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Tensions prevail in Indo-Bangla border village
Published on 4 Jul. 2009 11:33 PM IST
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Tensions prevail in bordering Nongkhen village, an “adverse possession” of India, despite the Border Security Force (BSF) downplaying the recent intrusion in the village. There was perceptible apprehension prevailing in the village as the villagers feared the repetition of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) invasions in Pyrdiwah village, 35 Kms east of Nongkhen. “We are having sleepless nights ever since those hordes of Bangladeshi nationals with the help of the BDR intruded our land,” Joplin Dhar, a villager said. Before the intrusion into Nongkhen village on June 26, a group of Bangladeshis were seen surveying Nongkhen, an “adverse possession” of India, but six days later around 300 Bangladeshi nationals trespassed Nongkhen village and even started tilling the land. “Look the BDR have occupied Khas Tilla (Bangladesh) village on the other side. I can sleep and we are afraid because BDR may intrude into our village,” 75-year-old Nirobola Patra said. Patra who lives adjacent the Nongkhen paddy field recalled how the Bangladeshi nationals intruded into Nongkhen village without any fear, despite the BSF Border Outpost (BOP) was on the hilltop. “Yesterday, we have spotted lots of armed BDR and I am sure they are still there,” She said, while pointing her finger to Khas Tilla village in Bangladesh. Commandant of BSF 121 battalion Ajay Pal Singh who emerged from the second round of flag meeting between the BSF and BDR held at the latter’s BOP in Tamabil under Sylhet district said, both sides agreed to maintain status quo on Nongkhen. “Since our mandate is guard the border, we (BSF and BDR) have decided to inform our respective government for joint survey of Nongkhen to iron out the issue,” Singh told journalists here. Assuring that there will be no repetition of Pyrdiwah, the Commandant said, “we are also of the border and we have no sleepless and everyone in the border is sleeping peacefully.” In April 2001, Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel entered Pyrdiwah and took 28 BSF troopers hostage. The forcible intrusion into Pyrdiwah led to a border skirmish that left 16 BSF and three BDR soldiers dead. However, the panic-stricken villagers wanted the Indian government to iron out this issue with Bangladesh authorities to ensure that there will be no repetition of Pyrdiwah intrusion. The previous Meghalaya government had urged New Delhi to take up with Dhaka the issue of adverse possession of land in the Meghalaya sector along the Indo-Bangladesh border. At present there is 551.8 acres of Bangladesh land under adverse possession of India, while 226.81 acres of India land is under adverse possession of Bangladesh was 226.81 acres. The areas under adverse possession were created when East Pakistan and India demarcated the international boundary in the mid-1960s. There are 11 such areas in the Meghalaya sector.

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