Bangladesh is keen to set up a border ‘haat’ (market) on its international border with India and to study its feasibility and functioning as well as to discuss various border related issues, a team from Bangladesh is on a 3-day visit to Assam’s Dhubri district.

The team from Bangladesh, which arrived at Dhubri on Sunday evening, had discussions on various issues including cattle and drug smuggling and illegal infiltration during a DC-DM level meeting organized at Dhubri on Monday.

The meeting was held at the conference hall of deputy commissioner of Dhubri on Monday.

A 10-member team from Bangladesh led by Sultana Pervin, DC and DM of Kurigram district of Bangladesh, SP of Kurigram Md Mohibul Islam Khan, additional DM of Kurigram, Jilufa Sultana and a host of other dignitaries from the neighbouring nation, participated in a threadbare discussion with their Indian counterparts led by DC and DM of Dhubri and South Salmara Mankachar districts of Assam Anata Lal Gyani and Atika Sultana respectively in presence of other top level officials.

Sultana Pervin, deputy commissioner (DC)-cum-district magistrate (DM) of Kurigram district of Bangladesh said the governments of both the countries are keen to set up a number of border haats (markets) along the international border in order to ensure socio-economic development of people living along both sides of the international border.

And accordingly, the representatives of both the countries will soon submit detailed reports to their respective governments about the feasibility and functioning of such haats, besides the security and financial aspects.

“Bangladesh is more concerned over the cattle and drugs smuggling across the border and in spite of blaming us, it will be better for the Indian law enforcement agencies to stop all these menace especially cattle smuggling at the origin ( starting point) in Indian Territory,” said Sultana Pervin.

Anata Lal Gyani, DC-cum- DM of Dhubri district said during the bilateral talks, a number of border related issues like border crimes especially the cattle and drugs smuggling, human trafficking and infiltration issues were thoroughly discussed.

Other issues like repatriation of released persons confined in central and district jail, construction/re-construction and repair of border pillars, exchange of cultural and sports programmes as well as issues related to Sonahat Land Port and immigration point and flood control management system were also thoroughly  discussed during the meeting, said Gyani.

At present, there are two international trades centres exist in lower Assam, one at Sonahat of Dhubri district and another is at Mankachar of South Salmara Mankachar district of lower Assam along the international border with Bangladesh.

The officials later also visited the Sonahat International Trade Centre along the India-Bangladesh border in Dhubri district of Assam.

Official sources said that government is planning to setting up of two borders “haats” in Lower Assam.One will be set up at Satrasal border area while the location of the other haat is yet to be decided.

Kurigram district of Bangladesh is closest to Dhubri and South Salmara Mankachar district in India.

The Bangladeshi delegation team arrived here on Sunday evening after crossing the Chengrabandha Immigration Check point located in West Bengal and will be back again to their nation through the same route on Tuesday.

Mukesh Kr Singh

Mukesh Kr Singh is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dhubri. He can be reached at: mkdhubri@gmail.com

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