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Gambling on along BD-India border despite coronavirus outbreak

Published : Friday, 27 March, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 110
HB Moshihur Rahman

BIRAMPUR, DINAJPUR, Mar 26: Despite coronavirus outbreak across the globe including Bangladesh, a gambling spree is on along Bangladesh-India border at No. 2 Katla Union in Birampur Upazila of the district.
In the absence of barbed wire fence, locals of Bangladesh and India are running this quasi-casino.
Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) is playing no role in this connection. Local police administration is making no response.
The gambling is going on within 100-metre distance between the countries ranging from Bangladesh Border Pillar.
Gamblers from Bangladesh are taking part in the game while enthusiastic locals are enjoying it.
In a banana orchard located at the end of main pillar 291 near Bangladesh border, the gambling continues from morning to night.
A fruit trader Hossen Ali of India's Jamalpur has opened wine shop other than yaba and phensedyl beside the banana orchard. Bangladeshis and Indians are merged together there.
Of the Bangladeshis, some go for playing and some for drug taking.
The Bangladesh-India gambling is taking place at a time when coronavirus is committing its cruel biting across the world and the returnees from overseas are being put in mandatory home quarantine.
Locals cannot accept the gambling anyway since it has been a crying agony at Patanchara area of the bordering Katla Union.
Azgar of Patanchara said some locals are conducting the gambling managing BGB and local administration.
The barbed wire fence is 200-yard away inside Indian territory from the border gambling spot.
Additionally, the Indian villages are far away from the barbed fence.
The banana orchard is taken care by sons of Indian citizen tribal Sushil Chandra. Gambling and drugs business go on round the clock.
It was alleged by more than one local that the gambling is being controlled by a Bangladeshi citizen Md Bulbul Islam.
Bulbul realises about Tk 30,000 from the gambling every day.
Such allegation was turned down by Bulbul saying, two Indian citizens, Rana and Huda, have been charged by Indian Border Security Force. It has been done so for checking further border killing.
It maintains no link-up with the local administration, he said again.
If anyone can prove, he will be rewarded Tk 1 crore, he pointed out.
Bulbul said it is the fictitious speech of people.
Seeking anonymity, a school teacher said, in this situation of coronavirus, the border security should be intensified in addition to stopping the gambling.  
Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Birampur Police Station Maniruzzaman said, "On information, I have visited the sport. It has been informed the highest authority."
If BGB goes for playing role, it can be stopped, he added.  
"We heard gambling takes place in the Indian part," said BGB Commander Nayek Subedar Altaf Hossen, adding, "But we can do nothing in this connection."
BGB Captain Lieutenant Colonel Sharif Ullah Abed said, "The gambling is occurring as the villages of the two countries are close. However, we're cautious."
If any Indian citizen illegally enters through this area, he or she will be brought under legal order by BGB, he assured.

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