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Felani killing by BSF gross HR violation: Odhikar

Source : New AgeSTOP BSF killing bangladeshi people

Staff Correspondent

cruelty, bullets & barbed wires!


Felani: Her final journey!

Felani: An innocent mind

Felani: Her final destination.

May God save Bangladesh.

Human rights organization Odhikar in a fact-finding report it released on Sunday said that India’s Border Security Force had breached the border agreement between Bangladesh and India by killing innocent girl Felani Khatun.

The report, which interviewed the victim’s family, villagers, Border Guards Bangladesh soldiers, the police and physicians, recommended that the Bangladesh government should ask India to give compensation to the family.

The 27 Rifles Battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Abdur Razzak Tarafdar, said Fenali’s killing by the BSF was not only a beach of international law but a gross violation of human rights and a display of barbaric inhumanity.

The report recommended that the government should take steps to end such violations and that there should be an immediate protest against such incidents.

The victim’s father Nurul Islam said that he had received the body but did not get back the gold ornaments she was had on when she was killed.

Nurul Islam now wants to settle down in Bangladesh on the land left by his father and bring back his wife and other children from India.

The Border Security Force on January 7 shot dead Felani after she got entangled in barbed-wire fence in the Phulbari border in Kurigram.

Felani Begum, 15, was reportedly returning to Bangladesh with her father Nurul Islam Nuru, a resident of Dakkhin Ramkhana at Nageswari in Kurigram, from Delhi.

Odhikar said the Indian guards kill one Bangladeshi every four days.  The organisation also said that 74 Bangladeshis were killed, 72 injured and 43 were abducted by the BSF in 2010.

28 Responses

  1. It’s time we signed a military treaty with Pakistan and China simultaneously,which will include a clause stating that attack on any of these countries or it’s citizens would be treated as an attack on all the three. This would be the only way to straighten India.

  2. Why BDR (BGB) is silent? BDR should grab some BSF cowerds and shove the butt of a rifle down their throats

  3. 1 brave BDR = 10 coward BSFs.

    • rishte me bsf wale tumhare baap lagte hai

  4. BSF is the most cowardly and pathetic border force I can ever remember. Hate those cowards.

  5. Ask India to pay Rs. 10 crore to Felani’s family as compensation.

  6. I have not yet seen any remarks by the sister of Mirzafar yet, the so called puppet of India our
    Rt. honorable P.M. Hasina Begum.

  7. I saw another photograph. The dead body of Felani in the daily Inquilab that two BSF guard bringing the dead body tied and hanging from a bamboo steak to return to BDR.

    Can you post this picture also.

  8. It’s time for every Bangladeshi to re-evaluate their relation toward India. From the day they planted Awami League as their lap-dog administration in Bangladesh, they could no longer keep their true face covered. They started with killing the most patriotic army commanders, then all other BDR foot solidiers that they tangled them up as mutineers, removed all BDR from our borders so that they could push in even more commodities from their land, occupy major financial and institutional positions, pollute our culture with lewdness and corruption. The fact does not stop here – encircle our PM with useless dead-log personalities such as Interior minister, foreign minister who would pee in their panties when an Indian diplomat talk. We are witnessing this drama as the Indians play their sly games in Bangladesh.

    We did not liberate Bangladesh to replace Pakistanis with Indians. Nor did many lost their lives in the independence war to perpetuate the financial, cultural and military bondage of India.

    We need to fight back Indian evil hegemony , if not possible openly then covertly. Even if that means to take up arms again.

  9. May be you Bangla’s should shut the fack up and sit in Bangladesh and not crossover to India

    • u fuck up urself u indian

  10. BSF killed 922 Banadeshis in 10 years


  11. We should rise our voice against the killing in border. Your are most welcome.

    • You are also welcome. Thank you.

  12. BSF routinely kills on border –

    US-based rights body spurs Dhaka to protect its nationals

    The rights body said the Bangladesh government should vigorously protect the right to life of its citizens

    Indian border security force (BSF) routinely gun down civilians crossing the border with Bangladesh despite negligible evidence of any crime, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released yesterday.(The Daily Star )

    Over 900 Bangladeshi nationals have been killed by the BSF over the last decade, many of them when they crossed into Indian territory for cattle rustling or other smuggling activities. However, in several cases we also found that Bangladeshi nationals were injured or killed due to indiscriminate firing from across the border, the report said.

    HRW found no evidence in any death it documented that the person was engaged in any activity that would justify such an extreme response.The rights body said the Bangladesh government should vigorously protect the right to life of its citizens, even those who may be involved in illegal trade, and should call upon the Indian government to exercise restraint.

    The Indian government should prosecute BSF soldiers responsible for serious human rights abuses, the rights group said.

    The 81-page report, Trigger Happy: Excessive Use of Force by Indian Troops at the Bangladesh Border,documents the situation on the border region, where both Bangladesh and India have deployed border guards to prevent infiltration, trafficking, and smuggling.

    It said the BSF–responsible for guarding against extremists, drug and weapons smugglers and human traffickers–is instead using its muscle to detain, torture and kill with impunity, according to HRW, the New York-based rights group.

    HRW found numerous cases of indiscriminate use of force, arbitrary detention, torture, and killings by the security force, without adequate investigation or punishment.

    The report is based on over 100 interviews with victims, witnesses, human rights defenders, journalists, law-enforcement officials, and BSF and Bangladesh Rifles’ (BDR) members, said a press release of the HRW.

    The report said border officials are required to exercise restraint and “act in proportion to the seriousness of the offence. It suggested India and Bangladesh should take immediate steps to end the killing of hundreds of their citizens at the West Bengal-Bangladesh border by BSF.

    “The border force seems to be out of control, with orders to shoot any suspect,said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Director at HRW. “The border operations ignore the most basic rule of law, the presumption of innocence.”

    HRW said since both Indians and Bangladeshis have fallen prey to this excessive use of force, both governments need to open a joint independent investigation to turn the situation around.

    “Human Rights Watch has repeatedly called upon the Indian government to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations instead of letting its security forces get away with murder,” Ganguly said. “The BSF insists that there are internal investigations, but why then is it so unwilling to reveal whether anyone has been punished for these killings.


  13. BNPdistrict leader arrested on charge of distribution of Indian BSF victim Felani poster
    The poster under the name of “People of Bangladesh” is inscribed with sharp criticism of Foreign Minister Dipu Moni

    News From Bangladesh
    Wednesday February 02 2011

    Sirajganj, Feb 1 (UNB) – BNP district leader Saidur Rahman Bachhu was arrested early hours today for his suspected involvement in distribution of poster that carried photograph of India’s BSF victim Felani hanging with barbed wire fence at Kurigram border.

    Police said the government has protested the shooting down of 15-year old poor Felani by BSF at Kurigram border on January 7. Despite that a section of politicians have been circulating the heart rending poster across the country in a bid to agitate the public mind.

    Officer of Sadar thana said a case was filed against Saidur Rahman and he was personally investigating into the matter.

