

Salahuddin went missing on 10 March 2015 from Uttara of the capital city. Then 61 days later, on 11 May, he was recovered by local police in Shillong of Meghalaya, India. The Indian police at the time said that they had detained him after receiving a phone call from local people who said he had been wandering around in an unstable state.

Speaking to Prothom Alo today, Tuesday, Salahuddin Ahmed said, "The Bangladesh deputy high commissioner in Guwahati informed me of the travel pass issued yesterday (Monday). I received it last night."

According to the terms of the travel pass, Salahuddin Ahmed said, he will have to return to Bangladesh within the next three months. When asked when he would be returning, Salahuddin Ahmed told Prothom Alo that he would first undergo a physical checkup in India before returning to the country. He had not consulted any physician for long. He would return home after running some medical tests.

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Earlier, on 8 May, Salahuddin had applied to the Indian state of Assam for permission to travel. In the application he said that he had been detained in India since 2015. The court had acquitted him of the trespassing charges in the case filed against him there.

In the application, Salahuddin Ahmed further said his passport had expired on 11 July 2016. As he was staying in India, he had been unable to renew his passport. If granted permission to travel, he wanted to return to his own country and be reunited with the people and his family.

At that time, Salahuddin Ahmed's wife, Hasina Ahmed, claimed that her husband had been kept at a mental hospital in Meghalaya. His family at various times claimed that Salahuddin had been detained and then, at a certain point of time, taken over the border and left there.

After detaining Salahuddin, the Meghalaya police filed a case against him under the Foreigners Act for entering the country with no legal documents. On 22 July the same year, formal trespassing charges were brought against him by a lower court in India.

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In 2018, Salahuddin was acquitted by the lower court of those charges. The Indian government appealed against this court verdict and he had to remain there. On 28 February this year, he was acquitted in the appeal too and the court issued orders for him to be sent back home.