Nasreen was apprehended on Wednesday by troops of the 68Bn Border Security Force (BSF) in the North 24-Parganas district of West Bengal…reports Asian Lite News
They slip in through the porous Indo-Bangladesh border along West Bengal and then spread across the country, working as maids, rickshaw pullers, labourers, rag pickers and even bar dancers and sex workers. For many, luck runs out when they attempt to get back home with their earnings. Nasreen Khatoon (41) is one such Bangladeshi whose luck ran out after having spent 18 years in India.
Nasreen was apprehended on Wednesday by troops of the 68Bn Border Security Force (BSF) in the North 24-Parganas district of West Bengal. She was carrying 233.71 grams of gold ornaments and 191.94 grams of silver jewellery when nabbed. She is no smuggler.
This was her earnings over the last 18 years that she had converted to gold and silver ornaments, believing that they would be easier to carry across the International Boundary (IB) than hard cash. The BSF estimates that the value of the gold and silver is Rs 9.25 lakh.
“Nasreen hails from the Peroli village in Jessore, Bangladesh. She told interrogators that she entered India illegally 18 years ago and started working as a maid in Bhiwandi, Maharshtra. She converted whatever she earned over the last 18 years to gold and silver ornaments and now wanted to return home. We do not think that she is a smuggler. However, she doesn’t have documents for the gold and silver and was trying to cross over illegally. We had to hand her over to the Bagdah police station,” a senior BSF official said.
Though the Bangladesh government is in denial and maintains that no citizen of theirs sneak into India in search of a better livelihood, hundreds of such people are being apprehended by the BSF along the IB and handed back to Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) as a goodwill gesture. Even on the intervening night of Tuesday/Wednesday, troops of the 68Bn nabbed 6 Bangladeshis attempting to leave India. Three of them were handed over to the BGB while the remaining have been sent to the Bagdah police station for further checks.
“When it comes to people attempting to enter India illegally, we hand them over to the BGB as a gesture of goodwill. However, we need to be careful about illegal immigrants attempting to leave the country for Bangladesh. Some of them could be involved in criminal activities. We take no risks. Only those whose backgrounds can be checked and are found to be clean are handed over to the BGB. The remaining are sent to the police station for further inquiry,” the BSF official said.
According to Yogendra, CO, 68Bn BSF, all of those apprehended are criminals as they entered or attempted to enter India without valid documents. “However, it is on the basis of the seriousness of their offence that a decision is taken on whether to hand them over to the BGB or charge them under Indian laws,” he said.