Tripura, India (BBN)-Around 500 people of Rahimpura, a border village in the Bakshanagar area of the Sonamura sub-division of Tripura’s Sepahijala District, are living at the mercy of Bangladesh, especially during the night hours, as their village is located outside the barbed wire fenced border that separates the two nations.
As per the Indira Gandhi-Mujibur Rahman inked pact of 1971, India has fenced its 4096-kilometer-long border with Bangladesh, reports ANI.
Villagers said that they have been complaining for over five years to the Indian Government to provide them with land so that they can shift from their existing location outside the fenced area.
Mohammad Salim, the headman of Rohimpur Village, informed that though the villagers prefer to shift inside the fenced area, as it is safe from Bangladesh burglars and militants, but are compelled to stay outside the fence area because of poverty and not having the money to buy land.
He informed that till now they were being provided with a few corrugated tin sheets and Rs.27000 in cash for construction of their homes.
From dawn to dusk, these villagers are cut-off from India, as the gates through which they move in and out are locked at 6:00pm, and only reopened at 6:00am.
“We stay on the western side (outside) the fence and it will be of great help if the government gives us money for rehabilitation,” said Rokhiya Khatun, a villager.
Khatun further said, “The government has offered Rs.27000 and 24 tin sheets, but no land; it is not possible to buy land for everyone. Some of us are very poor and do not have anything, so, how can we come?”
“If there is any emergency work, we cannot come immediately and it is a big problem. In an emergency, BSF opens the gate, but this takes time. We cannot move freely nor can we go to Bangladesh. So, it is a big problem,” Khatun added.
Another villager Rahima Begum said: If we had house in this side (inside fencing), it would be of great benefit, because, from the other side, we cannot move freely, and there is always a risk.
On this side, many of us do not have land, so, we are staying on the other side of the fence in spite of all problems.
People do not have money to construct their houses here.