No land to Bangladesh….
Blood instead of soil!!!
When different political parties of Assam as well as organizations have strongly opposed the agreement on land transfer signed between India and Bangladesh, the local people of Assam, who have been living in Baraibari village, the border area of Assam-Bangladesh border recently openly criticized both the Assam Government and Bangladesh Government sharply and said that they will never be ready to hand over Assam’s land to Bangladesh. They also said that they will stage further demonstrations in protest against the agreement if the situation desires.
Talking to Eastern Panorama, a number of local people of the Baraibari village in Dhubri district openly said that they are ready to give their blood instead of the huge area of land. “This is all our land, land of Assam. So, we can not agree to leave it,” Babul Das, a senior citizen of the locality said.
A group of local youth; including Santanu Das, Rabin Kalita, Alimijahur Rahman, Anjan Sharma and others even strongly criticized the Bangladesh and the Assam Governments as well as the agreement on land transfer dubbing it as a ‘planed issue’. They even said that the Assamese people living along the international border will start demonstrations against it as soon as possible. “We are ready to give our blood for our land. But we will never leave or hand over the land to Bangladesh. We are trying our best in a democratic way to save the border lands of Assam,” the youth said.
|“We are ready to give our blood for our land. But we will never leave or hand over the lands to Bangladesh. We are trying our best in a democratic way to save the border lands of Assam.”
- Assam youth
On the other hand, the local people of Baraibari village claimed that although the land belongs to Assam, they have not been able to do anything on this land for a long time. Raghab Majumdar, a senior citizen of the locality told Eastern Panorama with tearful eyes: “This is all our land. How can we leave it? How we can hand it over to Bangladesh?” he further said that the land falls in Assam’s side but from 1948, when the border wall was structured, the Assamese people could not do anything there.
Meanwhile, a flourishing Indo-Bangla border trade involving the smuggling of Bangladeshis into India is picking up at a rapid pace. In fact this has become the source of livelihood for many who come into India through the porous Dhubri border. The people who are involved in this trade are locally known as ‘dalals for Bangladeshis’ and reportedly charge `200 to `500 per person to help them cross over into India. Police sources revealed that on July 4 and July 6 – Mankachar Police and Dhubri Police apprehended four Bangladeshi citizens from Khagrarchar and Dhubri main town. They also revealed that a ‘dalal’ was involved in this racket. Citizens of Bangladesh, come to India mainly to work as labourers. Their entry points are South Salmara-Mankachar border road, Mantrirchar, Nilokhia and Newghat area. The Indo-Bangla border in Dhubri is the main entry point for the foreigners. Despite the Border Security Force manning the Indo-Bangladesh border, illegal Bangladeshi immigrants are still entering Assam through the North Bengal sector of the Indo-Bangla border, sources said. According to these sources, the infiltrators now have been entering India through that sector since no border fencing has been put up there so far and taking advantage of this, the infiltrators after entering into Bengal, move to Assam. Another advantage is that their language, appearance and culture are almost identical with that of the people of many areas of the state. The sources said that the matrimonial relations between the people of both countries is a common feature in many border villages of Dhubri. They come illegally, marry an Indian girl here and return to Bangladesh accompanied by the bride, the sources also revealed. On the other hand, the Assamese people in the Assam-Bangladesh border areas in Dhubri district are in a state of insecurity due to frequent harassment by the trans-border anti-social elements. The frequent extortion, looting, encroachment, threats, killing and other harmful activities by the anti-social elements have hampered the lives of these people even as the police and the administration remain neutral, people alleged.
Neelim Akash Kashyap
(With inputs from Ahiqur Rahman and Manab Das in Dhubri, Assam)
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