BHAIRAHAWA, July 30: Locals of Rupandehi have been facing lots of hassles while crossing the border to India due to the heightened security measures adopted by the Indian Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB).
A recent incident of SSB personnel crossing the no man's land and mistreating the locals has prompted a high level security meeting between the ambassadors of Nepal and India, chief district officers of the respective district administration offices (DAO) and district security chiefs.
The meeting has eased the import and export of goods through Behaliya Customs Point, Rupandehi but the hassles for people to move across the border remains the same.
The SSB has been accused of unnecessary checking and misbehaving with the people travelling in and out of the country in the name of tightening the security for India's Independence Day.
People who cross the border area for buying goods and for health treatment are troubled by the SSB, according to the locals. Even the tourists are obliged to tolerate the misbehavior of the SSB. It has been around two weeks that the SSB has tightened security in the border areas.
Few weeks ago, the SSB personnel mistreated and even threatened some Nepali businessmen by crossing the no man's land. But they have not dared to cross the no man's land after the meeting was held last Friday between the ambassadors, CDOs and security officers. But they have been troubling children, women and elderly people by checking them with metal detectors and messing up their bags and luggages in the name of security checks, locals complained.
On Saturday, Ambika Thapa of Bhairahawa who had gone to Sunauli for buying goods had to spend hours in checking. According to her, SSB personnel dressed up in plain clothes not just checked their bodies and bags but also asked unnecessary questions. Thapa further informed that the SSB men were more strict while checking people having Mongolian features. As per the locals, this is the first time there has been such a strict checking in the border area.
As stated by Bishnu Sharma, a local and former president of Siddharthanagar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the activities of SSB is unusual. “SSB has been attempting to scare the Nepalese people by entering into the no man's land,” Sharma said.
According to Indian security sources, security has been beefed up around the border areas in view of India's Independence Day on August 15.
“The Indian security sources have said they have tightened the security to curb the smuggling of explosive materials, gold and drugs,” said Binod Prasad Singh, chief district officer (CDO) of Rupandehi. CDO Singh also assured that they will soon talk about this problem with their Indian counterparta so that people will no longer have to go through the ordeal.