Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen yesterday alleged that the 27 Bangladeshis in Vietnam who were demanding to be repatriated had "occupied Bangladesh mission in Hanoi" on July 2.
The ambassador and counsellor of the Bangladesh Embassy in Hanoi went to the airport for arranging repatriation of 11 Bangladeshis on July 2, the minister said, adding that the 27 Bangladeshis, meanwhile, went to the mission and "occupied" it.
Talking to journalists at the foreign ministry on Monday, the minister said that the 27 Bangladeshis demanded to be repatriated. When the embassy officials told them to return home in the flight that was arranged on July 2, they said they would not pay any money and that the government had to pay for them.
"Then there was a lot of negotiation. Finally, they were taken to a hotel. Now they are staying there," Momen said.
Alleging they are campaigning that the government is not helping them, the minister said, "First of all, they are all undocumented. Second, they don't have any passports. They don't want to talk about their passports. They say their agents confiscated their passports. They don't even want to show any of their IDs. They did not cooperate with the embassy, but just raised their demand that the government will have to repatriate them in a special flight."
The minister also alleged that the 27 Bangladeshis have started a movement via video where they said they would attack Bangladesh missions in various parts of the world.
A new organisation called Probashi Odhikar Parishad, led by Dhaka University Central Students Union (DUCSU) former VP Nurul Haque Nur, is behind them, Minister Momen claimed.
Shital Chandra Sarker, one of the 27 Bangladeshis in Hanoi, told The Daily Star that they went to the Bangladesh embassy on July 2 when it was raining heavily.
He denied what minister Momen termed as "occupying" the embassy.
"Only three from us went inside the embassy and talked about our problems. Afterwards, we were kept in a hotel," he said on Monday.
He also said they were victims of fraudulence and abuse by the agents and brokers and thus were seeking to return home over the last several weeks.
Contacted, Nurul Haque Nur said they initiated Probashi Odhikar Parishad only a month ago as Bangladeshi migrants in various countries are deprived of their rights.
"We have not been able to form a structure yet. But, as we raised our voice for peoples' rights, we also spoke about the rights of the 27 people who were trafficked. How can it be an instigation? It is an absurd claim," he told The Daily Star on Monday.