Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday handed over five Bangladeshi children, including three abducted by BSF from Haripur border on July 23, to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR).
The handing over was done at a flag meeting held on the border adjoining Pirganj upazila in Thakurgaon near pillar No 340/3-S.
Deputy Commander of 2 Rifles Battalion Major Iftekhar led the Bangladesh side while Assistant Commandant of 20 BSF Battalion Dipak Kumer Mondal led the Indian side.
The returnees are Montu, 6, son of Mohammad Nazrul Islam, Raihan, 8, son of Atabuddin and Shetabul Islam, 8, son of Joynal of Minapur village under Haripur upazila, Krishna Barman, 15, and Anima, 12, children of Madan Lal of Dharmapur village under Thakurgaon Sadar upazila.
BSF picked up Montu, Raihan and Shebatul along with Pania, 15, son of Denial, and Mohammad Shahabuddin, 13, son of Abdul Kuddus -- all from bordering Minapur village, from Haripur border in Thakurgaon district on July 23 morning.
The five children had gone to bring fish from the low-lying area near border pillar No 354 under Haripur upazila where they had set nets, BDR and local sources said.
BSF released Montu, Raihan, and Shebatul but Pania and Shahabuddin were sent to jail following order by an Indian court, BSF sources said, adding that they have to serve minimum two years imprisonment.
Two other returnees -- Krishna and Anima were detained by BSF from Bothgaon border under Atwary upazila in Panchagarh district in 2007 when they were entering India with their parents.
Later Indian authorities released their parents but kept detained the two children as there were 'anomalies' in their papers.