Skip to main content

Indo-Bangla border: Farmers facing 'illegal obstacles' in harvesting, transporting yields

Counterview Desk 
In a representation to the chairperson, National Human Rights Commission, human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), has said that Border Security Force (BSF) personnel are creating "illegal obstacles" for farmers seeking to harvest their ripened yields and transport them to the market in village Jhaukuthi of Cooch Behar district.
When an affected farmer complained to district officials, including polic, the BSF Company Commander made visits at his shop and terrorized him of physical harms and threatened him to implicate him in false criminal cases. He even threatened the farmer by saying that he will not permit to bring the onion sprouts to market, and he could contact anybody, but this was not going to help.


I wish to draw your attention over an incident of highhandedness and illegal obstacle created by Border Security Force personnel to harvest the ripened yields, then transport them to market/ house. Mr. Aziz Fakir, son of Mr. Kepatulla Fakir, and Mr. Sajahan Fakir, son of Mr. Kepatulla Fakir, of village Jhaukuthi of Balabhut Gram Panchayat under Toofangung I Block of Cooch Behar district have cultivated onion in their .66 acre of agrarian land which is situated at the other side of the border fence. 
At the time of cultivation, they priorly informed and took permission of the Talai Border Outpost of “F’ Company of 14 BSF Battalion. While the above-mentioned persons visited the BSF Company Commander of Jhaukuthi BOP, Mr. Dida Ram, on 01.03.2024, to take permission to harvest the onion sprouts from their agrarian lands having dag numbers 941and 762 and khatian number 420/1 and 5014 and bring the yields to market for sell, the said Company Commander told them that he will visit the land and then only provide the permission. On 03.03.2024, the farmers again visited the mentioned BOP but the Company Commander did not pay any heed. 
After that Mr. Samsheuddin Karmakar; the husband of Gram Panchayet Member; Ms. Aswiya Bibi visited the BOP with same purpose but he was driven out from the BOP with a caution for not to visit the BOP with this purpose. Mr. Samsheuddin Karmakar while visited the mentioned fields, found that two sacks of onion sprouts were confiscated at the Jhaukuthi ‘Four Alfa’ BSF outpost while the farmers tried to bring it to the market. 
The two sacks consisting around 120 kilograms of onion sprouts were lying at the river bank for 7 days and getting rotten. Then while Mr. Aziz Fakir, the affected farmer, visited the mentioned Company Commander on 04.03.2024, Mr. Fakir was driven out with threats and humiliations. Mr. Saji P.N, one BSF personnel attached with ‘G’ Branch, even accused the farmer by saying that the onion sprouts are being smuggled in from Bangladesh as he has not cultivated the yields, so the permission for transport would not be given.
While Mr. Samsheuddin Karmakar; the husband of Gram Panchayet Member, Ms. Aswiya Bibi, accompanied the farmers to brought the onion sprouts to the BSF outpost, they were restricted by the posted BSF personnel and when he tried to discuss the matter with Mr. Dida Ram, the Company Commander, Mr. Samsheuddin Karmakar was forced to go away. Mr. Aftar Byapari, Prodhan of Balabhut Gram Panchayat, contacted Mr. Dida Ram, the Company Commander, to resolve the issue but Mr. Dida Ram did not pay any heed to his request.
Then the aggrieved farmers made written submissions to the Sub Divisional Officer, Toofangunj, the Block Development Officer of Toofangunj Block I and Officer in Charge of Toofangunj Police Station. The Block Development Officer of Toofangunj I Block sent a notice to the Assistant Commandant of Madhya Jhaukuthi BOP on 06.03.2024 to resolve the issue but the arrogant BSF personnel has not taken any corrective measure.
Mr. Dida Ram, the Company Commander, made visits to Mr. Aziz Fakir at his shop and terrorized him of physical harms and implicating Mr. Fakir in false criminal cases. He even threatened Mr. Fakir by saying that he will not permit to bring the onion sprouts to market while Mr. Fakir can contact anybody, none could deter him from his decision.
Hence, I demand for:
  • Immediate stop of this illegal act of BSF to harass the farmers and facilitate the harvest of their yields and subsequent transport of produce to market.
  • Mr. Dida Ram, the Company Commander, and Mr. Saji P.N of ‘G’ Company must be booked for denying constitutional rights under appropriate legal provisions.
  • The aggrieved farmers must be compensated for financial loss they incurred due to these illegal acts of BSF personnel.



What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site The article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

Indians witnessing 'regression to Hindutva politics' under Modi ahead of elections

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The forthcoming general election in India, scheduled from April 19, 2024, to June 1, 2024, to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha and the new Government of India, carries immense significance for the preservation of India's identity as a liberal, secular, and constitutional democracy.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.