Tripura: A mentally-challenged Bangladeshi has been pushed into India by people from the neighbouring country, triggering panic among residents of Dashamighat and neighbouring villages in South Tripura district in view of the coronavirus outbreak, police said on Saturday.
"The mentally-challenged person was handed over to the police in Sabroom early on Saturday. He has been sent to a quarantine facility and his samples will be tested for COVID-19," Superintendent of Police Jal Singh Meena said.
The man was pushed into India by a group of Bangladeshis with support from Border Guards Bangladesh in Ramgarh area in Chittagong division, a police officer said.
BSF officials handed him over to Tripura Police after two flag meetings between the border forces of the two countries ended inconclusively, he said.
Inspector General of BSF, Tripura Frontier, Solomon Meenz along with top BSF officials including DIG South Sector, Jameel Ahmed and spokesperson C L Belwa visited Dashamighat and adjacent villages on the banks of River Feni and spoke with the local residents, he said.
Septuagenarian Swapan Chowdhury of Dashamighat village first spotted the middle-aged Bangladeshi entering India by crossing the river on Friday afternoon and informed the BSF, the officer said.
"The BSF personnel asked the man to return but a group of Bangladeshis warned him of dire consequences if he came back," Chowdhury said.
District Magistrate Debapriya Bardhan said the identity of the man is yet to be ascertained.
A BSF spokesperson said there is a pattern of pushing mentally-challenged Bangladeshis into India through the unfenced portion of the border.
Tripura shares an 856-km border with Bangladesh, of which about 67 km is unfenced, he said.
At least 18 mentally-challenged persons from Bangladesh are being treated at Agartala's Modern Psychiatric Hospital.
Such persons are handed over to Bangladesh from time to time after their recovery, Dr Jyotirmoy Ghosh of the hospital said.
One such patient, Bithi Akhter, was handed over to her family in Bangladesh after being treated for eight years in Tripura, he said.