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When India shuts doors on its people at night!

By AF ashiqure Rahman

GOLAKGANJ, July 27 � It is 5 pm and 50-year-old Amaresh Chandra Roy from Bhogdanga village is in a tearing hurry to reach the local market, a few kilometres away. For, if he returns after 6 pm, he won�t be allowed to enter his village because the BSF personnel will close the gates along the Indo-Bangladesh border.

Roy and residents of other villages located along the Indo-Bangla border in Assam�s Dhubri district find themselves in a peculiar situation. They are Indians, live in India and yet remain cut off from their motherland and become �out siders� after 6 pm daily.

The border fence has been erected in such a manner that Bhogdanga and Faskarkuti, among other villages, lie on the other side between the fence and the international boundary. �Sometimes, if a villager falls ill and requires medical attention, we cannot do anything since the gates are closed. We can take him to hospital only after the gates are opened the next day at 5 am, Roy told this correspondent.

A BSF jawan, however, claimed that the gates are opened even during the night in case of any emergency. But Roy says the border sentinels on patrol open the gates only if they can be located and informed. That too, only if their superiors give them permission to do so, he said, adding �so we prefer to wait till day light.�

Moreover, Roy and others like him have to live in constant fear of marauders from across the international border since there is no fencing in Bangladesh, especially during the nights. In case of any crime, they cannot inform the BSF personnel since the gates remain closed during the night. �Fortunately, nothing serious � has happened so far. But who can tell what will happen to us in the future,� Roy said.

Putul Chandra Roy Prodhani, chief organising secretary of AASU said people living on the other side of the fence face serious problems. He claimed that 95 per cent of the voters under Bhogdanga and Faskarkuti villages lived on the other side of the fence. �The BSF cannot help because they are entrusted with the security of the border,� he said, adding that the Government should do something to mitigate the miseries of the Indian villagers across the fence.

It may be mentioned here that the fence was created after signing of the Assam Accord to prevent illegal migration from Bangladesh. But in Dhubri sector, large tracts of Indian land, including some villages, were left out of the fence since it had to be constructed 150 yards from the zero line on the Indian side. Fencing may be a necessity to check infiltration, but for Roy the two rows of barbed wires are a barrier. Along with some of his villagers, he wants to be resettled elsewhere where he won�t feel �like cattle being herded into pens at the end of the day.� But, will anyone listen to his woes?

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When India shuts doors on its people at night!

GOLAKGANJ, July 27 � It is 5 pm and 50-year-old Amaresh Chandra Roy from Bhogdanga village is in a tearing hurry to reach the local market, a few kilometres away. For, if he returns after 6 pm, he won�t be allowed to enter his village because the BSF personnel will close the gates along the Indo-Bangladesh border.

Roy and residents of other villages located along the Indo-Bangla border in Assam�s Dhubri district find themselves in a peculiar situation. They are Indians, live in India and yet remain cut off from their motherland and become �out siders� after 6 pm daily.

The border fence has been erected in such a manner that Bhogdanga and Faskarkuti, among other villages, lie on the other side between the fence and the international boundary. �Sometimes, if a villager falls ill and requires medical attention, we cannot do anything since the gates are closed. We can take him to hospital only after the gates are opened the next day at 5 am, Roy told this correspondent.

A BSF jawan, however, claimed that the gates are opened even during the night in case of any emergency. But Roy says the border sentinels on patrol open the gates only if they can be located and informed. That too, only if their superiors give them permission to do so, he said, adding �so we prefer to wait till day light.�

Moreover, Roy and others like him have to live in constant fear of marauders from across the international border since there is no fencing in Bangladesh, especially during the nights. In case of any crime, they cannot inform the BSF personnel since the gates remain closed during the night. �Fortunately, nothing serious � has happened so far. But who can tell what will happen to us in the future,� Roy said.

Putul Chandra Roy Prodhani, chief organising secretary of AASU said people living on the other side of the fence face serious problems. He claimed that 95 per cent of the voters under Bhogdanga and Faskarkuti villages lived on the other side of the fence. �The BSF cannot help because they are entrusted with the security of the border,� he said, adding that the Government should do something to mitigate the miseries of the Indian villagers across the fence.

It may be mentioned here that the fence was created after signing of the Assam Accord to prevent illegal migration from Bangladesh. But in Dhubri sector, large tracts of Indian land, including some villages, were left out of the fence since it had to be constructed 150 yards from the zero line on the Indian side. Fencing may be a necessity to check infiltration, but for Roy the two rows of barbed wires are a barrier. Along with some of his villagers, he wants to be resettled elsewhere where he won�t feel �like cattle being herded into pens at the end of the day.� But, will anyone listen to his woes?

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