Borkhola, 07 November:— Borkhola, a region known for its lush betel nut farming, has fallen victim to a series of syndicates that are making it increasingly difficult for farmers to sell their produce safely. The situation has escalated to the point where even after paying extortion money to these syndicates, betel nut carriers continue to face challenges in transporting their goods.
In a disturbing turn of events, the Borkhola police have detained betel nut-laden vehicles from three districts – Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi – for three to four days at a time. What’s worse, farmers are finding that paying the demanded amount does not guarantee them a safe passage.
Reports indicate that, in addition to the syndicates, a troubling collusion between local youths and the police is allowing vehicles to be released from detention. This has left lorry drivers who are caught in the crossfire raising serious complaints about the extortion and lack of safety.
Meanwhile, the former president of Boro Rampur GP, Sajjad Ahmed Laskar, addressed the media on Monday, highlighting the dire situation in the village. Laskar pointed out that the activities of syndicates, involving hundreds of individuals, have not only disrupted the local environment but also created immense inconvenience for the people living in the affected areas.
One of the most problematic areas is Puticherra, where the syndicates have set up their checkpoints. Residents and farmers in the region have been facing considerable difficulties in their day-to-day activities due to these unlawful roadblocks. It has been reported that farmers are forced to halt their vehicles on the road for several days, even after paying between 60,000 to 100,000 rupees for the privilege of selling their homegrown crops.
However, the true masterminds behind these syndicates have remained elusive, as no one has been willing to reveal their identities. Drivers and witnesses have suggested that the syndicate centers are located in Bhanga in Karimganj, Badarpur, and Kalain in Cachar. Meanwhile, the name of a local young man from Puticherra has repeatedly come up, with allegations that he collaborates closely with the police to bypass the syndicate.
The ongoing crisis has left the betel nut farmers of Borkhola trapped in a vicious cycle of extortion and uncertainty, with no immediate solution in sight. The local authorities are under increasing pressure to address the issue, protect the livelihoods of the farmers, and bring the syndicates responsible for this disruption to justice.