DHAKA — India’s contentious new citizenship law has strained relations with neighboring Bangladesh, which fears a flood of refugees streaming into the country in a repeat of the Rohingya crisis, analysts say.
Bangladesh’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam last week became the latest government official to cancel a trip to India. His move comes a month after Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan nixed visits as relations between Dhaka and New Delhi sour.
The shutdown of mobile phone networks along India-Bangladesh border on Dec. 29 and the voluntary return of more than 400 Bangladeshi illegal migrants from India have fueled the uproar over India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, or CAA.
Fears over the CAA being a prelude to a broader national citizen registry appeared well founded last August, when India’s northeastern state of Assam updated its list of citizens, excluding in the process nearly two million Bengali-speaking people.
The CAA came into force in December, prompting nationwide protests in India that have claimed more than 20 lives.