GUWAHATI, May 9 � Adverse possession of land remained the bone of contention between India and Bangladesh for years and those areas witnessed several incidents of violence, the worst being in 2001 when 16 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel were killed.
A report of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that the adverse possession impeded a final resolution of the border disputes and the situation was compounded by changes in the courses of the rivers. However, with both India and Bangladesh finally agreeing to settle the disputes with a give-and-take policy, it is expected that peace and tranquility would be maintained along the border in the days to come, the report said.
The MEA report pointed out that the adverse possession led to tension between the border guarding forces of both the countries since the division of the country. Areas like Muktapur, Pyrdwah and Naljuli in Meghalaya witnessed incidents of firing on several occasions. The Dumabari area witnessed two major incidents of firing between the border guarding forces in 1962 and 1965, while Mahuri area in Tripura witnessed firings on more than 10 occasions.
The adverse possession of land areas witnessed the worst ever tension in 2001 when the Bangladesh Army and the border guarding force of the country encircled the BSF post at Pyrdwah, while 16 BSF men were brutally killed at Boraibari in Dhubri district.
The report said that the situation was complicated because of increased population pressure in Bangladesh and the use of the soil of the neighbouring country by terrorists and other anti-India forces.
The MEA pointed out that during the joint survey by India and Bangladesh before the signing of the land swap deal, the people living in the adverse possession areas strongly opposed exchange of such areas and they wanted to live in the countries where they have been living all their lives.
The report further said that the areas to be transferred to Bangladesh are already in possession of the neighbouring country and vice versa and before the signing of the deal, the views of the people were taken, while a thorough land survey was carried out by a joint team of both the countries.