Silchar, Sept. 12: The Cachar district administration last night clamped a nine-hour curfew, which will be in place every day for two months, in the wake of “reports that extremist elements in Bangladesh are likely to cross over with a view to creating a law and order situation there”.
In an official circular issued here yesterday, Cachar district magistrate G.M. Hazarika invoked the provisions under Section 144 CrPC to promulgate prohibitory orders which also sought to curb smuggling of commodities and cattle across the district’s 36km border with Bangladesh.
The district magistrate has also made it clear that this order is also aimed at foiling attempts by “infiltrators” from Bangladesh to sneak into south Assam’s Cachar district.
In the order, Hazarika clarified that night curfew would aim at banning movement of individuals or groups every night within a radius of 1km along the Indo-Bangladesh border in the district.
The order has also pointed out that plying of boats on Surma river, which flows between India and Bangladesh through Cachar district, during night time would be allowed only for those fishermen who have passes issued by Khelada Sultana, the circle officer of Kathigorah block in Cachar district,
Though night curfew along the district’s border with Bangladesh has been prevalent for the past three years, what has added a new dimension to prohibitory orders this time is the reference to “extremist elements” who might try to sneak in and create law and order problems in the district.
BSF sources today confirmed that its 142 battalion, based at Borkhola in Cachar district, has been put on alert.
A document compiled by the BSF has revealed that as many as 196 Bangladeshi nationals were caught by its patrolling teams from the border areas in Cachar and Karimganj since 2008.
In the meantime, an AGP delegation, including three former ministers — Utpal Dutta, Ramendra Narayan Kalita and Nurul Hossain — was at first debarred from visiting the Indo-Bangladesh border in Karimganj district but subsequently allowed to inspect it yesterday.
The team is taking stock of the border situation, which is plagued by infiltration and cross-border smuggling.