New Delhi: The government on Wednesday exuded hope
that issues related to un-demarcated international border
between India and Bangladesh would be resolved during Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh`s visit to that country next month.
Home Minister P Chidambaram said in the Rajya Sabha that
illegal immigration from Bangladesh is a problem and the
government was taking steps to curb it.
"Issues related to land boundary between India and
Bangladesh, including un-demarcated stretches on 6.1 km and
exchange of enclaves are being negotiated...there is a good
possibility that these matters will be resolved when Prime
Minister visits Bangladesh," he said during Question Hour.
On long-standing frontier discords between both the
nations and infiltration, Chidambaram said it is not correct
to link the un-demarcated border with influx from Bangladesh.
"As far as illegal immigration from Bangladesh is
concerned, it is a problem. A large number of people come on
visa...a small number illegally immigrate...we apprehend
them," he said adding 453 immigrants were apprehended this
year up to July.
On measures to check illegal immigration, he said the
number of border out posts has been increased and added that
the problem of influx is a complex one as people on either
side of the border share same racial features and languages.
To a question on long pending land boundary issue, he
said, "Both sides have agreed to work constructively towards
resolving differences to demarcate the land boundary, jointly
take steps necessary to facilitate the process of exchange of
enclaves and to access the areas of adverse possession."
The maritime boundary dispute between India and Bangladesh
is pending arbitration before international tribunal, he said.
Chidambaram said 51 Bangladesh enclaves have been
identified inside India while India has 111 in Bangladesh and
51,590 people there have been given staying option after 1974
Land Boundary Agreement.
The enclaves, or areas land-locked by territories
belonging to the other side, has been an unresolved border
issue between the two countries since partition.
To a supplementary as to whether the government was
adopting separate yardsticks by doing fencing at 150 yards
with Bangladesh as compared to zero yards with China and
thereby losing land, Chidambaram said it was wrong to say so.
"There are no different standards," he said, adding that
fencing in such a manner was mutually agreed.