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Refugees Barred Entry Into India


Indian security police turned back Bhutanese refugees who were heading towards their homeland from the Mechi Bridge at Nepal-India border. There were about 70 Bhutanese refugees from the seven camps set up in Nepal to accommodate a large number of Bhutanese evicted by the Bhutan government in late eighties. And since 1990, they have been living in the camps in Nepal. Nearly 1,06,000 Bhutanese refugees are languishing in seven refugee camps in two districts of eastern Nepal for the last 15 years. A huge police force along with the Shasastra Seema Bal (SSB) were deployed to stop the Bhutanese refugees from entering India.
G.S Sanya, a senior Shasastra Seema Bal (SSB) said, "It is difficult to check them as they resemble Nepalese and enter the country in small groups of one or two. But, we will make all efforts to stop them from entering the country."

Scores of Bhutanese refugees staged a demonstration on the banks of Mechi river bordering India and Nepal, demanding the Indian government to allow them to use its corridor to return to their homeland, Bhutan.

The movement was organised by the Bhutan Gorkha National Liberation Front (BGNLF), supported by the Human Rights Organisation of Bhutan (HUROB), on the occasion of World Human Rights Day.

S.B Subba, Chairman of Human Rights Organisation of Bhutan (HUROB) and a Bhutan refugee urged Indian security officials to let them go to their country peacefully.

Subba said, "We want that the Bhutanese refugee problem which is continuing for the past 15 years in Nepal should be solved peacefully. For this, we also request Indian government to help us and send us back to our homeland peacefully with all our stuff."

In August this year, a group of 323 Bhutanese refugees were pushed back by the Indian security force and the Royal Nepal police team from the Mechi bridge on the Indo- Nepal border.