Sixty-one Indian truck drivers who were stranded in Bangladesh for more than a month finally returned to their country on May 12 after the Indian authority allowed them to enter in the country.
"All the 61 trucks have returned. We have sent the drivers to a quarantine centre that has been opened at the local Industrial Training Institute in Changrabandha. The vehicles have been sanitised. Also, swab samples of the drivers have been collected and sent for tests," said Ramkumar Tamang, the sub divisional officer (SDO) of Mekhliganj, The Telegraph reported.
Once the results arrive, those tested negative will be sent to home quarantine for 14 days. Anybody detected with Covid-19 will be sent to the dedicated hospital for the disease in the Cooch Behar district, he added.
The vehicles entered India through Changrabandha, a land port located near the Bangladesh border.
The 61 trucks laden with jute seeds, which are regularly exported to Bangladesh, had crossed the border on April 4. On the other side of Changrabandha is Burimari, a land port in Lalmonirhat district of Bangladesh.
However, after the jute seeds were unloaded from the trucks, the drivers were stuck at Burimari as the Bengal government had sealed all international borders.
"They were stranded there since then. It was the Bangladeshi importers who took care of them and helped them with food grains. We had approached officials of the local administration and sought their intervention so that they could return home. It is good that they have finally returned," said Saraswati Ghosh, a relative of one of the stranded drivers.
The family members and relatives of some of the 61 drivers had held demonstrations, demanding that the state see that they returned immediately.
On May 12, the state informed the drivers and the Bangladeshi authorities that the trucks would be allowed to enter India.