Home Country Reconstruction of centuries-old mosque stokes tension along Sylhet border

Reconstruction of centuries-old mosque stokes tension along Sylhet border

by Istiak Ahmed Shimul

Border Guard Bangladesh jawans took up position on the Gojukata border in Sylhet’s Beanibazar yesterday morning shortly after India’s Border Security Force set up bunkers in the no-man’s land between the countries.

On Monday morning, the BSF had stopped the reconstruction of a centuries-old mosque on the Bangladesh side at the edge of the border, said Lt Col Shah Alam Siddiqui, commanding officer of 52 BGB Battalion.

“The BSF stopped the reconstruction work entering Bangladesh territory and then unlawfully set-up bunkers 150 metres inside the no-man’s land.

“In response, we also deployed force at the border,” he said yesterday.

A flag-meeting started at 5:00pm to settle the issue, but the outcome of the meeting could not be known as the BGB commanding officer could not be reached on his mobile phone despite repeated attempts.

When our Sylhet correspondent last spoke to the BGB commanding officer around 5:00pm, the two forces were holding their respective positions.  

The mosque is inside Bangladesh territory, but right beside the border and the need for its reconstruction was evident, said Abdul Salam, chairman of Dubag union in the upazila.

“At a flag meeting last year, the matter was discussed and the then BSF Commanding Officer cleared way for the construction and it was progressing normally. But as the previous CO has been transferred, the new CO stopped the construction work,” he said.

The locals of the bordering area are safe, the chairman said.

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