BSF stops 250 Chakmas fleeing to Tripura after violence
AGARTALA: The Border Security Force (BSF) and their Bangladeshi counterpart, the Bangladesh Border Guards (BBG), thwarted an attempt of influx of Chakma tribals on Sunday through the southern border of Tripura.
BSF officials said about 250 Chakma tribals from Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) in Bangladesh had assembled at Silachari border outpost about 200 metres from the remote south-eastern border of Tripura on Saturday demanding the guards open the gate and allow them to enter Indian territory on the grounds that they were apprehending communal violence. The Chakma villagers hailed from Masterpara and Kadamtala village under Khagricherri district of Southern Bangladesh.
“The Chakma villagers, including women, children and old people, assembled at the border outpost around 9pm on Saturday night and tried to pursue the guards to open the gates and let them take asylum in Tripura alleging that non-tribal Muslims were planning to attack them. The BSF jawans, puzzled by the incident, did not allow them to enter Indian territory. Rather, they provided them food and water, keeping them outside the fence, and increased security at the border,” said a senior BSF official.
The villagers said that Muslims in their area, irked after a robbery attempt by some local tribal youths, had allegedly threatened the Chakma villagers. Apprehending an attack, the villagers ran to the border and tried to take shelter in India.
Meanwhile, BBG personnel took the Chakmas back to their villages this morning assuring security following a request from the BSF. The situation is reportedly is under control.
Tripura had accommodated about 20,000 Chakma refugees from CHT about two decades ago.
The Border Security Force (BSF) has foiled an attempt by over 250 Chakma tribals, including women and children, from Bangladesh to enter India after their homes were attacked, an officer said Sunday.
The BSF troopers have provided food and drinking water to these Chakma tribals, who gathered Saturday night opposite the border Silachari village in south Tripura, 225 km southeast of here.
“The tribals, belonged to Buddhist Chakma tribes, fled from their homes in Chittagong Hill Tracts in southeast Bangladesh after they were attacked by the non-tribals since Friday,” a BSF officer told IANS on condition of anonymity.
He said that the troopers of the Border Guard Bangladesh have been persuading the tribals to return their homes.
In 1986, over 74,000 tribals, mostly Buddhist Chakmas, had sheltered in India’s southern Tripura following the violent attacks on thousands of tribals by the non-tribals.
Demanding a sovereign status for the tribals in Chittagong Hill Tracts, separatist outfit Shanti Bahini had waged a bloody guerrilla warfare against the Bangladesh government.
All the 74,000 refugees had returned to their homes in in 1997-1998 after the Bangladesh government had signed a peace agreement with the Shanti Bahini.