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Indo-Bangladesh Border works halted after BGB interference, BSF seeks higher officials’ intervention

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Itanagar, Jan 29: A minor tension erupted along the unfenced stretch of Indo-Bangladesh border in Sabroom area at South Tripura district after the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) turned hostile and interrupted the fencing works from being conducted by a government-assigned contractor.

Following a minor discontent, India’s Border Security Force (BSF) had a “commandant-level” meeting with its Bangladesh counterpart BGB in which it was decided that the matter should be resolved by the higher authorities.

Officials said that the BGB personnel earlier this week had prevented the contractors assigned by the Public Works Department of the Tripura government from erecting the border fences at Ailmara area of Sabroom.

“A Commandant level inconclusive meeting between the BSF and BGB was held on Wednesday. Tension prevailing along with the bordering areas after the Sub-Divisional authority following BGB’s objections asked the people to remain alert while movement along the borders,” a senior police official said.

The official was talking about allowing the people to enter and graze their animals within the 150-yard no-man’s-land between the two countries where civilians from both sides are allowed to enter as historically those lands belonged to them before borders marked.

A senior official of BSF’s Tripura frontier headquarters at Shalbagan, near Agartala, said that they have asked the senior BGB officials to allow the Indian authorities to undertake the border fencing works in Sabroom.

According to the officials, the works has been halted until conclusive orders come from BGB side.

South Tripura district magistrate Debapriya Bardhan said that the BSF was looking after the matter to sort out the problem.

About four km stretch in Ailmara and some other areas along the 856 km border that Tripura shares with the neighbouring country is unfenced. Terrorist organisation such as National Liberation Front of Tripura and other smugglers of drugs and contrabands, according to various earlier reports, were found to use those stretches to conduct illegal activities from one country to another.

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has earlier urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to complete the border fencing work along the India-Bangladesh frontiers to curb smuggling of drugs and other contrabands, illegal cross-border movement and crimes.

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