KOHALPUR, Jan 28: One thing that comes to our minds when we talk about international borders is tight security. However, the no man's land between Narainapur-4, Ghodadauriya of Banke district of Nepal and Asarniya-8 of Indian district Shravasti, has been turned into animal sheds for years.
A two-kilometer stretch of the no man's land there has been used by the locals of both Nepali and Indian sides for rearing cows, buffaloes and other domestic animals. This has neither caught the eye of the Indian Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) nor has it grabbed the attention of the Nepali security forces guarding the border, though this is not something new as the locals from both sides of the border have been doing so for years.
Shrawan Shrivastav of Narainapur-4 informed Republica that he has been rearing his cows and buffaloes in the open space between India and Nepal for the last few years. He said that Nepal Police does nothing but they sometimes get scolded by the SSB when they see their cattle in the no man's land. "When the SSB personnel sees the cowsheds in the no man's land while patrolling the border, they tell us to evacuate the land and also to clean the cow dung," said Shrivastav, adding, "But we take our cattle back to the no man's land immediately after they leave." The posts of both SSB and Nepali security personnel are just a few minutes away from the no man's land.
These days, fodder, piles of dung, large utensils used for feeding the cattle and wooden logs are the common sight in the no man's land. Chandra Prasad Paswan of Asarniya-8 of India said that the citizens of both India and Nepal have been sharing the no man's land for rearing livestock. "Our houses are too congested. We don't have space to keep our cattle there. So, we have to take them to the no man's land," said Paswan. But the locals don't forget to take their cattle back to their own homes during night time.
According to Fatrish Pathar of Ghodadauriya, the open border between the two countries has been a boon for the locals of both Nepal and India. A few years back, the locals feared the security personnel while doing so but now they are used to it.