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Jawans clash with villagers

Agartala, Feb. 27: Tension soared in the Boxanagar area of Sonamura subdivision in Tripura after a clash between BSF jawans and villagers last evening left 11 people, including two security personnel, injured.

Senior BSF officials from the headquarters in Shabagan here have rushed to the spot and police said the situation was tense but under control.

The officer-in-charge of Boxanagar police station, Amal Chakraborty, today said a youth, Suman Mia, 25, was riding his motorcycle on the road near the Indo-Bangladesh border pillar number S-2050 in Ashabari around 5 last evening, when a BSF jawan Abdul Ahad Meer of the Ashabari border outpost stopped him and demanded to see his identity card.

This soon led to a heated exchange of words between Mia, Meer and another jawan, Rabindra Pradhan.

Subsequently, Mia’s relatives and other villagers rushed to the spot and a scuffle ensued. Chakraborty said the two BSF jawans were injured in the incident and they rushed back to the border outpost.

After reaching the outpost, they told their colleagues what had happened, according to the police officer.

Later, nearly 32 BSF jawans went to Ashabari village and allegedly beat up some residents.

Even though most of them allegedly crossed the border and took shelter in nearby Bangladesh villages, Harun Rashid, Jubeda Khatun, Meenu Rani Das, Raquib Hossain, Kamal Hossain, who were seriously injured, were shifted to GB Hospital here.

Six other villagers were released after being administered first-aid at Boxanagar primary health centre.

“The BSF have filed an FIR against the villagers claiming their jawans were attacked. We are investigating the matter. No case has so far been filed by the villagers,” Chakraborty said.

He said 300 metres of the border were yet to be fenced and this corridor was allegedly being used for smuggling. “It is difficult to say who did what but the demand to see the identity cards of people moving close to the border is part of BSF duty and Mia and his relatives may have overreacted to the jawans’ demand.”

Such problems are likely to occur occasionally till the entire 856km-long international border was properly fenced, he added.

Sources in the BSF could not be contacted for comment on the issue.


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