Farmers in border areas of the undivided Dhubri district of lower Assam are feeling the heat of over month’s long nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
Reason – Farmers are not being allowed to tend to their cropland located in the no-man’s land area along the Indo-Bangladesh border amid lockdown.
The farmers alleged that they are not allowed to attend to their fields since the lockdown started leaving them worried about damage to farmlands lying unattended in the fields as standing crops urgent need of fertilizers and sprays after the recent rains.
Dhubri has about a 135-km border with Bangladesh, of which 44 KM are riverine border.
A barbed fence close to the international border demarcates the boundary for civilians and those who own land close to the border are issued passes to visit their fields.
“Usually, farmers are allowed to work during the day hours, but no one has now been allowed to cross the fencing due to the lockdown.
According to the farmers, as they could not attend their lands their yields are getting destroyed in their fields only.
Maximum farmers have cultivated the paddy crops in the said no men’s area land while some have also harvested different types of seasonal vegetables and chillies.
Soleman Hoque of Fulkakata village across the Maslabari Border Out Post (BOP) told to this correspondent over phone that, “Over 500 farmers have cultivated the crops in the 150 metres width no men’s land area outside the fences of Indo-Bangla border, but could do nothing except to watch their yields getting destroyed due to the restriction imposed amid lockdown”.
“We have also written to the higher authorities regarding the matter but of no use,” added Houqe.
While contacted to Lalit Kumar, DIG, Dhubri Sector of Border Security Force said the restriction has been imposed in order to prevent the possible outbreaks of COVID-19 pandemic in the border areas of the district.
“The health security of our farmers as well as our Jawan is among the top most priority for us amid the spreads of Covid-19 and we can’t push the life of our Jawan and farmers as well in danger at any cost,” said the DIG.