GUWAHATI, Aug 30 � The Governments of India and Bangladesh have reached an agreement on exchange of most of the adverse possession areas along the international border to solve the long pending border disputes between both the countries. However, some disputes in the Barak Valley are yet to be settled as the surveyors of both the countries failed to arrive at an agreement on it.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that no land in possession of India would be given to Bangladesh as alleged and only the exchange of the adverse possession areas would take place wherever both the countries managed to arrive at an agreement. Sources said that the exchange of the adverse possession land would take place as per Article 2 of the Land Boundary Pact signed between the two countries in 1974.
Sources revealed that the land survey has been completed to facilitate exchange of the adverse possession land in most parts of the international border and the maps in this purpose have also been drawn.
The most vulnerable of the adverse possession areas include Pyrdwah and Baraibari as the areas witnessed exchange of fire and skirmishes in the past. The people living in those areas always have to live in constant fear and the Government of India is also not in a position to construct border roads and fencing in those areas till the disputes are settled. It may be mentioned here that Pyrdwah witnessed a war like situation in 2001 after the Border Security Force (BSF) post was encircled by Bangladesh Army, while, during the same time, 16 BSF personnel were killed near Baraibari. However, sources said that these problems would be settled once for all if the exchange of the adverse possession land takes place smoothly.
However, the disputes in some parts of the Barak Valley are yet to be settled as the surveyors of both the countries failed to arrive at an agreement. Sources revealed that the joint survey by two countries failed to reach an agreement on adverse possession of 360 acres in Palakhal and 145 acres in Nagaon. The surveyors of both the countries met at the Sutarkandi trade centre on July 21 last but failed to arrive at a conclusion.
On the other hand, disputes persist on three kilometers of un-demarcated boundary at Latitila � Dumabari as the Directorate of Land Records of Assam and the Director General of Land Records of Bangladesh failed to arrive at a conclusion. Sources pointed out that resolution of the disputes in those areas is also vital for the completion of the border fencing.
Meanwhile, sources said that the government of Bangladesh has agreed to construction of the fencing within 150 yards from the zero line wherever it is absolutely necessary and the Government of India is planning to expedite the fencing work to complete the same by the end of 2012.
Replying to a question on whether the Government is planning to shift the villages located across the fencing, sources said that gates have been provided on the fencing for the benefit of the people of the villages. Shifting of the villages will send wrong signals as some may believe that India gave up the claim over the land, sources pointed out.