Fresh tensions gripped Nongkhen village on the Indo-Bangla border under Meghalaya sector after Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) displayed a ‘Red Flag’ to prevent Indian villagers from ploughing their cultivable land.
There was perceptible apprehension prevailing in the village as the villagers feared the repetition of BDR intrusion in Pyrdiwah village, which is 35 Km east of Nongkhen.
“We are getting worried with BDR displaying the Red Flag in our cultivable land,” Sparly Dhar, a villager said.
But interestingly, the Border Security Force (BSF) denied of BDR erecting a ‘Red Flag’ in Nongkhen, despite the fact that reporters captured the ‘Red Flag’ on camera. “There was no Red Flag, these are routine problems all along the Indo-Bangla border and there is nothing sensational,” BSF Spokesman Ravi Gandhi said.
“Displaying of the Red Flag is to warn us (Indian villagers) not to plough the field,” Dhar said, expressing concerns on ‘BDR’s interference inside Indian territory’. “No one understand what is going in the border, the BDR is objecting us for using power tillers in our own land and commanded us to plough our land with bullocks.”
Last month, Bangladeshi nationals had trespassed Nongkhen village, an “adverse possession” of India under the security cover of BDR and started tilling the land.
Although, the BSF and BDR held several rounds of flag meeting to defuse the tense situation and agreed to maintain status quo on Nongkhen, the BDR continues to create tension by chasing away Indian farmers.
“We don’t know for how long this kind of tense situation would continue in our area. We are more worried especially with the BSF downplaying the situation. We have stayed here for years and we know what is going on in the border,” a village elder in Dawki area said.
Infact, Meghalaya Governor RS Mooshahary had termed these periodical incursions by BDR into Indian territory as a “pressure tactic’’ of Bangladesh to force India to urgently solve the vexed issues of adversely possessed areas and enclaves.