Indians Protests Border Fence with Bangladesh

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Residents in northeastern India are protesting the building of a fence along the border with Bangladesh. The fencing is being used to stop militants and smugglers crossing the border but has also displaced more than eight thousand families.

Thousands of Indian families have been cut off from their homes and land by barbed wire.

Fencing along the international border between India and Bangladesh has been put up to check movement of militants and other smugglers between the two countries.

But for Indian families that lived on the Bangladesh side of the fence, they now have nothing.

Many of them are protesting here in Agartala, Tripura state's provincial capital.

Demonstrators clashed with police before protesting in front of Governor House.

[Subal Bhowmick, Land Committee President]: (Bengali)male
"We have gathered here to protest against the displacement of people from their land due to border fencing and other reasons. Today's protest is a part of court arrest and civil disobedience and we demand for proper rehabilitation of all those who have been displaced and it is a part of our 19 charter of demands."

A committee established to help protect the land along the border wants a list those of who have been displaced, along with jobs in government, and alternative land provided for them.

But the committee is concerned that the Tripura government was least bothered about the problems of the displaced families.

[Hassan Ullah, Displaced Farmer]:
"My house, arable land, ponds and all my other belongings have fallen on the other side of the fence. We have gathered to protest against this. Here we are also participating in the civil disobedience movement."

Similar fencing is being built on the Indo-Bangla border in the states of West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram.