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Displacement and ExileThe State-Refugee Relations in India$
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Abhijit Dasgupta

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199461172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199461172.001.0001

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Exile and Freedom

Exile and Freedom

Bangladesh Liberation War Refugees, 1971

(p.157) 3 Exile and Freedom
Displacement and Exile

Abhijit Dasgupta

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the mass exodus of the Bangladeshi refugees in 1971. In the case of Bangladeshi refugees, the Indian state responded with alacrity in order to come to terms with a grave crisis. The state dealt with the crisis without being a signatory to the 1951 Convention or the 1967 Protocol and it handled a gigantic problem in an efficient manner. What, then, were the policies that worked in India’s favour? The state had four broad objectives in dealing with the influx that began in 1971: first, to allow access to the refugees into the Indian territory by opening up the border; second, to involve non-state organizations in massive relief operations; third, to carry out diplomatic effort to resolve the crisis; and, finally, to intervene militarily, if necessary, to put an end to a humanitarian crisis. The chapter also focuses on the influx after 1971.

Keywords:   Liberation War, Awami League, war zones, camps, UNHCR, repatriation, infiltration, economic refugees

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