Siddiqullah Chowdhury, Bengal Minister & Critic of Citizenship Act, Denied Bangladesh Visa
File photo of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) state president Siddiqullah Chowdhury
Kolkata: West Bengal Minister and state president of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) Siddiqullah Chowdhury on Wednesday claimed that he was denied visa by the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission here for a trip to the neighbouring country.
Chowdhury was scheduled to visit Bangladesh from December 26 to 31. "I had applied for visa on Dec 12-13 for the five-day trip. I was invited to address a program there, and had personal commitments, too," he said.
"But, I am yet to receive my visa. They have neither said my visa application is accepted nor have they officially denied it. I have all the required documents and necessary permission both from the state and central governments," Chowdhury said.
As head of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind, Chowdhury is one of the most influential minority leaders of the state and has been a voracious critic of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and pan-India NRC.
The state's library service minister said he will cancel his ticket for Bangladesh on Thursday morning. Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner Toufique Hasan could not be contacted for a comment.
Repeated calls to Hasan's mobile number went unanswered. Several other senior officials of the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission were also unavailable for comment.
Reacting to the development, the Trinamool Congress leadership expressed shock over such a behaviour being meted out to a state minister. "We are really surprised to know about such a development. It's really shocking to see that Bangladesh has denied visa to a minister from West Bengal," a senior TMC leader said.