Saturday, 8 March 2014

Heartrending tale of a Bengali Hindu couple

This is no fiction but a cruel reality being faced by Bengali Hindus in the Indian subcontinent. A community whose contribution to the national freedom struggle was next to none has been ravaged by now in every capacity, thanks to the partition in1947 and the community continues to pay for this monumental blunder dearly yet, something beyond the capacity of anyone to envisage even. The story revolves around Shimul Mallik, inhabiting the area of Mogra Adishaptapur in the district of North 24 Paraganas in the Indian state of Bengal and Mousumi Sarkar, living in the area of Ashasuni Sardapara in Bangladesh. Both were introduced to each other when Shimul visited Bangladesh a few years back and the brief introduction turned into a love affair. They used to communicate through phone and only a few days back, they decided to tie the knot.    
Even if Mousumi informed her parents and also relatives, they declined to give permission and this refusal made the girl more determined and defying all she decided to marry Shimul Mallik. To stave off any obstacle, they decided to get married at a place close to the international border between India and Bangladesh. As Shimul’s residence is far away from the international border, he planned to arrange the marriage ceremony on February 24 at his relative’s residence in the village of Itinda at the Ghojadanga border area within Basirhat, well-known subdivision of the district of North 24 Paraganas. Mousumi was also informed and she, as a result, came to India on Monday without the knowledge of his parents.
While the marriage ceremony was going on and the priest was chanting Vedic mantras, a team from the police station of Basihat raided the residence and asked Mousumi Sarkar to show passport. But Mousumi was devoid of any passport and hence, she was taken into custody. Shimul Mallik was also arrested as an accomplice to this intrusion.  Both are behind the bar at the moment and despite repeated requests of inhabitants in the village of Itinda, police abided by the established rules in this regard. Thus ended the dream of a Bengali Hindu couple to get married and lead a peaceful life.
Without a shred of doubt, the activity of Mousumi Sarkar can’t be supported and the intrusion violates the international law as enshrined. Nevertheless, there is another aspect as well. Not a day passes when there is no illegal migration from Bangladesh to India and Basirhat has already become infamous as the safe passage for cow smugglers. But none of these criminals have been arrested yet albeit this trade is culpable to harm people in the vicinity and clashes between villagers and smugglers, in this regard, is getting common more and more.  What did make police so dutiful and also vibrant in this case? It has been learnt, police team was tipped off by persons related to smuggling cows and also to remain loyal to local administration.
Who can Shimul and Mousumi pin the blame on now? Is it their ill-luck or the cow smugglers leaving no chance ever to blame Hindus? Or the India-Bangladesh international border known for laying waste to Bengali Hindu families for decades? Both the couple and locals in Itinda are seeking the answer, now. 
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