Skip to main content

Dalit villagers' crop destroyed: 'Security forces, Bangla infiltrators responsible'

By Our Representative 

A senior human rights leader, in a representation to the National Commission For Scheduled Castes chairperson, has drawn its attention "over pathetic situation" of farmers living in the Mahishmri village, Sitalkuchi block of Cooch Behar district, off the India-Bangladesh border, saying, they have lost standing crop worth Rs 1.25 lakh because of the restrictions imposed by the Border Security Force on reaching their farms.
Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), said, "Not only the standing crop, the Bangladeshi intruders vandized 13 shallow systems  used to irrigate more the lands."
The complaint said, "All the farmers belong to the schedule caste community. They have agrarian land measuring around 215 acres, which is surrounded by the border fence. Around 120 families of this village are totally dependent on this mentioned land, as agriculture is the only source of living."
"The land could be approached and reached through the Gate No 10 of Kamol Border Outpost of 157 Border Security Force Battalion. The land is fertile and yield thrice in a year. As the high yielding lands demand greater agrarian attention, they also require visit of the farmers and agrarian labourers thrice a day", it added.
However, Roy regretted, "The posted BSF at the mentioned gate arbitrarily open and close the gate according to their whims between 7-8 in morning, 12-1 during noon and 4-5 during evening. Compounding the difficulty, Bangladeshi cattle often graze the standing crops, and the posted BSF personnel only witness the loss without any intervention."
According to Roy, "The farmers of the village made several requests to BSF for protection of their crops. Due to this continuous crop loss, two months back, an altercation broke between Indian and Bangladeshi residents. On April 20, 2024, revengeful Bangladeshi residents illegally entered the Indian soil and sprayed poison on standing boro paddy in two acres of land. The yield was totally destroyed by this act." 
Some of the affected farmers
Roy said, "The farmers owning this 37 acres of land failed to irrigate boro paddy due to absence of
 shallows and faced crop loss. The vandalization of shallows resulted in a loss of Rs 1.30 lakh, ten thousand rupees per shallow."
He further said, "While this incident was informed to the Company Commander of Kamol BOP of 157 Battalion of BSF Ratan Sarkar, he met his Bangladeshi counterpart in a Flag Meeting on April 24, 2024, but refused to divulge the decisions and topics of the meeting to the villagers. He even advised to the villagers that they have to live amicably with the Bangladeshis."
Worse, asserted Roy, the BSF official  "cautioned the villagers on making any complaints to any departments/ agencies. He said if the villagers defied his diktat and make any complaints to any authority, then they will be restricted to visit their lands, which is surrounded by the border fence."
The complaint continued, "The farmers  discussed the issue with local Member of Assembly Baren Barman, who advised the villagers to make complaints before the respective Block Development Officer and Sub Divisional Officer."
"On April  26, 2024, the farmers went to the Sitalkuchi Police Station to submit a written complaint, at first instance. The Officer in Charge refused to accept the complaint but after prolonged persuasion, though he accepted the complaint but refused to provide a receipt copy of the complaint", it added.
On April 26, 2024, Roy said, "The villagers met the respective BDO and informed him about their loss; he asked the villagers to make written complaint, and after making the same, he assured the villagers that he will investigate the allegation. Villagers subsequently submitted a written and mass memorandum to the respective BDO, SDO and Agricultural Officer, but till date no corrective measures has been taken."
He demanded penal action against respective posted border guards of the Kamol Border Outpost of 157 Border Security Force Battalion and the Officer in Charge of Sitalkuchi Police Station in Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989. He also insisted that "BSF must stop illegal and arbitrary restriction on movements of  citizens."

Comments

TRENDING

Lip-service on World Environment Day vs 'watered-down' eco-safeguards

By Shankar Sharma*  Just a few days ago, the world remembered the routinely forgotten global environment on the occasion of World Environment Day, briefly though, maybe just for the day. There were reports of a few high profile ceremonies in different parts of the country, including a few in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly asked the people of our country to plant one tree per each person as a mark of respect/ gratitude for our mothers.

New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

Pellet gun fire severely injures Dalit worker off Bangladesh border

By Kirity Roy*  This is regarding an incident of firing pellets by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel attached with Panchadoji Border Outpost of ‘E’ Company of 90 BSF Battalion on a Schedule Caste youth of village Parmananda under Dinhata Police Station of Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. The victim was severely injured and one portion of his face became disfigured due to pellet firing by the BSF.

Sanction to persecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA politically motivated: PUCL

Counterview Network  Top human rights group, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, has demanded that the authorities should immediately withdraw the prosecution against top author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a Kashmir academic, under the " unconstitutional"  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA), calling the Delhi  Lieutenant-Governor nod for the Delhi police move "politically motivated".

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. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

What stops Kavach? Why no time to focus on common trains meant for common people?

By Atanu Roy  A goods train rammed into Kanchenjunga Express on 17th June morning in North Bengal. This could have been averted if the time tested anti-collision system (Kavach) was in place.