    The poster under the name of “People of Bangladesh” is inscribed with sharp criticism of Foreign Minister Dipu Moni. It castigated her as “shameless, betrayer minister” for her pro-Indian role.


  14. AIDS and STD threat at Benapole border

    With Indian truck drivers entering the country freely through Benapole border, the threat of an AIDS epidemic cannot be ruled out.Hundreds of Indian truck drivers and helpers stay and move about within Bangladesh territory in and around the Benapole land port, posing as a threat to national security and exposing the local population to a potential AIDS epidemic and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

    The observation was made by a nine-member committee headed by the Joint Secretary (Borders) of the Home Ministry. The committee that prepared a report after visiting the land port recommended a mechanism to verify the identity of the Indians and restrict their movement.

    It also voiced serious concern as there is no mechanism at the port to verify whether unwanted persons enter the country under the cover of drivers and helpers with ulterior motives. The committee members found no role of immigration authority regarding entrance of Indian citizens and said the Import Cargo Manifest, which allows entry into Bangladesh, was being used as passport and visa.

    ‘The authenticity of the license and identity, in the manifest, cannot be verified and anybody could enter Bangladesh with the trucks with a fake identity,’ says the report submitted to the Home Ministry a few months ago.

    It says the drivers and helpers stay within Bangladesh territory for three to four days due to the lengthy unloading procedure and, making use of the loophole, would go back and forth between India and Bangladesh, which is not acceptable at all.

    At night, the report finds, they go to nearby villages hampering security on one hand and spreading sexually transmitted diseases, particularly AIDS on the other. In an unusual trend, the Indian trucks enter Benapole in large numbers in the afternoon which is not understandable, the report says, adding it was hazardous since the authorities have to let the trucks in without ensuring proper security.

    As there is no traffic control system in the port area, traffic congestion also creates an opportunity for Indian trucks to exchange various goods unnoticed while waiting on the roads. ‘In this situation, one can easily indulge in destructive activities in Bangladesh territory,’ warned the report, highlighting a number of other instances of mismanagement and limitations of the port.

    It says Indian trucks enter 1.2 kilometres deep into Bangladesh and pointed out that most of this stretch remains unguarded. The area for loading and unloading goods was expected to be demarcated in 1986 but the port zone is yet to be fixed and thus allows India trucks go into Bangladesh.

    Questioning the justification of five petrol pumps within three kilometres of the Benapole port, the report says smuggling of fuel, imported with hard-earned foreign currency should be contained for the sake of national interests.

    Earlier, a Bangladesh Rifles report revealed that the Indian trucks had been taking away huge amounts of diesel while returning to India having unloaded goods.

    The report also voiced concern over the illegal stay of Indian truck drivers, helpers and labourers, posing a threat to national security. It also indicated the possibility of smuggling firearms, explosives and illicit drugs into the country through such ‘intrusions’ of Indian citizens.

    ‘Indian spies in the guise of truck drivers and helpers could easily enter the country because of security lapses at the land ports which is an ominous sign,’ the report says.

    The nine-member committee commended introduction of identity cards and uniforms for drivers and helpers and posting of Bangladesh Rifles personnel at all the filling stations to prevent fuel smuggling. It also suggested establishment of a disciplined immigration system and declared the port a bonded area where the Indian drivers and helpers would not be allowed to stay over 48 hours. Health check-up of the Indian drivers and their helpers also recommended.

    The Home Ministry is expected hold a meeting soon to take necessary measures on the basis of the recommendations.

    • Thanks.

  15. India quietly ringing Bangladesh with barbed-wire, cutting off former neighbors- Another Indian Propaganda & Disinformation


    Are Bangladesh media, intellectuals, the Bangladesh government and its Embassies going to protest at the pack of lies and disinformation published in International Herald Tribune ( http://www.IHT.com,) ( write polite protest to: letters@iht.com, iht@iht.com ) in a report from the India based American news agency Associated Press (write a polite protest to: info@AP.org ) as FACT?

    IHT has published an disingenuous and cunning “report” with some interesting twists worthy of propagandist. Every paragraph is full of images all culled from Hindu Fundamentalist RSS, VHP and BJP pronouncements over the years. India has hardly been quiet about the barbed-wire fence but still cunning and inaccurate propaganda language. Once again the high reputation of an American owned newspaper is brought low by Indians disinformation using AP journalists.

    The headline sets the scene and cunningly sets the theme. IHT report lies when AP journalist propagandist says “India quietly ringing Bangladesh with barbed-wire, cutting off its former neighbour” in its headlines. The fencing has been reported for many years and weekly and monthly which the IHT and AP should have checked. Bangladesh could not care less what Indians do in their territory ; although Bangladesh along with the UN and world’s Human Rights community have shamelessly closed their eyes to endless carnage of native peoples by Indian Army. However, when Indian Army regularly kill, rape, steal money, food and equipment, kidnap, smuggle petrol, act as conduits for lethal drug dealers, encroach on Bengali territory, Bangladesh cannot remain quiet and let such India continue its “Wild West” ways. Time after time the brave & disciplined Jawans and farming communities of Bangladesh have displayed patience with undisciplined and unruly & corrupt Indian Army. Indian Army provocation is a daily fact of life along all of South Asian borders, and not just Bangladesh.

    What makes the IHT and AP report so comical is that there has been no rail or river access between India and Bangladesh for most of the last 60 years after the end of British rule. The road access between the two countries are heavily controlled by both countries. Bangladesh has cut off India, not the other way round, due to terrorism and civil war raging inside India for most the last 60 years and political distrust between all the neighbours. By the way India’s relationship with all her neighbours including China, Bangladesh, Burma, Bhutan, Sikkim (now under occupation) Pakistan, Nepal & Sri Lanka is fraught with dis-trustfulness and hatred verging on racism. There is little or no rail, road or water connection between any of India’s surrounding neighbours. INDIA IS CUT-OFF FROM ALL HER NEIGHBOURS. This must be unique in the entire world. IHT should ask why. IHT should be ashamed for publishing such Indian lies and distortions in its distinguished newspaper.

    So very cunning and dishonest display to put in phrases like: “the fence felt like an insult, as if their country was a plague that needed to be quarantined”, ” growing fears in New Delhi about illegal immigration and cross-border terrorism”, “some experts estimate as many as 20 million Bangladeshis are in India illegally, most crammed into large cities or in shantytowns just over the border”, “India’s US$730 per capita income looks pitifully low by Western standards, but it’s a decent income to many in Bangladesh, where some 60 million people live on less than US$1 a day”…. And yet every single phrase has been repeated by Indian media and its fanatics Hindus in their vernacular media for the last 20 years in one manner or another.

    IHT and its readers should know that Bangladesh does not object to making its borders effective to prevent the violence and wars spilling over in her territory. As any one knows India’s neighbour Bhutan was forced by India to use Bhutan Army recently to remove India’s own terrorists using its territory to fight Indian Army but without much success. Similar attempts have been made with Burma, also without success. Sri Lanka and India have similar issues with cross border terrorism and Indian support for Hindu Tamil freedom from Buddhist Singhalese state.

