• Monday, Jan 30, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:24 am

Hundreds illegally entering Bangladesh through Jessore, Jhenaidah borders

  • Published at 03:04 pm January 8th, 2020
bgb benapole border
File Photo: Border Guard Bangladesh personnel are patrolling the India-Bangladesh border in Benapole to stave off intrusion from India Dhaka Tribune

Through Jhenaidah border, over the past two months, the numbers are higher than normal

Almost 400 Bangladeshis who lived in India for a long time are surging through the borders of Jhenaidah and Jessore; they allegedly being pushed back by India.

Though the border areas were always susceptible to illegal intrusion, the numbers were much higher in the last two months of 2019. The people who have entered through the borders alleged they were being threatened and assaulted by the Indian police, as well as the locals to leave India as soon as possible.

The ongoing situation again raised the burning question in the countries bordering India -  whether India's enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) or National Register of Citizens (NRC) would affect the expatriates or illegal immigrants who are currently living in India without proper documents.

It is noteworthy that the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) provides Indian citizenship for Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities that had fled persecution from neighbouring countries before December 2014, but interestingly enough, Muslims were not given such eligibility.

The ongoing protests throughout India against the act, the growing violence led by different religious fanatic groups, and giving motion to the ongoing unofficial repatriation amidst rising tensions means Muslims are likely to move back to where they came from to secure a better living.

Through Jhenaidah border, over the past two months, the numbers are higher than normal and distressed people are crossing the borders through Maheshpur's Jaluli, Poliyanpur,  and Khosalpur areas and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) officials said they detained more than 300 people including women and children for illegally intruding into the country and transferred them to nearby jails.

Through Benapole border's Gatipara, Doulatpur, Putkhali, and Sadirpur areas, almost 100 people entered into Bangladesh in November and December of 2019. While most of them went to India for a better living in last 5-6 years, some of them went to the country for medical purposes as well. In the current scenario, they are being pushed back by the law enforcement and locals, alleged locals and migrants.

Alamgir Khan, 45, a detained migrant says he and his family went to India in order to seek jobs seven months ago. However, as they did not have any legal documents, Indian police threatened them to return Bangladesh.

They were later detained by BGB while crossing the border, he said.

Another Bangladeshi migrant, Jarina Begum, 35, who used to work as a house help in India, claimed the Indian police pressured her to return to Bangladesh.

Border guards say, and local people echo, that hundreds of Bangladeshi immigrants, especially Muslims, have gathered along the frontiers inside India as the exclusion of Muslims caused by the enactment of CAA and NRB is said to have caused them to panic. 

Jhenaidah 58 Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) Additional Director and Deputy Commander Kamrul Hasan admitted that they have increased the number of patrol teams to control the situation, and said: "On the verge of the enactment of Indian new policies, over-enthusiastic Indian law enforcerment officials such as police, the Border Security Force (BSF), along with locals, are threatening and scaring off Bangladeshis to take these drastic measures."

ABM Shahidul Islam, UP chairman of Jhenaidah's Jadavpur union, thinks that the events are fear driven.

He said: "Not only job seekers but expatriates who left  Bangladesh in 1947 and 1971 are also crossing the border in fear of facing possible violence in India, though they are small in number."

Jessore 49 BGB Commanding Officer Lt Col Md Selim Reja, and Jhenaidah 58 Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) Additional Director Kamrul Hasan both said they had taken extensive measures to stop the illegal entrance of migrants.

Locals from both districts alleged the number of people who are intruding is much more than what BGB estimates. BGB officials say most of the migrants, who lack legal documents, are detained and sent to nearby jails under the Bangladesh Passport Order, 1973.

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