Filmmaker Aparna Sen and two other members of Citizen Bol India, a survivors' association for various social current issues, were barred from entering an enclave in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal by BSF personnel on Saturday.
Bolan Gangopadhyay, a women's rights activist accompanying Sen, told PTI that the members of the NGO had intended to meet 50 people belonging to 11 families living in the enclave at Kalarla village in Dinhata.
He said that these people, due to the restrictions by BSF, are virtually leading a life of imprisonment, though they are citizens of the country.
Gangopadhyay said, "We came to know about their plight - lack of minimum facilities. We had heard that they are taking ration, but are deprived of benefits under various state and central projects. We want to communicate and hear from them. Had come
He alleged that members of Citizen Speak India were forbidden to enter the enclave area, known as the 'Chit Mahal', from 11 in the morning despite informing the BSF Director General of their visit. It was opened between 12 o'clock.
He said, "We were told by BSF personnel that only residents of the enclave, who are citizens of India, are allowed to enter within the stipulated time. But no Indian citizen outside the area can be allowed. is unfair."
"We as citizens of India can visit our countrymen. It is granted by the constitution. Then why were we not allowed?" He asked.
A furious Sen said, "Despite the fact that we were all Indian citizens and were taking identity proof, the guard at the gate refused to let us enter Chhath Mahal."
"Couldn't they understand that we are Indians? BSF officers could not be contacted immediately. Mudit Pathraya, a columnist also accompanied Sen."
The trio later visited another enclave and Dinhata Basti camp. India and Bangladesh exchanged 162 unfavorable enclaves on 31 July 2015, symbolizing the resolution of a complex issue that had been in place since independence.
111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in India were exchanged with the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement and the 2011 Protocol and the means of ratification.