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Aggression can’t solve border dispute: Mooshahary
Correspondent NEW DELHI, FEB 18:
Published on 18 Feb. 2010 11:36 PM IST
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Meghalaya Governor RS Mooshahary today said that the solution to the vexed border disputes between India and Bangladesh can be sorted out through diplomatic talks. About 100 odd families, especially those with women and children have moved out of Muktapur, Amki, Amlympiang, Amsynram and other villages along the Indo-Bangla border following February 14 firing. “Neither the BSF nor the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) can solve the border dispute by trading fire at each other. Adverse possession is a political issue and and the answer to it is a political solution,” he said. At present there is 551.8 acres of Bangladesh land under “adverse possession” of India. Similarly, India lays claim on 226.81 acres of land that is under Bangladesh. Today, Mooshahary, briefed Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on the fallout of the unprovoked firing by BDR on February 4 and 14 in Muktapur village in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills district. The Governor had also directed the Director General of Border Security Force (BSF), Raman Srivastava to ensure the safety of the border villagers in the State. Muktapur is about 20 km east of Pyrdiwah village, which was forcibly occupied by BDR in 2001 for days, claiming it as part of Bangladesh before being forced to retreat. Chief Minister DD Lapang had requested Chidambaram to take up the matter at his level with the Bangladesh Government to settle the matter amicably. The Governor further added that BDR’s 21 battalion Commanding Officer Lt. Colonel Zahirul Alam is the man behind the recent firing incident. “There are elements within the BDR trying to create problems and both sides have to be aware of it,” the former BSF Chief cautioned. Meanwhile, BSF’s Inspector General (Assam-Meghalaya) frontier Prithviraj met BDR’s Deputy Director General, Brigadier General Obaidul Haque at Tamabil yesterday to diffuse tension on the border. The meeting lasted for over five hours and both sides agreed to “maintain status quo” over areas disputed between the two nations. Prithviraj too held BDR’s Lt. Col Alam for the present tension along the border stating he flared it up due to his “over-enthusiasm.” “In July 2009, Lt. Col Alam created similar problem in Pydiwah and now it’s in Muktapur. There are elements who are trying to sour relationship between the two nations,” he added. Earlier, the Assembly of Hynniewtrep Nations (AHNs) had asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take immediate steps to resolve the vexed border dispute with Bangladesh under the Meghalaya sector. “There is an urgent need to resolve this issue at the earliest after Bangladesh Rifles forcible intruded inside Muktapur village, an ‘adverse possession” of India,” AHNs Chairman John F Kharshiing said.

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