Ferrying of passengers at the Bangladeshi Char (Shoal) villages on the river Padma through boats has been suspended from last Saturday due to protests since the Indian Border Security Force (BSF).
The BSF through a letter sent to BGB has prohibited the movement of boats through the frontier areas of the river. After receiving the letter from BSF, BGB has imposed a stringent measure in boat and river transport movement on the river Padma at Godagari, Paba, Charghat and Bagaha Upazilas to avoid any untoward incident.
The movement of boats has been completely suspended in some places. As a result, thousands of people living at the Char villages, specially, sufferings of people of Char Khidirpur, Taranagar and Nabi Nagar of Paba upazila and Char Asriadaha and Diar Manikchar villages under Godagari upazila knew no bounds. Boat communication through these villages remained suspended from Saturday last.
People living at the frontier villages informed, after the brief incident of exchange of fire between BSF and the BGB at the confluence of Boral and the Padma river near Charghat frontier in October last year and death of a BSF member in the fire, BSF started a strict vigilance through Rajshahi border. On January-30, BSF members entered into the Bangladeshi territory and caught five Bangladeshi fishermen before taking them to Indian territory.
Alamgir Hossain, a boatman who ferry passengers daily to Char Khidirpur of Paba upazila informed, his house is at Char Khidirpur village. Due to erosion of the river, many areas of Char Taranagar village has been eroded and some frontier demarcation pillars have also been devoured in the river. Some part of the river has entered into the Indian territory.
As a result, the boatmen used to ferry though that Indian part of river to reach the char village in Bangladesh which the BSF did not protest so far. But, from last Saturday, BGB asked them not to ferry the boats through the water to reach the village. Due to such a situation, the char villagers of Bangladesh have no way to reach the Bangladeshi town of Rajshahi by crossing that part of the river.
Lieutenant Colonel Ferdous Ziauddin Mahmud, Commander of BGB, Rajshahi-1 battalion informed, BSF through a letter informed BGB that the ferry boats of Bangladesh were crossing through very close to the BSF camps and they (BSF) will not allow any boat or river-vehicle of Bangladesh to cross through Indian water territory.
That is why the precautionary measure has been taken to the movement of river transport. BGB does not want that any untoward incident evolves centring crossing of the Bangladeshi river-vehicles through the area. BGB was trying to resolve the problem as soon as possible.