BDR obstructs survey of disputed border with India

Around 20 Bangladesh Rifles personnel entered India and allegedly prevented a joint team of survey officials from carrying out an exercise of verification of the disputed Indo-Bangla border stretches.

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2010, 00:14 AM IST

Shillong: Around 20 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR)
personnel on Wednesday entered India and allegedly prevented a joint
team of survey officials from carrying out an exercise of
verification of the disputed Indo-Bangla border stretches.

Government sources said the 20-odd BDR personnel
entered Pyrdiwah area and confronted the survey officials of
Meghalaya and Bangladesh before returning.

This followed yesterday`s incident when some 40 BDR
men, allegedly backed by armed Bangladeshis, prevented survey
officials from carrying out the exercise twice during the day
prompting BSF to chase them away on both the occasions.

Similar incidents were also reported earlier during the
ongoing survey, forcing the local authorities to intimate New
Delhi.

Interestingly, there was no objection from Bangladeshi
border guards when the survey of the disputed Lubachera (37
acre) and Baraibari (189 acre) areas both under adverse
possession of Bangladesh - was carried out.

The BDR men are obstructing the survey at those stretches
which are adversely held by India like Muktapur, Lyngkhat and
Pyrdiwah, the sources said, adding BDR men claimed before the
survey officials that those land belong to Bangladesh and were
not disputed.

The joint survey of the disputed borders along
Bangladesh-Meghalaya, expected to pave the way for settlement
of the boundary dispute, started on December 7.

According to Meghalaya Revenue Minister R C Laloo, the
survey is supposed to be completed by January 15.

The exercise, which was mooted by the Joint Boundary
Working Group during its meeting in New Delhi in November
2009, is being conducted by survey and land records officials
of Bangladesh and Meghalaya.

That meeting had decided BDR and BSF would provide
security to the officials conducting the survey.

The verification will be conducted in 12 disputed
patches bordering Meghalaya, stretches of which are under
adverse possession of either countries. According to official records, currently, there are 551.8

acres of Bangladeshi land under `adverse possession` of India
(Assam and Meghalaya) while 226.81 acres of Indian land are
under adverse possession of Bangladesh.

The areas under adverse possession, 12 in Meghalaya
sector, were carved when the two countries demarcated the
international boundary in the mid-1960s.

These figures are, however, approximate.

The current survey will estimate a final figure which
will be placed at the next meeting of the Joint Boundary
Working Group which will decide on the next course of action,
Laloo said.

Border guards of both countries had been locked in
gunbattles time and again on those frontiers over possession
of the stretches, leading to fleeing of locals.

Bangladesh government has been objecting to the fencing
in these patches, citing the disputes.

Officials said that of the 571 km of the sanctioned
fencing work along Bangladesh border of Assam and Meghalaya,
only 248 km has been completed.

Work is in progress in 123 km, while there have been
objections either from Meghalaya or from Bangladesh in the
remaining stretches.

PTI