250 Bangladeshi tribals seek refuge in Tripura




Agartala : Over 250 Bangladeshi tribals, mostly Buddhists and Hindus, have entered Tripura seeking refuge after ethnic clashes with non-tribal Muslims in their country, an official said here Tuesday.

"Over 250 men, women and children of Chakma and Tripuri tribes have taken shelter in northern Tripura's Gandachara area along the international border since Monday after fleeing their villages in Khagrachari district," Gandachara sub-divisional magistrate Bhaskar Dasgupta told IANS over phone.

"The tribals entered India Monday and Tuesday after ethnic trouble in Bangladesh. We have asked the Border Security Force (BSF) to step up security along the unfenced border," he said.

The tribals fled the Chittagong Hill Tracts in southeast Bangladesh after ethnic clashes and incidents of arson. The exact reason for the conflict is not yet known.

A state home department official said Tripura has informed the union home ministry about the development.

The BSF here also informed their headquarters in New Delhi and is coordinating on the matter with the Border Guards Bangladesh.

In a similar incident in August last year, over 1,500 tribals took shelter in the border village of Karbook after fleeing from five villages in the same Khagrachari district over the reported abduction of a leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Tripura shares a 856-km border with Bangladesh which is porous because it extends over mountains that are densely forested.