FOR HUNDREDS of people that reside in villages on ‘no man’s land’ between the India and Bangladesh border, it’s a recurring demand of access to their very own nation, which supersedes all different points through the ballot interval, even covid. Cut off by fencing in 2006, voters are solely allowed within the nation when BSF opens gates at 6 am they usually should return by 6 pm.
They are Indians, however they want to get permission to purchase even 1kg of salt and until there’s an emergency they may not enter their very own nation after 6pm.
Before each election, 26 households of Taltoli demand their correct rehabilitation and embrace 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”, mentioned 35-year-old Biswajit Halder.
BSF officers of the Taltoli outpost mentioned that the fencing work began within the Bamongola block of Maldah district in 2006. At that point many households stayed within the Taltoli space however after they noticed it’ll fall beneath “no man’s land” (In BSF language, this space is alleged as “Zero Line”) between India and Bangladesh, they determined to shift in direction of 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 assured us to rehabilitate us to Indian land, but they did not give us land till date,” mentioned 68-year-old Nitai Biswas.
The villagers complained concerning the lack of infrastructure and restrictions on motion after 6pm as a serious hindrance to their regular lives.
Alpana Mistri, 56-year-old, mentioned, “In this village, we have now almost 150 people. Our children face many problems. Youths could not survive here if they only depend on agriculture because the fields remain submerged for almost four months during the rainy season. So, they are forced to go Bengaluru, Kerala, Chennai, Delhi to join as construction workers.”
She additional added, “We have problem getting our children married as outsiders can’t stay here in the night. They must get permission for that. Youths of our village can’t marry girls who are staying in proper India. We have no school, bazar, shop, and health centre.”
Echoing her sentiments, Archana Sarkar (17) mentioned, “Wherever we go, we have to return by 6pm. In case of an emergency, we have to get special permission from the BSF. The nearest college is 8km from here at Pakua. The Bamongola Police Station is at least 3km from here.”
Since 1998, CPM and BJP have a robust presence within the Habibpur constituency. Local CPM MLA Khagen Murmu joined BJP in 2018 and have become MP on this space. After that BJP has a stronghold on this space. The celebration additionally received the panchayat election.
Gram Pradhan Subhash Bhakta, of BJP, mentioned, “Last year, we arranged pakka road and drinking water station for the Taltoli villagers. They got electricity under the Central Government scheme in 2016. But, it is tough for them to lead this type of life.”
Bhakta claimed, “If there is double engine government after May 2, then our effort to bring these villagers in the mainstream will be easier. We will have proper rehabilitation for these people from the central government.”