The Centre on Saturday assured the West Bengal government that it would look into the problem of Bhutanese refugees seeking to cross over to their homeland from Nepal through Panitanki in West Bengal's Darjeeling district.
The assurance came during a meeting between West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee at his residence in Kolkata on Saturday night.
Emerging from the meeting, Mukherjee told reporters that the chief minister informed him that about one lakh Bhutanese refugees, residing along the Mechi river in Nepal near Panitanki wanted to use the corridor in the state to reach their homeland.
This had been causing problems, the chief minister informed Mukherjee. Mukherjee said the chief minister sought his intervention in the matter since the issue involved both Nepal and Bhutan.
"The chief minister requested me to look into the matter and I assured him accordingly," Mukherjee said.
The India-Nepal border at Panitanki witnessed violence on May 28 and May 29 with thousands of Bhutanese refugees attempting to cross over through the Indian corridor. Forty Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) personnel were injured in the attack by the refugees.
Bhattacharjee, however, did not make any comment on the meeting.