Dawaki migration route Bangladeshis into India – I

By Pradeep Kumar

DAWKI, Aug 29: Huge number of illegal migrants from Bangladesh is a matter of great concern mostly for North East India that prompted Assam Govt to launch the process of National Citizens’ Register.

India is greener pasture to offer much better scope for earning livelihood for which poor Bangladeshis always try to find ways to migrate into this country.

Dawki, famous tourist spot of Meghalaya in West Jaintia Hills district, being the meeting point for India and Bangladesh, is most vulnerable point for illegal migration of Bangladeshis into India.

Dawki River is the water meeting point and a huge stone amidst water demarcate the international border. The rock gets submerged under water during rainy season. This river attracts about 300 tourists in winter and one-third during off season for boating with about 700 country boats waiting in queue, said Dawki Boating Association secretary Hendri. Hendri with wife Julia indicated towards floating boats in the river, locally called Lmur.

The Border Security Force (BSF) personnel guard the border and keep watch from their post at a higher location. However, same boating is practiced few hundred metres down stream in Bangladesh. Any Bangladeshi entering India through the river cannot be ruled out.

Tambuli of Dawki anchal is the meeting point for both nations on land where BSF guards too while Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) on other side. The personnel manning the custom point said about 2,000 tourists visit during spring season which comes down round 1,000 during off seasons.

Tourists from both side come face to face at the border point to inter mingle. Bangldeshis could easily cross into Indian side befooling the BSF and BGB as both side people are of same features and talk same languages.

However, on an average 500 to 600 stone-loaded trucks, highest up to 800 trucks cross the border point for Bangladesh daily. The stones are taken from Rngien village where hundreds of people were engaged in quarrying stones and trucks were waiting in queue to load stones.

The stone-laden trucks are also allowed to cross the border point without through checking except producing the custom permit to Bangladesh gate. The empty trucks were also returning hardly without any checking and none could rule out the possibility of Bangladeshis hiding in those trucks crossing into India.

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