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Demand of Rehabilitation or Zero point fencing : A complex Question
Nasreen Akhtar
Demand of Rehabilitation or Zero point fencing : A complex Question
PHOTO : BSF, local people clashing on zero point fencing. Photo by writer

An indefinite period, more than a decade has passed but the area yet to be completed to prevent illegal access from Bangladesh to India. Very often the implementing authorities of Border fencing in Tripura and the victimized people of bordering area come to blows to have their duties and rights respectively. People living beyond 150 yards demand either rehabilitation or fencing near zero point along the border according to the relaxation of Indra-Mojib international agreement 1972. As the government cannot fulfil their demands, each and every effort of Border fencing ended in violence since the last decade.

Hundreds of people got injured mortally , many of them filed  case against sub inspector to Director General of Tripura Police a few years ago. Now the problem of border fencing is hardly seeing any sign to end.

On 17th December,2014,The Supreme Court directed the Centre to complete fencing work along the Indo-Bangla border within three months to check cross-border influx of illegal Bangladesh nationals into the North Eastern states of India. Three days later in a meeting in shillong Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said that the Centre would complete the fencing work along the Indo-Bangla international border within a year. After two and half months of the direction of the Supreme Court, Government of Tripura started to complete the unfenced areas along Indo- Bangla Border at Sonamura. 

Now it is very hard job for the implementing authorities as the bordering people put some questions before them.

 1.  After the completion of the border fence the people living into 150 yards area will face insecurity. As the Jawans of Border Security Force never go out of border fence at night, Who will give them security then there outside the security zone of India? 

2. They are Indian by birth. After sunset to sun rise their lives will remain under captivity. In a democratic free state why would not they get freedom? 

3. If Indra-Muzib international agreement is relaxed along various, bordering places including in Tripura , why will it not be executed along the highly populated border of Sonamura?

4. Bangladesh is positive in the relaxation in others places and it is negative for the highly populated place Sonamura. If it is such why is there no official documents of the negative reply of Bangladesh about the relaxation of the Indra-Muzib agreement for highly populated bordering area of sonamura.

5. As the Government has many policies for rehabilitation for displaced people why would not the people of the 150 yards of Sonamura get the facility like beneficiaries of Khowai and Belonia? 

 6. Most of the victims of border fencing have not get reasonable compensation for their land inherited from forefathers. If it is their sacrifice to nation why would not the government declare some special compensation for the victimized people?

                    The implementing authorities of Border fencing in Tripura had no time to hear these questions. Victimized people and administrative authority have no faithful relation, there is antagonist situation between them. Each and every time when the authority starts work people gather and try to stop work. Many times situation went out of control. People throw pebbles and stones, from opposite side security forces beat people till to bloodshed. People claim that their demand is their democratic and constitutional right.

On the other hand the implementing authorities mention them enemies of nation. This kind of activities is going on for more than a decade in Sonamura. Till now 12 kilometre border at different parts in Sonamura Sub Division remain unfenced. The implementing authorities of Sephahijala  district have been trying the best to cover the troublesome area but ended in smoke. Villagers of Sonapur, Sova pur, Durgapur, N.C. Nagar secretly met to stop protesting against rule of state government . They want their democratic right. The implementing authorities try to cover the remaining fencing along 12 KM border for the security of the Nation. The bordering people living at extreme border under 150 yards are asking who will give us security after the completion of fencing?

And the decades old dispute continues…………

Ms. Nasreen Akhtar is a columnist based in Sonamura, Tripura and writes on social issues. 

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