    India is no United States. India is a desperately poor country where 750 million people lives on less than a $1 a day. Recently it was reported that some 200 million Indians live on less that 13 (US) Cents a day. The reality of poverty in India is unimaginable to most civilised Asians, Europeans, Africans of Americans. The Hindu caste system blights the lives of 75% of Indian people deemed to be Hindu. The lives of 250 million Untouchables (also known as Dalit, Harijan) is beyond human understanding. Not even Apartheid South Africa or the old South in the USA can match India in its evil. 250 million Untouchables have a lower status than a monkey, a cow or a rat. Yes, change is happening but at a snails pace. 50 years of United Nations charter and 59 years of independence from the British has passed. What other excuse is there? Muslims have become the stick for Indian sickness.

    Muslims are at the bottom of humanity in India today, lower than the Untouchables. Divide-and-Rule is the way. India cannot hide this fact, and has been forced to admit that Muslims are at the bottom in all spheres of life in India. Even in Indian West Bengal, a state apparently run by Communists, Muslims are at the bottom. Even though they form 30% of the population of West Bengal they have little representation in government jobs, higher education, political representation, economic activity even after 59 years of Indian independence. Discrimination is rife but it is silent, silent even in the media. Muslims are prevented from migrating to the few urban places in the state. The other large group, Untouchables, form 26% of population; and tribal people form 6% of West Bengal population. Vast bulk of the West Bengal Hindus of caste belong to Sudra caste.

    In the past week it was reported in The Guardian newspaper (London) that many tea garden workers of West Bengal are dying of starvation. It is a desperately poor state with 90 million people. Compared to Maharashtra’s $700 per capita, West Bengal’s comes to a mare $300. The lies about Bangladesh are just a joke. We have a per capita of $510 in 2007 and rising. Indian economy is rising by 8% and Bangladesh by 7%. If investments take off and tourism industry lives up to expectations Bangladesh will grow by up to 15%. By the way Bangladesh was an industrial giant of the world and Asia 250 years. That fact alone makes India nervous. That alone should tell the Western and Asian world why India should use so many devices to undermine Bangladesh.

    Western or Asian readers will realise how pathetic it is to talk about India being paved with gold when its filled with abject destitution. India is a ######-hole but imagines herself to be America. By the way Mexico’ s economy is bigger than India’s. Mexico’s per capita is over $3,000. India’s is just $700. The hype and propaganda has got Indians spinning tales about joining the “rich man’s club”. And worse still India is no China. China’s per capita is over $2,500 and raising by the day. But China does not hype, it’s astonishing rise is there for all to see. China is one nation, India is an artificial construct like the USSR.

    When Muslims of India face degradation, starvation, discrimination at every level, denial of education, harassment and death at the hand of police (Muslim make up a large proportion of jail population in India) why would Bengali people want to go there? To commit suicide? In Bangladesh even the poorest can gain basic education and bring them up in their faith. The infant mortality rate in Bangladesh is lot lower than India. When India’s own people starve, suffer indignity, have few jobs how would a Bangladesh immigrant survive in such a god forsaken land? It’s stupid and bizarre. India’s friends should slap her out of her stupidity. India has long tried to create facts out of lies and fabrications by consistent repetition. This trick was tried by the ###### against the Jews, Slavs and Roma people of Europe.

    One has not mentioned Uttar Pradesh (UP) or Bihar where some 320 million people live. Their lives are even more blighted than those of West Bengal. According to the TIME magazine in an article in 2006 Uttar Pradesh has a per capita less than $200. Only last month the London based Times newspaper reported that India contains largest number of the most destitute people in the world whose condition is worse than those of Sub Sahara Africa or Ethiopia.

    Sadly one is forced to give the ugly facts on India because of India’s crude misrepresentation of Bangladesh. It does not make one feel superior but immoral. Whole of South Asia is desperately poor even after freedom from the British 59 years ago. The political elite of India, dominated by the Brahmin Hindu gods ( 2.5% of Hindus), bear a particular responsibility for not creating trust between neighbours. Keeping each other down has meant that the poorest majority have remained a broken people in all the countries.

    British may have left the region 59 years ago but all the problems have remained. Hunger, racism, religious hatred, Hindu persecution of Untouchables, regional discord, riots, fake history writing have added to the blight of the Indian sub-continent. India could have been a force for good in the region. Instead India is a source of instability in the whole region. Hindu-Buddhist religious hatred, Singhala-Tamil racial war in Sri Lanka has an active hand. In Nepal India is the single most hated country thanks to its destabilising influence. Buddhist Sikkim was illegally taken over by India thanks to the Dalai Lama being held hostage and never being allowed to protest. And the sagas of the other regional nations and her relations are known in the West and Asia.

    India has been lucky in that America and UK chose to set-up Call Centres in India, despite India having very poor electricity supply, hardly any phone lines, few road and primitive airports. Can you name one other country where the West has been so generous in its investments (yes, its not a huge amount of investments when compared to……)? It’s a miracle of Western generosity that India was given a telecoms infrastructure, roads, electricity supply and establishment of software houses even though it had almost nothing before.

    India being paved with gold attracting millions of Mexicans. A very sick joke. It’s an fanciful analogy used in Indian media for some years and now reproduced in IHT through reproduction of AP report. Now India has come with another novel theme: Israel and its creation of barrier in Palestine. India creates a barrier with Bangladesh like the Israelis. These are just Indian tricks, fooling no one.

    FACTS ARE SO VERY DIFFERENT. Actually India has been trying, for 30 years, to get Bangladesh to help India open up the road, rail and water routes so that India can have easy access to Assam, Tripura and Nagaland for its Army and looting of North East India’s natural resources . Bangladesh knowing the unstable situation prevailing in India has refused to allow any such privileges. Bangladesh has refused to allow gas pipeline from Burma to run through her territory into India. Further Bangladesh refused India’s attempt to get the Eurasia Highway routed to its convenience. So you see India is promoting lies. Bangladesh is not some landlocked country. IT IS INDIA WHICH FEELS HERSELF LOCKED OUT. It’s India which has no access to any of her neighbouring countries. The invisible barrier is against India, an unreliable and unstable neighbour to all the surrounding nations.

    Now look at India’s continued blocking Bhutan and Nepal’s attempt to have direct road and rail link to Bangladesh. Nepal is 12 miles away and Bhutan 50 miles from Bangladesh. Year after years of attempt to have India allow access roads from the landlocked nations to Bangladesh remain blocked. Such is the unruliness of India every year goods rot in the India-Bangladesh border because of one Indian excuse or another. And yet there is an UN Charter on landlocked nations and their access routes. India has been a bad example to the world. And now the world must take action or else a terrible and forbidding future beacons for Asia and beyond.

