Meghalaya farmer still in Bangladesh custody

August 1st, 2010 - 10:15 am ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Aug 1 (IANS) A Meghalaya farmer abducted by Bangladeshi nationals last week from a disputed area near the border remains in police custody there, says India’s Border Security Force (BSF).
“The abducted youth is still under the custody of Bangladesh police. The BDR (Bangladesh Rifles) has informed us that the delay in handing over the youth has been caused by Friday and Saturday being non-working days in Bangladesh,” BSF spokesman Ravi Gandhi told IANS.

He, however, hoped the Bangladeshi authorities would hand over 21-year-old Demi Dhar Sunday.

On Wednesday, Bangladeshi nationals abducted him from Rongkhum, a disputed area along the international border in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills district, says the BSF. Rongkhum is 25 km east of Pyrdiwah village, which was occupied for several days in 2001 by the BDR - which claimed it to be a part of Bangladesh - before it was forced to retreat.

Meghalaya Home Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh, who has expressed concern over the incident, asked the BSF to ensure the safe release of Dhar.

Meghalaya, which shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh, witnessed several incidents of “unprovoked firing” by the BDR June 15, said BSF officials.

Adverse possession areas were created when the erstwhile East Pakistan - present-day Bangladesh - and India demarcated the international boundary in the mid-1960s. There are 551.8 acres of Bangladeshi land in India’s possession, while 226.81 acres of Indian land is in Bangladesh’s possession.

There are about 11 such areas in Meghalaya, with several of them being in the Jaintia Hills and East Khasi Hills district bordering Bangladesh.

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