Dhaka prevents ‘trafficking’ of 21 to India

June 4th, 2008 - 2:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, June 4 (IANS) Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), the country’s border police, prevented 21 nationals from being ‘trafficked’ to India on the promise of jobs, a media report said Wednesday. Acting on a tip-off, a BDR team went to Shaheb Nagar near Godagari border in Rajshahi zone and found a group of 21 people waiting there to cross the border, The Daily Star newspaper said.

They included men, women and children, in the age group of 1-60 years.

Halima Begum, 60, told the BDR officials that a trafficker brought them from village Kochubunia in Bagerhat district, promising jobs in India.

She could not tell the name of the trafficker.

BDR could not arrest the trafficker as he fled the scene, sensing the presence of the border guards.

When contacted, BDR Rajshahi zone confirmed the news.

India’s home ministry claims that thousands of Bangladeshis cross over the international border looking for jobs and settle down illegally. Bangladesh denies it and has refused to accept people deported by Indian authorities.

Trafficking, or smuggling of humans, cattle and goods is a regular occurrence along the porous 4,300 km India-Bangladesh border and a source of tension between the South Asian neighbours.

Frequent media reports allege that ‘innocent’ Bangladeshi nationals are shot at by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF).

A recent observation by Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty that the BSF was trying to prevent illegal movement and targeted criminals wanting to cross over was criticised by sections of the media on the ground that the Indian force was arrogating to itself the task of judging the illegal entrants, which was the job of a court.

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