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Parties’ scan on Bangla border

The villagers had alleged that their rights were being infringed upon because of a drop gate of the force at the entry point of the village

By Soumya De Sarkar in Malda
  • Published 31.01.20, 1:19 AM
  • Updated 31.01.20, 1:19 AM
  • a min read
A stretch of Milik-Sultanpur. Picture by Soumya De Sarkar

Milik-Sultanpur, an otherwise nondescript village in Malda with 1500-odd residents, has emerged as the new topic of discussions in political circles in the district.

The village near the Bangladesh border has drawn attention of political parties after The Telegraph came up with a report on the problems of the residents.

The villagers, who are under round-the-clock surveillance of the BSF, had alleged that their rights were being infringed upon because of a drop gate of the force at the entry point of the village. Whenever they enter or leave the village, they have to cross the drop gate and even carrying essential commodities home is dependent on the nod of the men in uniform.

The report made CPM politburo member Mohammad Salim visit the village on January 28. “The BSF should take action against smugglers and prevent infiltration. But their activities should not result in harassment of common people and curtailment of freedom granted by the Constitution,” Salim said during the visit.

District BJP leaders, however, said the CPM leader had visited Milik-Sultanpur with a political motive. “There is neither a detention camp nor a detention camp-like situation. Some sections are trying to fan rumours. The CPM leader should refrain from creating any sensation. Such visits to reap political dividend is unfortunate,” Malda North BJP MP Khagen Murmu said.

The Congress hinted that it would raise the issue at the right forum.

“District Congress leaders have been asked to send a delegation comprising local MP and MLAs to the village that is in Kaliachak 3 block of Malda. After their visit, Malda South MP Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury will hold a discussion with state Congress leaders and raise the issue in Parliament,” said Abdus Sattar, a state secretary of the Congress.

Mausam Benazir Noor, the district Trinamul chief, said: “The BSF is supposed to perform their duties and responsibilities. But that should not come in the way of freedom of villagers. We don’t want the issue to be politicised and instead, their problem should be solved.”