Agartala: Tension prevailed since Wednesday along the India-Bangladesh border in Tripura as Bangladeshi nationals, accompanied by border guards, prevented Indian farmers from  cultivating their lands, officials said Thursday.

“When a group of farmers Wednesday went to cultivate their lands at Mohanpur village in Tripura, Bangladeshi nationals along with the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) jawans prevented them from doing so,” a North Tripura district administration official told reporters here.

Border Security Force (BSF) troopers rushed to the spot, 145 km north of Agartala, and protested the intervention of the BGB personnel.

“Subsequently, the Bangladeshi nationals were dispersed by the BGB troopers, following the protests by the BSF,” the official said, adding that such border incidents often take place in various parts of India-Bangladesh border.

BSF’s chief spokesman Bhaskar Rawat told IANS: “We have asked the BGB officials to maintain status quo along the 1.2 km stretch of the bordering village till the survey officials of the two countries demarcate the areas. The controversy erupted after the Dhalai river changed its course.”

“Border pillars along the disputed areas were also either damaged or are missing due to the change of the river’s flow, which now runs along the borders,” the BSF official added.

There are paddy fields, rubber gardens and other cultivable lands  on the other side of the Indian border as, according to international norms, the barbed wire fencing was erected 150 yards from the zero line along the India-Bangladesh border.

The Indian villagers, after taking permission from the BSF, go every day to their fields and gardens across the fence through specified gates, which are operated by the BSF for notified periods.

Tripura shares an 856-km border with Bangladesh and some parts of the border area remain unfenced. The mountainous terrain and dense forests make the border porous and vulnerable to illegal migrants and intruders crossing over.

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