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India lost over 300 acres of land to Bangla

By R Dutta Choudhury

MADANPUR (Indo-Bangla border), Oct 24 � Failure of the Government to secure its own land resulted in Bangladesh managing to take more than 300 acres of land in its possession and now after the signing of the land border protocol, India stands to lose that portion of land to the neighbouring country. Moreover, the Government of India has not been able to protect the interests of its own citizens as Bangladesh has not been allowing Indian nationals to cultivate a huge portion of land in Govindapur village and the Government remains silent over the issue.

This correspondent visited the disputed areas and found that though there is no human habitation in the land under adverse possession of Bangladesh, the people of the neighbouring country has been cultivating the land and even a tea garden of Bangladesh is encroaching upon India�s land.

According to records available, the total area under adverse possession of Bangladesh in this part is around 310.77 acres in three patches located in front of the Madanpur and Balia border outposts of the Border Security Force (BSF). The first patch is between border pillar numbers 1369/3-S to 1373/3-S and the area involved is around 299 acres. The area is under adverse possession of the Palathal tea estate of Bangladesh. The second area is between border pillar numbers 1375/2-S to 1375/3-S and the third area is between border pillar numbers 1375/5-S to 1375/6-S and the area involved is around 11.73 acres and the people of Bangladesh are cultivating in the area. However, there is no human habitation and the citizens of Bangladesh only come to the area for cultivation.

Interestingly, border pillars were erected in that area long back before the creation of Bangladesh, but the people of the neighbouring country gradually encroached upon the area because of the failure of successive Central and State Governments to secure its own borders. As the area is located in a remote place, no official of the Government visited the area to keep a close watch on the situation and now India stands to lose huge amount of land because of this failure.

As per records, border pillars were erected in the area way back in 1961-62 following the signing of the Sheikh-Swaran Singh accord on October 13, 1959 but this was not reflected properly on the map because of the reasons best known to the people at the helm of affairs at that time. Moreover, no serious effort was made to secure the area properly and the area was progressively encroached upon by East Pakistan during the period from 1959 to 1970. What is more interesting is that gradually, the Palathal tea estate also continued extending its tea bushes well into the Indian territory and the encroachment came to the notice of the Government of India only in 1988.

The area was surveyed by officials of the Survey of India in 1975, but no effort was made to evict the encroachments, which allowed Bangladesh to claim later that the area was under its adverse possession.

During a visit to the area, this correspondent found that the BSF outpost at Madanpur is located on top of a hill and the personnel of the force can get a good view of the entire area from the top and the patrolling parties go regularly up to the border pillars. However, they cannot patrol the area under the adverse possession of Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, there is no dispute in the Govindapur village located between border pillar numbers 1361/5-S to 1363/7-S involving an area of 101.32 acres. This area belongs to India and border pillars are properly located. But Indian farmers are allowed to cultivate in only 40.47 acres of land of the village and Bangladeshi nationals are now allowing Indians to cultivate in 60 acres of land. Bangladesh has been claiming that the area belongs to it despite the fact that the border in that area is well demarcated and on its part, the Government of India has also not done anything to ensure that Indian farmers are allowed to cultivate their own land. Interestingly, during the recent survey, Bangladesh failed to provide any evidence to stake claim over the land.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)

India lost over 300 acres of land to Bangla

MADANPUR (Indo-Bangla border), Oct 24 � Failure of the Government to secure its own land resulted in Bangladesh managing to take more than 300 acres of land in its possession and now after the signing of the land border protocol, India stands to lose that portion of land to the neighbouring country. Moreover, the Government of India has not been able to protect the interests of its own citizens as Bangladesh has not been allowing Indian nationals to cultivate a huge portion of land in Govindapur village and the Government remains silent over the issue.

This correspondent visited the disputed areas and found that though there is no human habitation in the land under adverse possession of Bangladesh, the people of the neighbouring country has been cultivating the land and even a tea garden of Bangladesh is encroaching upon India�s land.

According to records available, the total area under adverse possession of Bangladesh in this part is around 310.77 acres in three patches located in front of the Madanpur and Balia border outposts of the Border Security Force (BSF). The first patch is between border pillar numbers 1369/3-S to 1373/3-S and the area involved is around 299 acres. The area is under adverse possession of the Palathal tea estate of Bangladesh. The second area is between border pillar numbers 1375/2-S to 1375/3-S and the third area is between border pillar numbers 1375/5-S to 1375/6-S and the area involved is around 11.73 acres and the people of Bangladesh are cultivating in the area. However, there is no human habitation and the citizens of Bangladesh only come to the area for cultivation.

Interestingly, border pillars were erected in that area long back before the creation of Bangladesh, but the people of the neighbouring country gradually encroached upon the area because of the failure of successive Central and State Governments to secure its own borders. As the area is located in a remote place, no official of the Government visited the area to keep a close watch on the situation and now India stands to lose huge amount of land because of this failure.

As per records, border pillars were erected in the area way back in 1961-62 following the signing of the Sheikh-Swaran Singh accord on October 13, 1959 but this was not reflected properly on the map because of the reasons best known to the people at the helm of affairs at that time. Moreover, no serious effort was made to secure the area properly and the area was progressively encroached upon by East Pakistan during the period from 1959 to 1970. What is more interesting is that gradually, the Palathal tea estate also continued extending its tea bushes well into the Indian territory and the encroachment came to the notice of the Government of India only in 1988.

The area was surveyed by officials of the Survey of India in 1975, but no effort was made to evict the encroachments, which allowed Bangladesh to claim later that the area was under its adverse possession.

During a visit to the area, this correspondent found that the BSF outpost at Madanpur is located on top of a hill and the personnel of the force can get a good view of the entire area from the top and the patrolling parties go regularly up to the border pillars. However, they cannot patrol the area under the adverse possession of Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, there is no dispute in the Govindapur village located between border pillar numbers 1361/5-S to 1363/7-S involving an area of 101.32 acres. This area belongs to India and border pillars are properly located. But Indian farmers are allowed to cultivate in only 40.47 acres of land of the village and Bangladeshi nationals are now allowing Indians to cultivate in 60 acres of land. Bangladesh has been claiming that the area belongs to it despite the fact that the border in that area is well demarcated and on its part, the Government of India has also not done anything to ensure that Indian farmers are allowed to cultivate their own land. Interestingly, during the recent survey, Bangladesh failed to provide any evidence to stake claim over the land.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)