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Tension in Indo-Bangla border
Correspondent DAWKI/SHILLONG, JUN 15 (NPN):
Published on 16 Jun. 2010 12:53 AM IST
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Tension prevailed along the India-Bangladesh border on the Eastern part of Meghalaya Tuesday after Bangladesh Rifles troops resorted to “unprovoked firing” in different areas.
The Border Security Force (BSF) troops however did not retaliate to the BDR firing in which a woman was injured.
Sari Nonglamin, a school teacher was hit by a bullet in her right leg at Amdoh village between Naljuri and Muktapur villages. Her condition is said to be stable.
“We did not retaliate because in the past they (BDR) had always blamed us of resorting to unprovoked firing to which we have denied,” a BSF official said.
“But it doesn’t mean that we will be silent. We are maintaining a strict vigil to protect our border and we will act accordingly,” the BSF official said.
Today, the BDR resorted to fresh “heavily unprovoked firing” to scare away Indian villagers from cultivating certain patches of land in these areas claiming them to be part of Bangladesh.
The first firing began at around 9.30 AM in Muktapur village, followed by subsequent firing at Naljuri, Jaliakhola, Langtilla and Rongtilla areas which are under the adverse possession of India in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills district.
Pyrdiwah village (under adverse possession of India in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district) which was intruded by the BDR in 2001 for days, claiming it to be part of Bangladesh, before they were forced to retreat was also under BDR’s attacked.
Meghalaya Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh said that a district admnistration team has been rushed in to those affected areas to take stock of the situation.
“We will continue to plough our field and the BDR should not objectbt it or resort to such firing which tantamounts to human rights violation,” Manoj Manar, a village chief said.
There have been several incidents of exchange of firing between the BSF and the BDR this year due to claims and counter-claims over land by both countries.
Meanwhile, panic-stricken border villagers in Meghalaya have shifted to safer grounds following Tuesday’s gunfire.
“The situation is tense. Most of the people, especially women and children, have moved to safer grounds after the gunfire,” Manar said.
On June 4, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said the joint boundary working group of India and Bangladesh would meet either in July or August to resolve all the boundary disputes between the neighbouring countries.
Of the 4,098-km-long border shared between India and Bangladesh, 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 had agreed to maintain peace and status quo on the border.
At present there are 551.8 acres of Bangladesh land under adverse possession of India, while 226.81 acres of Indian land is under adverse possession of Bangladesh.
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 Meghalaya.
While Bangladesh is citing documents of 1937, the Indian side relies on land records of 1914 to support its claims.

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