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Assam woman caught in Bangladesh after crossing over for love

The authorities in Bangladesh have arrested an Assam woman who had crossed over illegally to marry a Bangladeshi man.

Manju Begum of Tarapathar village in Goroimari area of central Assam’s Kamrup district had developed a relationship with 27-year-old Abdus Sattar from a village in Sunamganj, Bangladesh.

Mr. Sattar too had entered India illegally to escape being arrested by the Bangladesh police in a criminal case. He spent five years in the Goroimari area, slipping back into his country a few months ago only to leave for Bahrain for a job.



Goroimari locals said Ms. Manju’s parents disapproved of her relationship with Mr. Sattar that continued via social media. She decided to go to Bangladesh when her parents arranged her marriage with a local man.

More than 100 km

Days after their 20-year-old daughter went missing, the parents came to know she had undertaken an arduous journey through the Garo Hills of Meghalaya and crossed over to Bangladesh after trekking more than a 100 km. Mr. Sattar’s brother reportedly helped her cross the border and took her to their village.

Members of Mr. Sattar’s family later helped the two lovers get married “digitally” a day before the Bangladeshi authorities came knocking and took her away.

“We came to know from our acquaintances in Bangladesh that she is in the custody of the local authorities there on charges of illegally entering the country. We tried to reach the woman’s parents who had shifted to another part of the district many months ago,” said Nurul Islam of Goroimari.

While the local police said they were aware of the case “beyond our reach”, officials of the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Guwahati declined to comment apart from assuring to help, if needed.

Incidentally, Mr. Sattar had entered Assam when the National Register of Citizens of 1951 to weed out “illegal foreigners” was being updated.

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