The international check post here was closed for over five hours on Thursday after news spread that the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) outposts were going to be taken over by the Bangladesh Army personnel. Trade traffic as well as people trying to reach on either side of the international border between Bangladesh and India stopped totally between 10 am and 3 pm.
The situation at this check post,one of the biggest between the two countries,has been tense for the past two days. But around 3 pm on Thursday,the Border Security Force got information that their counterparts,the Bangladesh Rifles jawans have neither deserted their posts nor did the Army take them over.
However,confusion prevailed for five hours and two Dhaka-bound buses with about 72 passengers were stranded for hours at the border check point. Similarly,a Kolkata-bound bus from Dhaka arrived at the Bangladesh side of the border that is called Benapole and was stranded there for hours. It resumed its journey much later.
The driver of the Kolkata bound-bus Karamjeet Singh said: When we left Dhaka early in the morning,the roads were totally deserted and not a soul could be seen. The road to the border point was also free. But at the check post,we were held for over two hours.
Amzad Hussein,a Dhaka-bound passenger ,said: When we began from Kolkata in the morning,we were told things have become normal in Dhaka. But on reaching the check post,we found a tense atmosphere and the gates were closed.
Kartick Chakrabarty,secretary of the local clearing agents association said a large number of goods truck were stranded on both sides of the border. Normally,about 350 to 400 trucks ply from India to Bangladesh while the inward traffic from Bangladesh to India is about 100.
There has been a sharp drop in peoples movement across the border . On an average,about 1,500 to 2,000 people cross the border with valid passports,which dipped to about 700 on Wednesday and to about 300 on Thursday. The BSF units posted at the border were on high alert and additional troops bought from the headquarters at Kalyani.