    Indian media, BJP and even “liberals” have been talking about 5, 10, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 30 million Bangladesh citizens inside India for many years. Bangladesh is a short-cut and less loaded way of saying MUSLIM. It is ISLAMOPHOBIA at the heart of Indian lies. If racism is an ugly disease than India is at the heart of the virus. And this same India protests about racism against her at every forum in the world. India has no excuse for spreading lies, even using elements within its 25 million economic migrant elements.



  16. The Tin Bigha corridor

    Jason Cons provides the unofficial perspective

    This past June 26 marked the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Tin Bigha corridor, a land bridge that connects the Bangladeshi chhitmahal (enclave) of Angarpota/Dahagram (AGDH) with mainland Bangladesh. June 26 is usually a day of celebration for AGDH’s 16,000 residents. This year, the day was marked by a sour mood of discontent and resentment.

    “We spoke to the UNO,” a friend told me, “and decided that because of the emergency, this year we wouldn’t have any public events.” And so, while activist groups from the surrounding Indian village of Mekhliganj gathered in the corridor to protest the existence of the Tin Bigha, shouting slogans of: “United we stand, united we fight” and “Leave Bharat!” AGDH residents gathered in tea stalls and grumbled.

    The discontentment this year was not only about the lack of celebrations and the failure to answer the Indian protesters with rally cries of their own. Over the past 2 months, a rumour had been circulating that finally, after a long fifteen-year wait, the corridor would finally open for a full 24 hours a day. Currently, the corridor is open for only 12 hours, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., allowing AGDH residents to access local markets and resources in Patgram. The corridor, which is controlled by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF), remains closed during the night, presenting a range of complications for residents. But now it sounded as though things might change.

    One resident excitedly told me: “About two months ago, the BSF started construction on two new buildings in the corridor. The BDR [Bangladesh Rifles] immediately protested and stopped the construction. The BDR told them that construction couldn’t continue until the corridor is open for 24 hours. But two weeks ago, construction resumed …”


    Though there was limited basis for such rumours, they still served to ignite optimism in even the most sceptical of AGDH residents. When no concrete action was taken by the 26th, it served to further dampen spirits within the enclave. The hopes of AGDH residents had been dashed. Again. Reports that the corridor would be opened full time, and that the remaining enclaves within India and Bangladesh would finally be exchanged, emerge almost annually. Yet, little changes for the residents of these complicated spaces along the northwestern border, and the enclaves remain one of the sticking points in India-Bangladesh relations.

    Throughout the past 60 years, debates over the chhitmahals have arisen as a series of puzzles. What are these odd spaces that are both part of, and separate from, their home countries? What country do their residents “belong” to? Is it constitutional for India or Bangladesh to “give” a piece of their land away? Can India provide passage through their sovereign territory for Bangladeshis to move from one part of Bangladesh to another? Yet, posing such questions as policy puzzles makes it difficult to see the enclaves as spaces where people are regularly denied basic rights of citizenship. Viewing them as such shifts the debate away from which state the enclaves “belong” to towards how people within the enclaves have defined the terms of their own belonging. The past 60 years have demonstrated that the questions of the corridor and of enclave exchange are issues that cannot be easily sorted out between the two states. What might happen if, instead of territorial exchange, the debate was shifted to securing citizenship for enclave residents? Such a shift in perspective can transform the debate over how long the Tin Bigha corridor is left open, from one of state sovereignty to one of basic human rights. To approach the question of the corridor and AGDH from this perspective, it is first necessary to understand their peculiar history.

    Brief official history of the chhitmahals
    The enclaves are small pieces of Bangladesh completely bounded by India, and vice versa, and are concentrated along the Lalmonirhat/Cooch Behar border. Their residents must illegally cross two borders simply to reach their home countries. Official counts put the number of these enclaves at 51 Bangladeshi enclaves inside India and 111 Indian enclaves inside Bangladesh. Though the chhitmahals date from Mughal times, the particular complications for those living within them began with Partition and became acute in 1952, with the implementation of a passport/visa system between the two countries.

    In 1958, there was an official agreement to exchange all of the enclaves in the Nehru-Noon Accords, though deteriorating relations between East Pakistan and India and a series of court cases in India prevented this from being implemented. Another attempt to resolve the enclave issue was mounted in 1974 under the Indira-Mujib Accords. The accords make specific provisions to exchange all of the enclaves with the exception of AGDH and Berubari Union, a disputed area along the border with Jalpaiguri. As the Accords have it: “India will retain the southern half of South Berubari Union No.12 … in exchange Bangladesh will retain the Dahagram and Angarpota enclaves. India will lease in perpetuity to Bangladesh an area … to connect Dahagram with … Bangladesh.”

    This agreement, too, remains only partially fulfilled. While Bangladesh ceded South Berubari shortly after the agreement was signed, the corridor only opened 18 years later. Despite regular discussions, there has been no move to exchange the enclaves themselves.1

    It is not clear exactly why the two countries cannot come to an agreement on this seemingly simple problem. In official documentation, each side seems to blame the other for the failure to resolve the issue. Border working groups and joint-forces committees regularly agree to “discuss the matter further at a future date.” Viewed from this perspective, the enclaves may help to maintain an open dialogue between the two countries’ border security forces. However, the lack of resolution of the Tin Bigha issue continues to pose both practical and conceptual difficulties for those living in both AGDH and the other enclaves scattered along the border.

    View from inside Angorpota/Dahagram
    To understand the situation in AGDH, one must understand its history leading up to the opening of the corridor. AGDH is unique amongst the Indian and Bangladeshi chhitmahals. Its access to the Tista river, its size (approximately 4,000 acres), and the political struggle fought at both local and national levels over the opening of the corridor distinguish it from other areas. Yet many of the difficulties its residents have faced over the past 60 years are similar in kind to other enclaves’. Before the opening of the corridor, the lives of AGDH’s residents were, to a large extent, governed by the tide of relations between India and East Pakistan and, later, Bangladesh.

    When relations were good, residents were able to go to Mekhliganj, the surrounding Indian thana, to sell crops and buy essentials. But even during these periods of relative calm, residents faced numerous kinds of exploitation. As one resident described it to me: “We had to go through the camp, where the BSF man would note our names, inspect the goods we were carrying, and suggest, ‘Okay, you can go to market later, first come inside the camp and cut the grass, or clean the lavatory, or so on.’ They used to force us to pay in labour for around one hour. Afterward , we were allowed to bring rice, or wheat, weighing at most 5 kg.”

    When relations between the two countries were less good, residents had to risk crossings at night to reach the village of Patgram to buy and sell goods. They were subject to periodic blockades where conditions inside AGDH often reached near famine states. Many residents shared experiences with me of having to survive by eating shrubs while staying trapped in the enclave for months on end. “We had to bury our dead in rags or banana leaves,” many told me. Looting was a constant problem, as was cattle theft and even abduction of women. Many residents complained of communal tensions that frequently escalated into outright conflict amongst residents of AGDH, the BSF, or residents of Mekhliganj.

