12 people including 7 children are stuck at the Indo-Bangladesh border for 5 days now even as the Border Security Force and Border Guard Bangladesh fight it out over their national identity.
India claims they are Bangladeshi but the Border Guard Bangladesh has refused to accept them. The group includes 60-year-old Kulsum Bibi and children aged 2, 3, 4, 9, 12 and 14. 22-year-old Moinuddin is the only male in the group stuck at Miyapara village, 25 km from Agartala in Tripura.
BSF says the group was spotted near Border Pillar No. 2039/12-S on the Indo-Bangla border on July 11.
"During enquiry by BSF party, they revealed that they all are resident of Cumilla district in Bangladesh. They also gave their names," BSF PRO Tripura Frontier said.
Border Guard Bangladesh -- the Bangladeshi counterpart of BSF -- has refused to accept the group since they didn't carry any document proving their nationality. A company commander level meeting at the border outpost on July 11 failed to resolve the matter.
On July 14, Battalion Commander Level Flag meeting was held on the issue but did not lead to any resolution.
"During the meeting BSF handed over supporting documents as evidence proving the identity of above 12 stranded Bangladeshi nationals like their photographs, home address, family tree chart and one CD containing voice and videos conversation between Kulsum Bibi with her son, who is residing in Bangladesh. But, still BGB did not respond with some positive outcome," BSF said.
Indian officials claim that when Kulsum Bibi's son came to the border on Bangladesh side to speak to her, there was no doubt left about the nationality of the group.
Convention so far has been to accept women and children if their nationality is ascertained but in this case BGB has refused to play ball. BSF officials say they are providing food and shelter to the stranded group but the matter could escalate if BGB continues to play hard ball.