1500 Hindus, Buddhists flee Bangladesh, camping in Tripura

Reports from Tripura’s border with Bangladesh indicated that a wave of Hindus and Tribals fled Bangladesh in the past week, due to violence from Bangladesh’s Islamist Opposition party.

The Indian government was in touch with Bangladesh over the exodus of more than 1,500 tribals to the Indian border along Tripura seeking refuge after ethnic strife broke out with non-tribal Muslims, official sources said Sunday.

The Bangladesh government has informed India that according to their reports, the situation is under control and there has been no fresh exodus, said an official source.

The Border Security Force and the Border Guards Bangladesh are coordinating on the matter, the source added.

BSF Deputy Inspector General Bhaskar Rawat confirmed to Media  in Agartala that over 1,500 men, women and children of Chakma and Tripuri tribes have taken shelter in the border village at Karbook after fleeing from five villages in Khagrachari district in Bangladesh.

“The tribals entered Indian territory on Saturday evening after ethnic troubles in Bangladesh. They were stopped at the border by the BSF. We are providing them food and other assistance,” Rawat said.

The tribals, mostly Buddhists and Hindus, fled the Chittagong Hill Tracts after clashes over the reported abduction of a local leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the main opposition in Bangladesh led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia.

An official of the Tripura home department said the state government has informed the home ministry about the development.

“At least one tribal villager was killed, four tribals were seriously injured and about 500 tribal houses were burnt to ashes,” Delhi-based rights group, Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) director Suhas Chakma said in a press release.

Additional troopers of the BSF have been deployed along the India-Bangladesh border to deal with the situation.

“The villagers have been insisting that officials of the Bangladesh government and BGB (Border Guard Bangladesh) should talk to them,” Rawat said.

It may be recalled that in 1986, over 74,000 tribals – mostly Buddhist Chakmas – took shelter in southern Tripura following violent attacks on thousands of tribals by non-tribals.

All the 74,000 refugees had returned to their homes in 1997-98.

Tripura shares an 856-km border with Bangladesh, which is porous because it extends over mountains that are densely forested. Most parts of the border have been fenced.

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Posted by on August 6, 2013. Filed under Breaking News,NORTH EAST,Tripura. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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