    One of the most serious incidents took place in the months before the India-Pakistan war in 1965. One night in March, members of surrounding Indian areas burned the village to the ground. Many of the villagers remember the horror and confusion of that evening. One man described the event to me. “We noticed some hasty movement of villagers and noticed fire on the north side. Most of the men returned home, shutting their shops … We saw people north of the village crossing the road. Everybody was carrying bundles, gripping their children, and walking fast. The fire in the north was widening … My father rushed to the cow-shed and untied all of the cows, so that they could save their lives … My father took hold of the rice pot. We kids were walking alongside my mother. We reached Tin Bigha …Then the population of the enclave was around 12,000. Around 3000 stayed at their homes. These were non-Muslims (Hindus). The rest of the mass gathered there. When we arrived at the Tin Bigha, the BSF weren’t allowing us to pass. I remember hearing a few gunshots. The BSF was firing to prevent people from crossing Indian territory, but we were desperate, and by 10 p.m. we passed Tin Bigha and reached the mainland.”

    The bulk of the refugees sheltered in makeshift camps in Patgram thana, staying there for three weeks while cross-border tension remained high. Eventually, residents were allowed back into the enclave and received nominal compensation from the Indian government, including a cow for each family and other household essentials. Many residents report that they were forced to eat the cow to survive during the ensuing months of hardship, while houses were rebuilt and crops re-sown.

    Such experiences were certainly not unique to AGDH. Indeed, many residents of Indian also reported incidents of looting, land grabbing, cattle theft, burning, and blockades, particularly during the East Pakistan period. However, AGDH’s size and politics have made it a particular focus of conflict and tension since the Indira-Mujib accords.

    In the early 1980s, several young activists inside AGDH formed a Dahagram Movement Committee to advocate for the implementation of the ’74 treaty. This group staged public awareness campaigns and activist events to call attention to their cause. As one former member described it: “We printed hand-bills informing people of the condition in Dahagram, asking for help. We stuck these hand-bills in railway compartments to inform the country. We used to meet with the DC and suggest ways to solve our problem.” Among other things, the committee organised a long “funeral” march to the Tin Bigha. As another member recalled: “We performed janaja [funeral rights] prayer in Dhaka. Then we began the Long March. We said that we would go through the Tin Bigha, as it should have been Bangladeshi land according to the treaty … It was a huge procession, looking like it was just waiting to explode. We were stopped, however, by Bangladeshi authorities short of the border.”

    At roughly the same time, in Mekhliganj, an Anti-Tin Bigha Movement Committee was also formed, pursuing a parallel campaign to try and prevent the corridor from being opened. For the Anti-Tin Bigha activists, the issue was also one of complicated geography. Committee members argued that ceding the Tin Bigha to Bangladesh would cut off a large portion of Mekhliganj thana, effectively making it into an enclave itself.2 Activists from each group took constant risks, defying the authority of both border security forces and frequently ending up on either country’s wanted lists.

    The activities of the two committees did succeed in attracting attention to the issue in both countries. In India, the cause of the Anti-Movement Committee was championed by the Bharatiya Jananta Party (BJP), which fought bitterly against the opening of the corridor, locally and in the Lok Sahba. On the Bangladesh side, in 1986, then president Ershad made the first of two visits to the enclave, becoming the first head of state to visit the chhitmahals. For many, this visit was a long-overdue acknowledgement of AGDH’s belonging to Bangladesh. As a resident recalled: “After Ershad’s arrival, we were quite speechless. It was as though we helpless folks got our father. We began weeping before him.” Ershad’s visit became a rallying cry for AGDH members, both encouraging them that the Bangladeshi central government was aware of their suffering and giving them hope that some resolution to the issue would be reached.

    Ershad proposed a number of solutions to the AGDH problem, including constructing a flyover so that residents could cross the Tin Bigha corridor without ever touching Indian soil. However, it was not until 1992, under the BNP, that the corridor was finally opened amidst strong protest from the Anti-Movement Committee. “At last, we got it,” said one resident. “Now the corridor is open for 12 hours a day. Even if it were for 1 hour a day, still we would be happy, because we have suffered a lot, which embittered our heart so much that I never wish to step in India. Now, by God’s grace, everybody’s lot has changed.”

    Current state of affairs
    The opening of the corridor was undoubtedly a positive step for AGDH members. The existence of the corridor means that residents can access markets, services, and resources in Patgram every day, which has provided a stable basis for agricultural trade and growth. As importantly, the corridor facilitates access to services inside of AGDH, including micro-credit and government aid initiatives. Further, the BDR has established camps in both the north and south of AGDH. Residents can bring border issues to the BDR, who can mediate with the BSF through Flag-meetings, often allowing for peaceful resolutions to tense situations.

    In addition to this overall improvement of security and well-being for residents, the creation of the corridor has wrought a number of social changes as well. The most dramatic of these is an influx of new people. Following the opening of the corridor, the majority of Hindu residents in the enclave moved to India, creating a surfeit of cheap land. A number of people living on chars and erosion prone areas along the banks of the Jamuna purchased this land. These new residents, who the locals call Bhatiyas, now compose roughly 50 percent of the population. This has radically redrawn the political landscape of AGDH where, now, elections tend to be fought not along party lines, but between “original” inhabitants and the newcomers.

    Beyond these changes, the corridor has served to formalise the border. While many residents used to conduct business in Mekhliganj haats, less then one km from the northern end of AGDH, now they report that going to India is no longer possible. All business is conducted in Patgram. This proves a significant difficulty for some residents, particularly those who live in Angarpota, situated in the north of the enclave. These residents are forced to travel 12 km south to the Tin Bigha, before reversing direction and traveling another 12 km north-east to Patgram. The BSF has virtually surrounded AGDH with camps, and from most places inside the enclave it is possible to see, and be seen, by the many BSF watchtowers.

    Marble trading between AGDH children and Indian children standing across the borders. ERIN LENIZ
    Further, the fact that the corridor is under sovereign control of the BSF means that residents themselves do not control what goes into, and out of, the enclave. Last September, the BSF implemented a “cattle ceiling” to combat what they claimed was illegal smuggling of cattle to the slaughter markets in Patgram byway of AGDH. This ceiling limits the number of cattle that can be taken to market on any given haat day to 10, a ludicrously small number for an impoverished village of 16,000. Many AGDH residents posses no significant assets other than their cattle, and the ceiling, which is monitored and governed by the local UP Council, makes raising money for everything from land purchases to medical emergencies next to impossible.

    The most pressing issues facing residents are electricity and access to Bangladeshi mainland during evening hours. Many residents blame this for continuing underdevelopment within the enclave, suggesting that any new business ventures inside AGDH are stymied by a lack of electricity. The absence of electricity also prevents a hospital built during the Ershad period from opening its doors, leading to limited medical facilities for enclave residents. For most medical procedures, residents must make the journey to Patgram. Thisis particularly problematic in medical emergencies that take place during the night when the corridor is closed.

