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These 36 families have no identity!

August 22, 2008 09:20 IST

For over 200 people living in villages on the border between India and Bangladesh in Assam's Karimganj district life is hard as they belong to no country.

Neither India nor Bangladesh recognise the 36 families living in Maleghar, Pararchowk and Niyamura villages in a virtual no man's land as their own citizens, exposing them to a lot of harassment.

The villages fall within 150 metres of the Indo-Bangla border which is a disputed area.

Azizur Rehman, one of the villagers, told this correspondent at Maleghar, about 29 km from Karimganj, that they have to take permission from the BSF to enter India for earning their living.

"We have to take permission from the Border Security Force and they allow us to enter and stay in India from six am to six pm," he said. The Bangladesh Rifles does not even allow them to enter its country, leaving them in a strange situation.

The villagers have been agitating for a fairly long time and have petitioned the Karimganj district deputy commissioner to end their predicament, but to no avail," he despaired.

BSF sources said they sympathise with the villagers' plight and offer cooperation to run their households.

"Even we keep open the border gates beyond six pm if any of the villagers was taken ill and allow them to go for treatment," a BSF official posted in the border said.

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