Complaints of passenger harassment at Petrapol border

Newshub18:Complaints of passenger harassment at Petrapol border.It has been alleged that passengers from both Bangladesh and India are being subjected to extreme harassment while traveling through Petrapole or Haridaspur border in West Bengal. Most of India-Bangladesh international trade takes place on this land border route. Thousands of passengers from both countries travel on this route every day. Petrapol border in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. Recently, while visiting that border, the image of passenger harassment was seen.

People holding passports of both countries have to wait for hours on both sides of this land border. At the Haridaspur land border, a few hundred tourists lined up in front of the immigration office last Sunday. They stand in line for hours waiting to cross the border. Passengers have to stand in this line regardless of sun and rain.

Passengers complain that immigration officials are deliberately slowing down their assigned work. Due to this, the travel of passengers with passports is constantly delayed. This problem has been going on for quite some time. Passengers have no chance to protest. If they protested, their journey was delayed.
It is known that this Haridaspur immigration office has 16 counters to serve passengers. But only two to four counters are open. It is not possible to handle the pressure of additional passengers. It was not possible to get a statement from anyone concerned about this.

Talked to a few Bangladeshi passengers traveling using the Haridaspur border route. One of them is Sajidur Rahman of Satkhira district of Bangladesh. He said, “I have been standing in this line for a long time. Some have been standing in line for two to five hours. Passengers are subjected to various kinds of harassment here. This was not the case before. This Petrapole-Haridaspur border was crowded.

A Bangladeshi citizen associated with the tourism business told Prothom Alo that even if passengers come now, they do not have peace. All the shops in the land port are empty. There are no passengers to exchange money at the money exchange. Everyone now exchanges money differently. They are crossing the border with that money or Rs.
Prasenjit Ghosh, head of Chaikharia village panchayat of Haridaspur border area, told Prothom Alo, “We have repeatedly informed the chief immigration officer (CIO) of Petrapol-Haridaspur immigration office about the harassment of passengers at this border. But he did not take any action in this regard. Passengers are being harassed for a long time.

Prasenjit Ghosh also said that porters are no longer available on the Indian side of the border. Passengers have to carry their luggage to buses, taxis and autostands after clearing customs and immigration. Elderly and patients have problems with it. Provision of trolleys for sick and elderly passengers is inadequate. Not always available.
At that time, some other passengers complained and said that if the harassment of passengers continues at the Petrapol-Haridaspur border, the passenger traffic of the two countries will decrease completely. Passengers are also thinking of traveling by alternative route leaving Benapole-Petrapole-Haridaspur land port.
Meanwhile, West Bengal State Consumer Protection Council member Utpal Roy told Prothom Alo, “We want the harassment of passport holders at the Petrapol-Haridaspur border to stop immediately. Let all the counters of the immigration office at the border be opened and handle the crowd of passengers.

Om Prakash Sharma is serving as Chief Immigration Officer at Haridaspur border. When Om Prakash Sharma was called at his Petrapol office last Wednesday afternoon, he told Prothom Alo that the CIO would not speak to any journalist or comment. Later, when Petrapol Immigration Department Additional Chief Immigration Officer PK Gun was called, he also said the same thing.

Later, when contacted on his mobile phone, KT Bhutia, head of the immigration office of the eastern region of India, said that he had heard such a complaint for the first time. Although he did not comment on this, he said that he would take necessary steps to deal with the complaint

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