    A BDR officer in charge of handling frequent local negotiations with the BSF, highlighted this issue. “Yesterday morning, just after the morning prayer [before dawn], my sentry knocked at my door to inform me that there was a critical patient with a baby who needed to go to Patgram. I ordered two jawans to take her up to Tin Bigha and make a request to the BSF. They allowed her to pass. These sorts of necessities frequently occur and we have to play our part. The problem happens during the night. If it is 9 p.m. or more, the BSF has many formalities … and these processes swallow one hour or more of time, which is critical for a patient or someone in medical emergency or labor pain. They dilly-dally and sometimes they just don’t allow. They don’t categorically deny passage because they may be condemned for violating international law. But they pretend to talk to other authorities, and after some time come out suggesting: “Our company commander isn’t available now, so we can’t allow you.”

    From states’ rights to human rights
    A white-paper available on the India High Commission for Bangladesh’s website titled: “Tin Bigha: A Proper Perspective,” observes: The importance of the Tin Bigha question involves much more than leasing of a particular piece of land. Its resolution symbolises, above all, the will of the people of India and Bangladesh to live together in amity and good neighbourliness. The leasing reflects the shared resolve of the two governments to eliminate a long-standing and major irritant in bilateral relations, thus setting the stage to bring about a mutually beneficial upgradation of Indo-Bangladesh relations.” If this is so, then the partial fulfillment of the ’74 Treaty and the ongoing difficulties faced by residents of the enclaves are also symbols of the incompleteness of this “upgrade.” Yet, I would suggest that part of the difficulty faced by enclave residents is the result of seeing the Tin Bigha corridor and the enclaves as “problems” or “issues” to be sorted out: territorial oddities that are a feature of the uneven and incomplete border between India and Bangladesh.

    Understanding the enclaves not as territorial puzzles and rather as the homes of beleaguered residents helps to reposition the enclaves as absurd and easily remediable impediments to residents’ rights as citizens. The official history of the enclaves begs a series of questions: Which country do the enclaves belong to? Who should control the Tin Bigha corridor? What are reasonable terms of a lease from one country to another? These questions are abstract and debatable. However, the questions have more immediate answers if instead one asks: how can we ensure the enclave residents’ rights as citizens? What does it mean to prevent someone from accessing their home country for 12 hours a day? What are reasonable restrictions on what goods a citizen can bring to market?

    Indeed, as I have tried to do in this essay, it is critical to view the chhitmahols not as policy puzzles but as places where people live their daily lives in the face of complicated and at times dangerous institutional and political configurations. From this perspective, the various different stumbling blocks in resolving the enclave issue and the Tin Bigha corridor by both India and Bangladesh appear as petty squabbles over small and strategically unimportant pieces of land. Residents of AGDH repeatedly expressed their pride at being citizens of Bangladesh and their desire to be fully integrated into the country. As long as both countries continue to view the enclave issue in general from the perspective of territory and sovereignty, as opposed to citizenship and rights, their desire and their long struggle, not to mention two treaties and numerous promises, will remain.
    1. The sketch history presented in the previous two paragraphs is well known. For a more complete history, see Willem van Schendel’s excellent article “Stateless in South Asia: The Making of the India Bangladesh Enclaves.” 2002. Journal of Asian Studies 61(1).

    2. This issue was resolved by posting a West Bengal traffic policeman in the corridor, making sure traffic moving from India to India did not interact with traffic moving from Bangladesh to Bangladesh.
    Jason Cons is a doctoral candidate in the department of Development Sociology, Cornell University. He has been conducting research in and on the chhitmahols over the last year. This research was generously supported by a Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship.

  17. Target practice

    Khamin investigates the alarming trend of Bangladeshi nationals being killed by BSF members at the border areas

    Several ministerial-level meetings between Dhaka and Delhi, three Directorate General level talks between Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Border Security Force (BSF) and over five ADG level meetings could not bring about a sustainable solution to the wanton killing of Bangladeshi nationals at the border regions by the Indian border security forces, the BSF.

    Even the most recent meeting between the Bangladeshi delegation, comprising of 19 high-powered members led by the BDR DG, and their Indian counterparts at the BSF headquarters on March 7, seems to have fallen flat following the killing of Bangladeshi national Saiful Islam recently.

    Saiful was shot by the BSF at the Boikari border area under the Satkhira sadar upazila on April 1. The murder is the thirteenth this year signifying the double standards maintained by Indian border and concerned authorities despite the assurance by Indian Home secretary Gopal Krishna Pillai that India would stop border shootings, during the six day-long talks in Delhi.

    According to the human rights coalition Odhikar, the BSF killed 98 Bangladeshi nationals last year although according to BDR headquarter records, the tally is at 65. Regardless of these numbers, the BDR did not kill any Indian nationals last year. From 2000 till date, the BSF has killed a total of 843 Bangladeshi nationals, according to Odhikar records.

    Most of these killings are taken at night and taking advantage of the darkness, the BSF always claims that the ‘shooting’ was necessary to ensure India’s sovereignty. Only one BSF soldier served a sentenced through a court-martial, as he had shot a Bangladeshi national in broad daylight.

    Tthree Directorate General level talks between Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Border Security Force (BSF) and over five ADG level meetings could not bring about a sustainable solution to the wanton killing of Bangladeshi nationals at the border regions by the Indian border security forces, the BSF.

    Even the most recent meeting between the Bangladeshi delegation, comprising of 19 high-powered members led by the BDR DG, and their Indian counterparts at the BSF headquarters on March 7, seems to have fallen flat following the killing of Bangladeshi national Saiful Islam recently.

    Saiful was shot by the BSF at the Boikari border area under the Satkhira sadar upazila on April 1. The murder is the thirteenth this year signifying the double standards maintained by Indian border and concerned authorities despite the assurance by Indian Home secretary Gopal Krishna Pillai that India would stop border shootings, during the six day-long talks in Delhi.

    According to the human rights coalition Odhikar, the BSF killed 98 Bangladeshi nationals last year although according to BDR headquarter records, the tally is at 65. Regardless of these numbers, the BDR did not kill any Indian nationals last year. From 2000 till date, the BSF has killed a total of 843 Bangladeshi nationals, according to Odhikar records.

    Most of these killings are taken at night and taking advantage of the darkness, the BSF always claims that the ‘shooting’ was necessary to ensure India’s sovereignty. Only one BSF soldier served a sentenced through a court-martial, as he had shot a Bangladeshi national in broad daylight.

    India began fencing its borders from 1980, despite numerous objections from Bangladesh, and finally completed this around 1990. The border killings spiked soon after this.

    ‘This fencing is the major reason behind BSF’s unprovoked firing, which has increased since the nineties,’ says Professor Imtiaz Ahmed, of the department of International Relations, Dhaka University.

    Due to border skirmishes, many residents of the border side areas of Fulbaria, Roumari in Kurigram, Tetulia in Panchagarh and other areas, cannot go about their daily farming, agricultural work, cattle-grazing, harvesting and others.

    ‘While trying to get to our paddy fields on this side of the fence, we are usually stopped by the BSF who threaten to shoot at us,’ complains Illias Ali, a 58-year old farmer in Digrir Char border side of Lalmonirhat. ‘I still do not know how we are doing anything wrong,’ he says.

