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India ask Bangladesh to maintain status quo
Correspondent Shillong, Dawki, Jun 16:
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Published on 17 Jun. 2010 12:30 AM IST
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New Delhi today asked Dhaka to maintain by status quo in “areas of adverse possession” until a solution was worked out on bilateral boundary disputes.
The matter was conveyed at the highest level after Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) opened fire on Indian villagers cultivating their land in several areas in Meghalaya along the Indo-Bangla border, yesterday.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who arrived here from New Delhi, said he Had taken up the BDR’s “unprovoked firing” with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.
Subsequently, New Delhi has asked Bangladesh to maintain status quo till the joint working group JWG on boundary between the countries meets next month.
“Such unprovoked action (firing) is an act of terror to displace Indians from their territory,” Sangma told Nagaland Post The centre must take steps, Sangma said, to provide security to the people residing along the Indo-Bangla border.
On June 4, union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said the joint boundary working group of India and Bangladesh would meet anytime next month to resolve the boundary disputes between the neighbouring countries.
“We are hopeful that the joint boundary working group will resolve adverse possessions and enclaves and the un-demarcated boundary between India and Bangladesh,” Pillai said.
On Tuesday morning, BDR resorted to firing on Indian villagers in Muktapur, Jaliakhola, Naljuri, Amdoh, Amjalong, and Hawai Tilla 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.
BSF (Assam-Meghalaya) frontier Chief, RC Saxena said the situation in the Jaintia Hills sector was tense and so the BSF has heightened its security.
In yesterday’s firing a female primary school teacher sustained bullet injury during the firing. Several villagers have since fled from their homes for safety.
Saxena said, till a solution is worked out on areas of “adverse possession,” Indian villagers would continue to cultivate in these areas. “There was telephonic discussion with them (BDR). We have conveyed to the BDR that the areas in question belong to India and villagers would
continue to cultivate in these patches of land,” Inspector General of BSF (Assam-Meghalaya) frontier Chief, RC Saxena told said.
He said till a solution is worked out on areas of adverse possession, our (Indian) villagers would continue to cultivate in these areas.
“From ages these areas have been cultivated by Indian villagers and that tradition must be respected,” Saxena added.
Meanwhile, a local MLA from the border area, Donkupar Massar sought the immediate intervention of Meghalaya Chief Minister to stop such periodic firing from across the border.
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.

 
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