Coins turn into blades in B'desh

The Reserve Bank of India will squirm once it comes to know that the currency it issues in the form of coins is smuggled to Bangladesh where it is nothing but a raw material for manufacturing shaving blades.

This shocking revelation was made by a splinter group of youth from Tamil Nadu who visited the North-East border that India shares with Bangladesh to analyse the ground reality at those places.

In all, 5,123 youth from different states, under the banner of the Mumbai-based “Forum for Integrated National Security” (FINS), split into small groups to survey border villages and posts, covering about 15,106 km of India’s land borders with its neighbour in the North-West and North-East during the third week of November.

The organisers said the youth selected for this exploration were from the RSS and “Sangh Parivar” outfits. The group also found that the people along the border, mainly tribes, remain disconnected from India.

“The tribals there live a life of bare existence; there is no literacy, no electricity and nothing to fulfill basic needs. When we went with Indian Flags in our hands, they asked us, ‘Are you Bangladeshis?’ They are not even aware of the our Flag,” one student said, sharing his experiences with the media in Chennai on Tuesday evening.

Apart from the smuggling of coins, the group said illegal “barter trade” was rampant along India’s porous border with Bangladesh, not far from Kolkata where “you can get narcotics for medicines”.

“There are just no communication towers or even proper land-line cables; the BSF jawans’ only access to what is happening outside the border villages or inside the country is the information radioed to their walkie-talkies,” said Dilli Raj, who was part of one of the three splinter groups from Tamil Nadu. Raj trekked to tribal villages in the Silbari border area near West Garo hills in Meghalaya.

Another youth, Chandrasekhar, who was part of a 10-member group who visited several border villages in the North 24 Parganas area of Bengal, said: “I saw only one school in a 15 km stretch”. ‘Kalinadhi’ river, a branch of the Ganges, is itself the border in those places for about 70 km until the land border starts.

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