    Azizul Haqim, a resident of Banglabanda in Panchagarh describes BSF soldiers as crazy. ‘They are capable of doing anything!’ he says.

    Professor Imtiaz explains: ‘India erected the border fence on their own lands and so this is creating a confusion amongst our Bangladeshi nationals who feel that any land on this side of the fence is Bangladeshi,’ he says.

    ‘However, this side that they tread into is the Zero line or at some point is the Indian territory. Awareness amongst border land residents regarding these issues need to be generated to bring about a decrease in border killings,’ he says.

    Imtiaz also points out that smuggling is also a major factor in the prevalent conflicts at the border. ‘If the government can stop all illegal trafficking, border killings will fall automatically,’ he says.

    ‘Around Rs 3.5 billions worth of goods are smuggled from India to Bangladesh every year,’ informs Ahmed to Xtra. ‘As this is very important for India, they let these smugglers come into Bangladesh,’ he says.

    However, BSF starts shooting when these smugglers try to return to India through the borders again.

    The Indira-Mujib Agreement of 1974 and the Joint Indo-Bangladesh Guidelines of 1975 were two agreements signed by the authorities of India and Bangladesh to dissolve these issues and conflicts at the border.

    According to the Joint Indo-Bangladesh Guidelines of 1975 agreement, if any citizens trespass on the land of the other country, border forces can arrest and try them, or turn them over to the other side following necessary communications. The border guidelines also describe that any existing defence structure within 150 yards of the borders would be demolished.

    ‘But it is a matter of sorrow that most BSF personnel at the border fail to comply to this agreement due to lack of knowledge,’ says Professor Ahmed. ‘BSF is at fault here and even when Delhi gives them clear instructions, they seldom follow them through,’ he adds.

    ‘It is a fact that dispute often arises on the ground of fencing,’ writes Anand Kumar, an associate fellow at Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses at Delhi Cantonment in India to Xtra. ‘Although Bangladesh claims, while citing the 1975 guidelines, that no defence structure is allowed on the border, it is common knowledge that a border fence is no defence structure like the bunkers and other army structures,’ he refutes.

    ‘We have to settle all the border disputes politically and not by bullets,’ says Major General Mainul Islam, the former Director General of BDR. ‘Through discussion, in a patient and peaceful manner, these disputes can be solved between the two countries,’ he says, while also stressing that friendly relations will be strengthened if unnecessary border killings are stopped.

    ‘The current BDR chief should take a stand rather than try to solve things “politically”,’ says former BDR chief Major General (retd) ALM Fazlur Rahman. ‘He has to tackle the situation in a manner that encourages the BDR, and order counter fire as soon as BSF starts firing,’ he says.

    ‘He should order them to shoot three BSF if one BDR soldier is shot,’ he adds.

    ‘Besides not being the ultimate solution, counter-fire is also a violation of international law like the unprovoked firings by BSF,’ explains Dalem Chandra Barman, professor of peace and conflict at Dhaka University. ‘It pushes us towards a war when a bilateral discussion can solve the problem,’ he says.

    ‘Such border killings by the BSF are in clear violation of international human rights and even the violation of border agreements,’ says Adilur Rahman Khan, secretary of Odhikar. ‘The agreements of 1974 and 1975, which were signed with Bangladesh, are yet to be implemented by India,’ he informs Xtra.

    ‘India has no political will of solving the problems and we can also say that it has an aggressive stand towards Bangladesh. It is intolerable that a sovereign country’s citizens will be killed in such a manner,’ he adds.

    The Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) terms the murder of Bangladeshi nationals at the border by the BSF as ‘regrettable’ while expressing their concern over ‘the continuous deprivation of the right to life of the people of Bangladesh’, when contacted by Xtra.

    They wrote: ‘We have been trying to learn about the situation and, according to the findings of the locally based human rights groups, it has been observed that the identified victims are mostly farmers or cowboys and in some cases alleged carriers of smuggled goods. We also note that even, if someone smuggles any goods (which involves people and agencies of both countries) – regardless whether the particular stuffs are good or bad for the respective societies, it simply does not allow any agency to kill the person(s) without following the due legal process exist in the countries.

    In one hand, the Indian authorities have repeatedly failed to ensure that its border guards stay away from killing its neighbouring nationals like Bangladesh. On the other, the authorities of Bangladesh have ignored the necessity of protecting its citizens from the killings committed by the Indian BSF though there have been discussions and declarations at the bilateral level to stop such killings.’

    The border killings are also catalysed by the history between BDR and BSF. According to BDR sources and experts, ever since Bangladesh’s liberation in 1971, India has occupied a significant number of Bangladeshi land around the border area.

    One burning example of occupied territory is Berubari, located in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. India took over the territory through BSF.

    Bangladesh has already recovered the Padua Border Operation Post (BOP) territory from India on April 16 and 17, 2001, after 30 years of illegal occupation by India. However, 230 acres of land near the Sylhet-Tamabil border is still with India.

    To avenge the loss of Padua, around 400 BSF, including black cat members from Indian military, illegally occupied Bangladesh’s Boraibari BOP in Roumari of Kurigram on April 18, 2001. The operation claimed numerous BDR lives and left many BDR soldiers and civilians wounded.

    ‘After learning about the Boraibari BOP incident, I ordered the Netrokona and Mymensingh BDR battalions to move toward the freshly occupied BOP on the same day,’ reminisces Major Rahman, the BDR chief at the time. ‘We were able to recover the occupied land from BSF that day as BSF lost shamefully,’ he says.

    He informs Xtra that the border killings, ever since, are really ‘delayed revenge’ by the BSF. ‘This is why, the death toll of Bangladeshi nationals has mounted following those incidents at Boraibari and Padua,’ he reasons.

    Article 3 of the Indira-Mujib agreement of 1974, signed by Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on May 16 in 1974 in a bid to solve border conflicts, states that when areas are transferred, the people in these areas shall be given the right of living where they are, as nationals of the state. The agreement had also stressed the completion of pending demarcation of the boundary, exchange of territory through mutual agreement, no disturbance of the status quo and maintenance of peaceful condition at the border regions.

    Necessary instructions in this regard were supposed to be issued to the local authorities on the border by the two countries’ government following the agreement. However, India has not implemented the agreement, 36 years after its signing.

    Experts and politically-concerned people feel that both the agreements require immediate rectification in order to reduce border killing and ensure proper justice to families of those killed by BSF over the years.

    ‘The rectification of both agreements is imminent for Bangladesh’s betterment and to ensure that the country is no longer victimised by India. The killings at the border will fall if the government takes initiatives at rectification and at generating awareness amongst border-region Bangladeshis about the fences,’ says Professor Ahmed.

    The AHRC stresses that both countries should contemplate on the mindsets of the members of the law-enforcement agencies and paramilitary forces, particularly the border guards (whether it is repressive, aggressive or responsible) and the socio-economic status, including the capabilities of the people and the effective initiatives adopted and implemented by the states and how these lead to a secured environment of livelihoods of the ordinary people as well as their attitudes.

