It was another day of Koojagari Laxmi Puja – almost 70 years after the gruesome Nokahali genocide (the series of massacres initiated on the same Puja day on October 10, 1946) – when the village of Sutia, P.S. Bongaon, Dist. 24 Paraganas (North), in India-Bangladesh border area became victim to the assaults of hundreds of bloodthirsty Muslim intruders (cattle smugglers) from Bangladesh on October 11, 2011 at dead night. The intruders, as per villagers, came from the
While talking with a number of villagers it was learnt that cattle smuggling has always been a major problem in the area. Even if a few impoverished people in Sutia and its neighborhood join the smugglers, it is controlled by Muslims (wholly) from the neighboring areas in
The terrible onslaught (starting around 11.30 pm) went on for almost one-and-half-hour leading to the destruction of Hindu households, temples, shops, cultivable lands and also vehicles. No one was killed but a few villagers, playing strong roles in defense program on October 10, 2011 to fight off Muslim cattle smugglers, were terribly injured. They include Jadab Mandal (age 35), Madan Mandal (age 28), Dipankar Mandal (age 20), Murali Biswas (age 55), Subir Biswas (age 30). Children were also not spared – Sudip Mandal (age 7), son of Jadab Mandal, was battered and also warned unless his father steer clear of any such rebellious activity, hell would unleash on them soon. Property worth half-a-million rupees has been destructed, according to estimation. Villagers are considering the entire program as an admonition and failure to comply with it will lead to complete ruin.
Don’t villagers have faith in BSF? When asked this question, villagers gave a strong reply that reveals a naked truth and also the over-generous attitude of
Villagers allege that BSF was well-informed of every development but thanks to absence of government order to shoot they preferred to stay away from the fast-worsening situation. Why didn’t local BSF unit contact its superior authority then? It should have been as the entire incident was compromising sovereignty of
What does the latest government order state? Union Government of India has ordered BSF not to fire at people seeking to cross over along the extensive porous India-Bangladesh border except self-defense. This was stated by Mr. P. Chidambaram, Union Home Minster in the month of July. This has made BSF futile hence and Hindu villagers are paying this weird policy through destruction of their properties.
Hindus in the village are desolate, frustrated – they have nowhere to go and are living in a country that they can’t have faith in.