POST TIME: 9 December, 2018 11:13:58 AM
Souls reunite on Indo-Bangla border
UNB, Thakurgaon

Souls reunite on Indo-Bangla border

Thousands of people from Bangladesh and India met their relatives from either side at border points in Ranishankail and Haripur upazilas of the district on Friday on the occasion of decade-old traditional ‘Patharkali Mela’.

The five-km border fence between boundary pillar No. 345 and 346 turned into a human sea for several hours with the gathering of Bangla-speaking people from both side of the borders.

People from Chapashar area of Haripur upazila and Kuchal area of Ranishankail upazila of Bangladesh and those from Nargao and Makarhat of Kuchbihar district in India thronged the border to meet their near and dear ones, defying a barbwire fence in between them.

As every year, the border forces of both the countries-Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Border Security Forces (BSF) --- allowed them to meet their dear ones on the occasion of ‘Patharkali Mela’.

Thousands of people from both the countries, especially those who cannot afford to visit their relatives through real travel, eagerly wait each year for this special day.

The people of the district were seen exchanging various items like biscuits, snacks, cigarettes, pens, clothes and towels. Many of them cried out as soon as they saw their beloved ones and some were seen to get upset as they could not find their relatives.

Usually the day-long traditional fair is held on the bank of the Kuli river on the first Friday after Shama Puja (Kali Puja) since the British era.

Officer-in-charge of Haripur Police Station Amiruzzaman said people from both sides exchanged their views, offered foods to each other while BGB men observed them standing along the border.

However, they could not hug each other as the barbed wire stood as a barrier. Many failed to hold back tears while taking leave for at least one year more. After the separation of India and Pakistan in 1947, many got separated from their relatives.

After the partition, meeting of relatives living in two different countries became very hard, especially for those who could not afford expenditure for the government approved procedures, a number of people said.

However, they enjoyed the chance to visit their relatives' houses on either side of the border even till after Bangladesh's independence.