The geographical divide between Bangladesh and India barely changes the relationship for those living in Chanduria in Kolaroa Upazila of Satkhira district of Bangladesh and those living by the Pandaria border in Gorjola village of Gaighata thana in Uttar Chobbish Pargana district of West Bengal, India. Almost regularly, they cross the borders to visit each other. If there are any religious, social or cultural festivals in India or Bangladesh, they all participate. During such occasions, security personnel guarding the frontiers look away in exchange for money. If anyone refuses to give money, they capture and hand them over to the police station. Chanduria border of Bangladesh and Pandaria border of India are divided by the River Ichhamoti. Even though there is a barbed wire fence at India’s Pandaria border, there are places that are not fenced and people can pass through.
On December 19, 2012 at around 1:30am members of the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) detained a minor named Shafikul (14) from Chanduria border of Kolaroa upazila in Satkhira district of Bangladesh.
Shafikul’s family and eyewitnesses informed that on December 18, 2012 at around 7:30pm, Shafikul and a few other locals crossed the Chanduria border of Bangladesh to see a play in India’s Gorjola village. On December 19, 2012, at around 1:00am, the group was returning to Bangladesh from India after seeing the play. Thinking that they were cattle traders, the BSF members at the time began chasing them. When they were close to the border Shafikul’s leg slipped into a small piddle. BSF members caught him and took him away. According to the latest information Shafikul has come back to Bangladesh on January 28, 2013 from India’s Dhoba Asram on bail.
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