    The former BDR chief Rahman also feels that if amongst the BSF personnel assigned on the Bangladesh border, people of Bengali origin were given priority, it could also help at reducing the number of Bangladeshi deaths. ‘The communication is a barrier,’ he explains.

    Rahman also cites the findings of international relations experts that most BSF soldiers are usually relocated from India-Pakistan border and placed to the Indo-Bangladesh border. Due to the lack of proper training and education, these personnel do not find any difference in the defence strategies and therefore, shoot at the slightest incident.

    ‘Recommending the training of lower ranking BSF soldiers, encouraging friendly behaviour amongst them and discussions, are not really the solutions,’ he says. ‘We have to take a bold stand through the BDR, against BSF’s killings,’ he adds.

    ‘If we continue to consider them as our Dada (elder brother), they will continue to impose illegal and inhuman actions on us,’ he stresses. ‘Even if we have any new agreements or rectify old ones, India will be the first to violate it,’ he speculates.

    However, Maj Gen Mainul, who was replaced as BDR chief only last week, believes that there is no alternative to the solution, without discussion. ‘We are trying to solve these problems and hopefully we will in sometime,’ he concluded.

    Bad blood
    · Around 13 Bangladeshi nationals killed by BSF at the border this year
    · BDR did not kill any Indian nationals this year
    · BSF has killed around 843 Bangladeshi nationals since 2000
    · Most shootings take place at night
    · Border killings escalated following the construction of fence during the nineties
    · Ordinary Bangladeshis fail to distinguish between the demarcation line and the fence
    · Around Rs 3.5 billion worth of goods smuggled from India to Bangladesh every year


  18. eitas amader jatio lojja chara kichu noy.amader lojja dakar kono jaiga nei bole ami kori.pls UN -k ei bisioye janano uchit

  19. ফেলানীর জন্য শোকগাঁথা

    By: মোঃ আতিকুর রহমান

    বাবার বড় আদরের নাম;
    কতটুকু! তা নিশ্চয়ই আমরা কেউ জানি না?
    যার চোখে মুখে স্বপ্ন ছিল
    একটি পাখির বাসার মতন ঘর,
    আলতা রাঙা বরণে কোমরে বিছা পেঁচিয়ে
    ঘরকুঠো থেকে রান্না পর্যন্ত খেলার মতো করে সাজানো;
    সকালে মোরগ ডাকে তার ঘুম ভাঙবে,
    হিজলের ছায়ায় ঢেকে রাখবে সারাদিনের সকল ক্লান্ত গুলো
    ছোট ছোট অভিমান গুলো থাকবে পুকুরের জলের মতো শান্ত।

    বাবা বলে ছিল, বুড়ি তোর বিয়ে দেব,
    এ ভিনদেশী শহর থেকে
    তার আগেই আমরা বাড়ি যাব।
    ফেলানীর এ ইটখোলার মাঝে স্বপ্নের জাল বুনা শুরু সেদিনই;
    সামান্য ভাতে উদর ভরুক আর না ভরুক
    মেয়েটা তো নিজের ঘরকন্না করবে।
    তার এমন খুশির দিনে
    পাড়ার সইরা দুষ্টমি করে তাকে কি বলেছিল আমাদের তা জানা হল না;
    বিয়ের আগে দেশটায় একবার যেতে হবে,
    কি আর করার, রক্তে মাংসে কামাই করা টাকা না হয় একটু বেশি নিক দালালগুলো,
    তবুও তো এই ‘দিল্লীর কেতা দুরস্ত’ থেকে মুক্তি মিলবে।

    ওহ হে! লজ্জা কাতর স্বরে ফেলানী ভাবছিল বাবাকে জানাতে-
    তোমার জামাইর কুটম্বদের এক বেলা দানা পানি খাওয়াতে হবে,
    আমার সঙ্গে ভরা শীতের তোষক,দুই চারটা হাঁড়ি- বাটি,আর সাথে জামাইর হাতঘড়ি দিতে হবে।
    সেটা বলা বোধহয় আর সম্ভব হলোনা।
    কুয়াশার ফাঁকে সে নিজের দেশে ফিরতে চেয়েছিল
    কিন্তু অগত্যা কাটাতারের বেড়া কাল হয়ে দাঁড়ালো,এই যা,
    বাবা অনায়াসে পার হয়ে ওপারে
    কিন্তু ফেলানী?

    ও বাবা! একটু দাঁড়াও,
    দালালের মই বেয়ে সে দ্রুত নামতে চায়,
    তাড়াতাড়ি করো ফেলানী তাড়াতাড়ি!
    তাড়া দিচ্ছিল দালালরা।
    ওড়নাটা জড়িয়ে ছিল তারের বেড়ায়,
    একটু পরে আলো ফুটবে।

    বাবা আমাকে নিয়ে যাও।
    মা রে দেখি? গন্ডগোল, দালাল নেই, নির্বাক বাবা।
    হঠাৎ একটা বুলেট তেড়ে আসলো,
    ফেলানী তখন অবোধ এক কিশোরী
    রক্তে রঞ্জিত দেহ,
    ঝুলন্ত তার লাশ।

    দেশের মাটি তো দুরের কথা কোনো রাষ্ট্র তাকে বরণ করে নি।
    পৌষের কুয়াশা ভেজা বিনা তোষকে মেয়েটা
    বড় নিথর ভাবে ঝুলিয়ে আছে কয়েকটা বাঁশের মাঝখানে।
    আর আমরা কতেক অতিথিপরায়ন ও বন্দুপ্রতিম সভ্যরা পরে আছি
    ভারতীয় জামদানি আর তাদের দেয়া ভদ্রতার মুখোশ।
    আমাদের ফেলানী
    কারো মেয়ে কিংবা কারো বোন,
    আমাদের দূর্বলতার সাক্ষী হয়ে
    পড়ে আছে একাকী, বড় অবহেলায় অযত্নে।

    লেখকঃ শিক্ষার্থী, সমাজকর্ম বিভাগ, শাহজালাল বিজ্ঞান ও প্রযুক্তি বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়, সিলেট।

  20. A Tribute to Felani



  21. India constructing barbed wire fence on no-man’s land

    Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) was conspicuously silent when Indian border security force (BSF) constructing barbed wire fence on no-man’s land violating the international law on the Akhaura border.


  22. May I suggest to arm the villagers alongside Bangladeshi border?? Indians are cowards either by religion or mind. If they have a slightest chance of hit back, they would never do it. They never do it on Paki border. I jump with joy whenever there is a terrorist attack on India.

    • nakib :
      you dirty fellow once read history, india never invaded any of its neighbour countries ,fucking bangladesh and pakistan are once part of bharath …. u fucking pigs came from arab countries and living here by dividing india ! stop dancing whenever india is attacked or even pakistan bcoz “nor indians or pakistanis ” wish to die in such attacks !
      we have muslim friends here there r not fuckers like u people ! we will be together !

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