Govt of India ‘fails to provide’ livelihood to Bangladeshis resettled under 2015 accord
An apartment building for resettlers
By Our Representative
Claimed to have been brought from Bangladesh under the 2015 Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh, currently residing in two room apartments at Dinhata village-1 under Fakirtari Gram Panchayat, Cooch Behar district, a complaint filed by a senior human rights leader with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairman has said even seven years later the livelihood issues of some 58 families remains resolved.
The 58 families, consisting of 246 people, were brought to India as part of the exchange of erstwhile enclaves between both the countries. On November 24, 2015, these people were taken by bus and kept in temporary settlement camps at Dinhata Krishimela, Kirity Roy, who heads two NGOs, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) and Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI), said.
The temporary settlement camp was not fit for human habitation in dearth of jobs, foods, cloths and other basic necessities of life. Though each family was granted one 10/10 feet tin-roofed house with one electric bulb and drinking water facilities, several people from the camp were forced to leave the camp to different states as migrated labour, said Roy.
This happened even though, said Roy, it was mentioned in the Land Boundary Agreement that the livelihood issues of these people will be taken care of by the Indian government. The situation got worse, as the ration given to them was not sufficient for a family, and these people had no way to earn an income, one reason why most of them started work as land labour and some of them migrated to other states.
The situation became so bad in the temporary settlement camp that several people — Puti Burman, Samsul Haque, Binod Chandra Roy, Dhirendra Chandra Burman and Anila Burman — “died without proper medical treatment”.
On September 13, 2020, these persons were provided with apartments at Dinhata village-1 under Dinhata Sub-Division and Police Station where they were finally settled. However, some families having more members failed to get accommodation.
Only some of the members of the family were given apartments, whereas others have to live outside, in shack-like structures made with plastic in the open field, said Roy, adding, these families are provided with flat residence despite the fact that they traditionally used to keep cows, goats, and ducks, catch fish, and grow vegetables.
Worse, the flats provided to them are in bad condition. Cracks in the walls of the flats are open. The district administration of Cooch Behar has not issued any documents to these persons so that they could substantiate their ownership rights.
A Parliamentary standing committee report led by Sashi Tharoor, MP, recommended in that an Indian citizen who return from Indian enclave situated in Bangladesh should be provided compensation and rehabilitation by the Central government, yet, no compensation has provided to these people. \
In August 2022, those residing in the Dinhata Permanent Rehabilitation Centre submitted a mass deputation before the Cooch Behar district administration, but till date no positive action has been taken by the concerned authorities, complained Roy.
Courtesy : Counterview
Note: This news piece was originally published in counterview.com and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights .
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