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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Export Stalled following Shahbag Movement, Border Villagers Reeling under Acute Fear

MALDA, 1 MARCH: Following the riot after the issuance of hanging order of the Rajakars, the export-import business in the state’s crucial border-business point Mahadipur has been stalled for over 24 hours. The joint secretary of state exporters’ association has expressed his profound concern as 226 lorries, those went to Bangladesh, are still detained there. Besides, thousands of Indian villagers living on the other side of the fences are reeling are the fear of getting attacked by the rioters anytime.

Official of the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi assured that they were arranging for the return of those lorries from Bangldesh to India. SP, Malda also said that vigil and security had been beefed up in border areas in consultation with the BSF.

Large parts of at least three villages – Chori Anantapur, Shashani and Sovapur are located on the other side of the fences guarding the Indo-Bangla border running along areas under Kaliachak and Baishnabnagar police stations. Those ares are inhabited by around 5,000 Indian citizens as learnt from local people.

Such villagers have been suffering from strong apprehension that the rioters from Bangladesh can organize attack on them any time. “We are really worried. Every suffocating hour is being spent amid uncertainty and fear,” said Shasthi Mandal od Shashani village today.

Dinesh Singha of Chori Anantapur, Goutam Roy, Moti Sheikh of Sovapur and others too expressed similar concern today.

It was found on reaching Mahadipur today that the entire area was gripped by queer silence. There was gathering of people at phases who were going to Bangladesh or coming from there to India.

Dr Wahida Khatun, a teacher of Botany of Durgapur degree college in Rajsashi of Bangladesh was there with her husband advocate Safiqul Ahmed were getting their papers checked before rushing to Bangladesh. “I was an Indian citizen from Lalgola of Murshidabad and was married in Bangladesh 14 years back. I came to India on 14 February. But after the unrest cropped up in Bangladesh from yesterday I decided to return as I have my duties in college. If situation turns worse, it may be difficult later to return,” Dr Khatun said visibly perplexed.

One Shashthi Pramanik, who was found returning to Malda, said, “I went to Choutola village of Chapai Nababganj district in Bangladesh on 23 February. But after the riot started yesterday, being afraid of life I decided to flee back to India. An inhabitant of Jalalpur of Kaliachak police station Mr Pramanik said, “It was terrible situation there. Roads were blocked with logs of trees and in some areas those wooden logs were set on fire. I had to lift the rickshaw I was plying by at least at twenty places.”

Mohammed Alauddin of Najul Upajela’s Gazipara village entered India with his wife Nasima Khatun. Alauddin, Awami League secretary of ward no 4 of local union board said, “We demand the hanging of the Rajakars.” He alleged that BNP had been secretly supporting the Jamat supporters.

Joint secretary of state exporters’ association Samir Ghosh alleged, “The situation is quite troublesome. 226 lorries went to Bangladesh with fly-ash, wheat, onion, grapes and other raw-materials. Those have not returned yet. At least 300 lorries are waiting for export to Bangladesh in India. We are at a fix and feeply worried.”

The commercial councilor of Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi Habibur Rahaman Khan said over phone, “We are at once taking up the matter and asking the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission Officials in Kolkata to take steps so that those lorries can safely return to India immediately.”

SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee said, “We have held meeting with BSF officials several times after such a situation rises. I personally inspected those areas today.” “The vigil and the security have been beefed up in border regions by police along the BSF,” Mr Banerjee added.

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