Meghalaya, Jan 11: At least 90 residents of a village located in Meghalaya along the zero line on the Indo-Bangladesh border live in danger of their village being cut off from the rest of the country, as work on a border fence being built 150 yards inside the Indian border is near completion, the villager said.

At Lyngkhong village in East Khasi Hills district, the foundation for the single line fence has been built but the work has been stopped due to protests of the residents. However, as yet the authorities have not agreed to either not build the fence or build it on the zero line itself.

Dabling Khongsdir, the matriarch of Lyngkhong and one of the landowners said that “It is not fair that our village will fall outside the territory of India once the fence is built. We do not feel safe.

We have lived since time immemorial … The government should do something for our safety and well-being,” she said.

Dabling has reasons to feel insecure. Her house is barely a few feet away from the zero line and the border pillar that separates her and those living in Bangladesh.

Although a camp of the BSF is located at Lyngkhong, Dabling said ‘anti-national elements‘ do take advantage of the porous border and wanted that the fence comes up as soon as possible but on the zero-line.

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Temporarily, the village has set up a fence made of bamboo and small twigs to separate themselves from Bangladesh since last year in view of the pandemic, she said.

Contractors engaged to build the fence along the 443 km long border in Meghalaya had almost cut them off last year itself but protests by villagers eventually forced the authorities to put the project near their village on hold.

About 80% of fencing along the Indo-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya has been completed except in stretches where there is opposition from residents or from the Border Guards of Bangladesh or in difficult terrain where it is almost impossible to build a fence.