Maintain status quo, BSF urges Bangladesh border guardsJune 16th, 2010 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS
Shillong, June 16 (IANS) Indian border guards have asked their Bangladeshi counterparts to maintain status quo in “areas of adverse possession” until a solution is found to boundary dispute between the two countries.
The Border Security Force (BSF) took up the isue after Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) troopers Tuesday resorted to “unprovoked firing” in different areas of the India-Bangladesh border in southern Meghalaya.
“There was a telephonic discussion with them (BDR). We have conveyed to them that the areas (where the firing occurred) belong to India and villagers would continue to cultivate in these patches of land,” BSF Inspector General (Assam-Meghalaya) Frontier R.C. Saxena told reporters.
“Till a solution is worked out on areas of adverse possession, our (Indian) villagers would continue to cultivate in these areas,” Saxena asserted.
At present, there are 551.8 acres of Bangladeshi land in India’s adverse possession, while 226.81 acres of Indian land is in Bangladesh’s adverse possession.
These adverse possession areas were created when the erstwhile East Pakistan and India demarcated the international boundary in the mid-1960s. There are 11 such areas in Meghalaya.
While Bangladesh cites documents of 1937, the Indian side relies on land records of 1914 to support its claims.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who was in New Delhi apprised union Home Minister P. Chidambaram about the BDR’s firing.
“BDR’s action is perceived as an act of terror to displace our people from their habitation,” Sangma said. “The government of India should also address the boundary disputes with our neighbouring countries at the earliest in the interest of the local people,” he added.
The centre must take steps to provide security to the people residing along the India-Bangladesh border, Sangma maintained.
On June 4, union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said the joint boundary working group of India and Bangladesh would meet next month to resolve the boundary dispute between the neighbouring countries.
“We are hopeful that the joint boundary working group will resolve adverse possessions and enclaves and the undemarcated boundary between India and Bangladesh,” Pillai added.
On Tuesday morning, Bangladesh border guards fired at Indian villagers in Muktapur, Jaliakhola, Naljuri, Amdoh, Amjalong, and Hawai Tilla areas which are in India’s adverse possession in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills district.
Also coming under BDR attack was Pyrdiwah village. Under India’s adverse possession in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district, the village was occupied for several days in 2001 by BDR, which claimed it to be a part of Bangladesh, before they were forced to retreat.
Of the 4,098-km-long India-Bangladesh border, Meghalaya shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh, part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced and prone to frequent infiltration.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during her visit to India in January, had agreed to maintain peace and status quo on the border.
Meanwhile, a Border Security Force (BSF) official here said the situation along the international border was tense and its troopers have heightened security in the area.
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Tags: act of terror, adverse possession, bangladesh rifles, border guards, border security force, boundary dispute, boundary disputes, erstwhile east pakistan, government of india, indian border, indian villagers, international boundary, isue, meghalaya, mid 1960s, p chidambaram, saxena, shillong, these patches, union home minister