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BSF rejects flag meet with Bangladesh guards
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUN 17:
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Published on 17 Jun. 2010 11:58 PM IST
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Indian border guards Thursday rejected flag meeting with the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) at the commandant level, but instead demanded that a sector commandant meeting over the recent firing along the India-Bangladesh in southern Meghalaya.
“There was no point in opening unprovoked firing in all the Border Out Posts. Therefore, we have rejected their (BDR) offer to hold talks at the commandant level and asked for a meeting at the sector commandant level,” Border Security Force Inspector General (Assam-Meghalaya) Frontier R.C. Saxena said.
Without naming the 21 BDR battalion commander, Saxena said: “he (Lt. Col Alam) is not having the right frame of mind and so a meeting at the commandant level would not be meaningful.” “An official communiqué has been sent to the BDR and the BSF was expecting a positive response from their Bangladesh counterpart,” Saxena said.
Meghalaya which shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh witnessed series of ‘unprovoked firing’ resorted by BDR. Prithvi Raj, the former Inspector General of BSF (Assam-Meghalaya) frontier had then accused 21 BDR Battalion commander, Lt. Col Zahirul Alam of ordering his troops to fire on Indian villagers in areas claimed by Bangladesh but in “adverse possession of India.” There are about 11 such areas in Meghalaya with several of them being in the Jaintia Hills and East Khasi Hills district bordering Bangladesh.
BSF’s former Inspector General of this frontier had also blamed Lt. Col Alam of being an over-enthusiastic officer which led to the two border guarding forces exchanging fire on a number of occasions this year.Without naming the 21 Battalion commander, Saxena said: “he (Lt. Col Alam) is not having the right frame of mind and so a meeting at the commandant level would not be meaningful.”
Meanwhile, after Tuesday’s firing the villages in the bordering areas are limping back to normalcy with an uneasy calm.
Saxena added that BSF has asked its troop to be on high alert and heightened its vigil in the sensitive areas.
At present, there are 551.8 acres of Bangladeshi land in India’s adverse possession, while 226.81 acres of Indian land is in Bangladesh’s adverse possession.
These adverse possession areas were created when the erstwhile East Pakistan and India demarcated the international boundary in the mid-1960s. There are 11 such areas in Meghalaya.
While Bangladesh cites documents of 1937, the Indian side relies on land records of 1914 to support its claims.

 
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