Bangladeshi teen in Indian prison for 'crossing the border illegally to buy favourite chocolate'
A Bangladeshi teenager has been arrested and put in prison for "illegally crossing the border to buy his favourite Indian chocolate", India's Border Security Force sources said today (April 15, 2022).
Eman Hossain, a resident of Khaldanadi village under Brahmanbaria, close to Shalda river which marks the international border between the two countries, used to regularly swim across the water body to buy his favourite Indian chocolate from the northeastern Indian state Tripura's Sipahijala district, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
Eman used to sneak through a hole in the barbed wire fencing to buy chocolate from a shop in Kalamchoura village in India and return home the same way.
However, on April 13, BSF apprehended Eman when he was undertaking another such journey.
The boy was handed over to local police which produced him before the court that remanded him to 15 days' judicial custody, Sonamura SDPO Banoj Biplab Das said.
"During interrogation, the boy confessed to sneaking into India for buying chocolate. Bangladeshi Tk 100 was found on him but he did not possess anything illegal. He was arrested for entering India without valid documents," Das said.
"Further investigation is underway. He will be again produced before the court to decide his fate," he said, adding that no one from his family has contacted Indian authorities so far.
The international border in Sonamura sub-division is porous despite the barbed wire fencing. There are many villages in Kalamchoura where the border slices through bedrooms and drawing rooms of many houses. Moreover, many stretches are unfenced due to difficult terrain, BSF sources said.
"Bangladeshis often sneak into India to buy groceries and attend social functions. BSF generally ignores them on humanitarian grounds and takes action against smugglers and traffickers. But as far as I know, the boy had come only to buy chocolate," Elius Hossain, a Kalamchoura resident, said.