FOR HUNDREDS of people who live in villages on ‘no man’s land’ between the India and bangladesh border, it is a recurring demand of access to their own country, which supersedes all other issues during the poll period, even covid. Cut off by fencing in 2006, voters are only allowed in the country when BSF opens gates at 6 am and they must return by 6 pm.
They are Indians, but they need to get permission to buy even 1kg of salt and unless there is an emergency they could not enter their own country after 6pm.
Before every election, 26 families of Taltoli demand their proper rehabilitation and include them in India. “Every time, all political party gave us assurance but all in vain. We did not get proper access to our own country. Our children could not go to school and college properly. We have to submit our Aadhar card or voter card even we want to buy 10gm of jeera powder or 1 kg of rice”, said 35-year-old Biswajit Halder.
BSF officers of the Taltoli outpost said that the fencing work started in the Bamongola block of Maldah district in 2006. At that time many families stayed in the Taltoli area but when they saw it will fall under “no man’s land” (In BSF language, this area is said as “Zero Line”) between India and Bangladesh, they decided to shift towards India.
“But we had nothing in that side. Our house, land and agricultural land all are on this side. So, we 26 families have no option but to reside in Taltoli. The Indian government…