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Govt to publish white paper on land deal

By Staff reporter

GUWAHATI, Oct 17 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today ridiculed the Opposition's clamorous demand for an Assembly or Parliament discussion prior to the signing of the Indo-Bangla land swap deal, saying that no international accord is discussed in the Parliament prior to inking of the document. He was replying to a debate on the land swap deal in the State Assembly in its special one-day session. He also assured that the Government would publish a white paper on the deal.

Further, the Chief Minister offered to resign if the Opposition could prove that his Government had given up even one inch of land under Assam's possession to Bangladesh both as the Chief Minister and as the member of the State Assembly.

In response to the Opposition's allegation that the State has been made to lose its land area to Bangla, he said that the moot question that deserves attention in this respect is �under whose possession the said land area was. The fact remains that the Assam part of the land area covered by the above deal, was never under the possession of India. But, the deal has given Assam over 1,200 acres of land.

Despite West Bengal also losing land through the deal, there is no clamour there unlike what is happening in Assam, he said, adding that his Government is for settlement of the mutual problems with the neighbours through discussion.

Assam Accord Implementation Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma asserted that the Chief Minister had discussed the issue with his Cabinet colleagues on September 3 last. The need of the hour is that the country�s border with Bangladesh be sealed by March 31, 2012, he said.

He also demanded a clarification from the Asom Gana Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party as to why their governments respectively in Assam and at the Centre retreated from Baraibari when 16 BSF jawans were killed by the Bangladeshi security forces and the people.

He also claimed that the State has got around 1,200 acres of land from inside the Bangladesh area demarcated by Sir Redcliff during the 1947 partition of the country. Giving a break-up, he said out of this area, 700 acres of are in Latitilla-Dumabari area, 340 acres are in Palathal area and 140 acres in Nayagram area.

Moreover, he said, out of the 1,047 acres of land under the adverse possession of Bangladesh in Baraibari area, Assam has now got back the entire area, barring only 193 acres. The claim on this area has to be given up for the sake of an early resolution of the dispute, he argued.

The deal will now enable the country to erect the barbed wire fences right on the zero point of the border and the Opposition as well as the All Assam Students' Union members would also be taken to the border at the time of erection of the fences, he said.

The Minister pointed out that there was no resentment among the people of Karimganj and Mankachar areas on the deal, and that the Opposition to the deal is confined only to Guwahati.

He demanded a clarification from the AGP as to whether the people were not taken into confidence at the time of signing the 1985 Assam Accord, or at the time of erecting the barbed wire fence along the Indo-Bangla border much inside the Indian border, which appeared to be about one to two kilometres at places.

Earlier, raising the issue under Rule 130A of the Rules and Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nilamoni Sen Deka said that due to some Opposition parties and organisations, effort to mislead the people on the issue, a need had arisen to discuss it for a clear idea. The issue is socio-economic as it is connected with trade and commerce with Bangladesh.

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Govt to publish white paper on land deal

GUWAHATI, Oct 17 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today ridiculed the Opposition's clamorous demand for an Assembly or Parliament discussion prior to the signing of the Indo-Bangla land swap deal, saying that no international accord is discussed in the Parliament prior to inking of the document. He was replying to a debate on the land swap deal in the State Assembly in its special one-day session. He also assured that the Government would publish a white paper on the deal.

Further, the Chief Minister offered to resign if the Opposition could prove that his Government had given up even one inch of land under Assam's possession to Bangladesh both as the Chief Minister and as the member of the State Assembly.

In response to the Opposition's allegation that the State has been made to lose its land area to Bangla, he said that the moot question that deserves attention in this respect is �under whose possession the said land area was. The fact remains that the Assam part of the land area covered by the above deal, was never under the possession of India. But, the deal has given Assam over 1,200 acres of land.

Despite West Bengal also losing land through the deal, there is no clamour there unlike what is happening in Assam, he said, adding that his Government is for settlement of the mutual problems with the neighbours through discussion.

Assam Accord Implementation Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma asserted that the Chief Minister had discussed the issue with his Cabinet colleagues on September 3 last. The need of the hour is that the country�s border with Bangladesh be sealed by March 31, 2012, he said.

He also demanded a clarification from the Asom Gana Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party as to why their governments respectively in Assam and at the Centre retreated from Baraibari when 16 BSF jawans were killed by the Bangladeshi security forces and the people.

He also claimed that the State has got around 1,200 acres of land from inside the Bangladesh area demarcated by Sir Redcliff during the 1947 partition of the country. Giving a break-up, he said out of this area, 700 acres of are in Latitilla-Dumabari area, 340 acres are in Palathal area and 140 acres in Nayagram area.

Moreover, he said, out of the 1,047 acres of land under the adverse possession of Bangladesh in Baraibari area, Assam has now got back the entire area, barring only 193 acres. The claim on this area has to be given up for the sake of an early resolution of the dispute, he argued.

The deal will now enable the country to erect the barbed wire fences right on the zero point of the border and the Opposition as well as the All Assam Students' Union members would also be taken to the border at the time of erection of the fences, he said.

The Minister pointed out that there was no resentment among the people of Karimganj and Mankachar areas on the deal, and that the Opposition to the deal is confined only to Guwahati.

He demanded a clarification from the AGP as to whether the people were not taken into confidence at the time of signing the 1985 Assam Accord, or at the time of erecting the barbed wire fence along the Indo-Bangla border much inside the Indian border, which appeared to be about one to two kilometres at places.

Earlier, raising the issue under Rule 130A of the Rules and Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nilamoni Sen Deka said that due to some Opposition parties and organisations, effort to mislead the people on the issue, a need had arisen to discuss it for a clear idea. The issue is socio-economic as it is connected with trade and commerce with Bangladesh.