Foreign Minister Dr AKA Momen has cancelled his three-day visit to India amid concerns over Citizenship Bill that was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, reports Indian media today.
Momen was scheduled to arrive in New Delhi at 5:20pm on Thursday for the 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue.
Foreign ministry officials in Dhaka claimed the scheduled visit of the foreign minister has been cancelled due to his "busy schedule" at home ahead of the Martyred Intellectuals Day and the Victory Day.
However, India media see the development from a different viewpoint.
The foreign minister's cancellation of his India visit comes amid Bangladesh raising strong objections against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, said India Today's report published under the headline "Bangladesh foreign minister cancels India visit amid concerns over Citizenship Bill."
On Wednesday, AK Abdul Momen said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill could weaken India's historic character as a secular nation and rejected the allegations that the minorities are facing religious persecution in his country, reports the India Today.
Momen said the allegations of repression of minorities in Bangladesh were "untrue". "Whoever gave them the information, it is not correct. Many important decisions of our country are taken by persons belonging to different religions…we never judge anybody by their religion," he was quoted as saying.
Like the India Today, The Indian Express writes, "Bangladesh Foreign Minister puts off India visit amid Citizenship Bill protests".
According to the legislation, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants and given Indian citizenship.
"Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen cancelled his three-day visit to India, which was scheduled to begin from Thursday, even as protests continued to roil the northeast, especially in Assam, a day after the Parliament passed the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill," The Indian Express reports.
The Statesman says, "Bangladesh foreign minister cancels India visit amid concerns over Citizenship Bill."
Momen has, however, refuted such reports.
"I had to cancel my trip to New Delhi as I have to participate in the 'Buddijibi Dibosh' and 'Bijoy Dibosh' programmes and more so as our state minister is out of the country in Madrid and our foreign secretary is in The Hague," ANI quoted Momen as saying.