The indeciciveness of border guards of India-Bangladesh has left 12 Bangladehis stranded for four days on the zero line of border in Tripura.
The BSF(Border Security Force)caught the group of five women and five children aged between two to 14 years near the border at Miapara village in Sepahijala district, about 25 km from the state capital Agartala on Saturday, reports The Deccan Herald.
The BSF personnel claimed that they had illegally crossed the border but Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) personnel refused to accept the same without documentary proof.
A commander-level flag meeting held on Tuesday failed to reach a conclusion leaving all 12 stranded in an abandoned house near the border. "During questioning, they admitted that they are residents of Comilla district in Bangladesh.
Even the son of an aged lady in the group, who lives in Comilla came close to the border to meet them. All these details were provided to the BGB officers but their response is not encouraging.
In fact, they countered us saying they are Indian nationals and tried to illegally cross the border and were pushed back," a BSF officer posted in Tripura told DH on Wednesday.
Tripura shares an 856-km border with Bangladesh of which 67 km remain unfenced. There isn't a no man's land in Tripura unlike other borders and the zero line is considered as the border. Indian fencing has been erected 150 yards from the zero line.
"We have provided them food and shelter in an abandoned house near the border on humanitarian ground. But we expect the BGB to take them as early as possible," said the BSF officer.
A similar situation prevailed in April when a mentally unstable woman remained stranded for days on a sandbar in the middle of Feni river in South Tripura that divides the two countries.
Border guards of both countries claimed that she was not their citizen. The woman, however, was accepted by Bangladesh after 11 days.
Even a group of 31 Rohingya refugees living in different parts of India, who tried to return to Bangladesh, similarly remained stranded on the border near Agartala for days.
They were, however, accepted by India later. "The Rohingya issue is different as they are not Bangladeshi residents and are refugees from Myanmar. But this group is from Bangladesh and they have also admitted it," the BSF officer said.