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Dhaka Tribune

BGB protests India's Anandabazar report on 'Bangladeshis stepping on unprotected land'

It is almost impossible to cultivate on unprotected land in this area as it is patrolled by BGB day and night, the statement added

Update : 10 Jul 2020, 09:09 PM

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) on Friday issued a statement protesting a news report titled “Bangladeshis stepping on unprotected land” by Indian media outlet Anandabazar.

The report by Anandabazar is baseless, fabricated and serves ulterior motives, the BGB said.

The report claims Bangladeshis are cultivating freely in around 22,000 acres of unprotected land across Jalangi in Raninagar 1 and 2 blocks of India’s West Bengal state. 

It also claims two Bangladeshis crossed into Indian territory and were detained by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF), and Bangladeshi miscreants picked up two villagers from the Raninagar border village in retaliation and for ransom.

However, there are no Bangladeshis cultivating in the aforementioned area and the detention incident has been completely misconstrued, BGB said.

The area in question extends from Charghat BOP to Talaimari BOP and crosses the zero line along the river Padma, which is under the responsibility of Rajshahi BGB. There are vast chars on both sides, the BGB statement said.

It is almost impossible to cultivate on unprotected land in this area as it is patrolled by BGB day and night, the statement added.

Regarding the detention incident, the BGB statement said two incidents took place at the Jalangi border on July 2, both of which were misrepresented in the report.

According to BGB, two Jalangi Indian drug smugglers - Nayan Sheikh and Shahidul Sheikh – crossed the border illegally and attacked locals in the village of Yusufpur in Bangladesh around 11:30am on the day of the incident. When they got surrounded by locals, members of Yusufpur BGB camp took the Indians into custody out of concern for their safety.

On the other hand, at 12pm the same day, a BSF patrol team illegally crossed the border and entered 300 meters inside Bangladesh (along Pillar 72/4-S) and captured three innocent farmers from the Yusufpur area. The farmers were returning home after cultivating on the char area on the Bangladesh side.

A BGB-BSF flag meeting was held following both incidents and the matter was settled amicably through the peaceful transfer of citizens of both the countries on July 3, the BGB statement said. 

The statement also said a vested group may have published the false report to cover up the failures of the local BSF battalion. 

The BSF has a hostile relationship with people in Muslim-dominated areas of the border. Some of the border residents are frustrated by their inability to smuggle cattle in recent times, and some members of BSF extort local fishermen, the BGB statement added.

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