SHILLONG, Sept 26 - The West Jaintia Hills district administration has imposed Section 186 of the Indian Penal Code in certain parts of the border with Bangladesh to facilitate survey work of the areas.
The section was imposed in an area roughly covering 37 kms from Dawki to Jaliakhola in West Jaintia Hills all along the Indo-Bangla border.
Section 186 IPC states: �obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions, shall be punished with imprisonment or fined or both.�
Several areas in these part of the State are claimed by Bangladesh and are dubbed as �in adverse possession� of India.
Under the bilateral Indo-Bangla land swap deal these areas would be sealed by an official notification and much of these areas would be demarcated as Indian territories.
The area in adverse possession in Meghalaya, which India would retain, under the bilateral land swap deal, is 240.578 acres. These areas include Pyrdiwah (193.516 acres), Lyngkhat I (4.793 acres), Lyngkhat II (0.758 acres), LyngkhatIII (6.94 acres), Dawki-Tamabil (1.557 acres), Naljuri I (6.156 acres) and Naljuri II (26.858 acres).
India would have to transfer 41.702 acres of land in the Lobacherra�Nuncherra sector to Bangladesh under the same deal. So to facilitate the survey work, the section was imposed and it was communicated to people residing in the area.
�We have written to village headmen, elders, local villagers of the area to come for the survey with their land documents,� Deputy Commissioner of West Jaintia Hills, Arun Kembhavi said over the phone today from Jowai, the district headquarters.
Kembhavi said the section has come into force from September 22 and he along with other officials has conducted the survey. The survey team also included some members of the NGOs, he added.
The DC explained that unlike section 144 IPC, there is no bar from people to converge in the area. �The villagers and others of the area can be part of the survey team. In fact, on the first day members from the NGOs were also was part of the survey team,� Kembhavi added.
He reminded that though the villagers or anyone can be part of the survey none can obstruct the works of the officials under the imposed section. Kembhavi believes that work in the area would be completed smoothly in the next couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, the Coordination Committee on International Border, a conglomerate of NGOs, said the survey officials should take into confidence the villagers of the area and also look into details the issues they raise while conduct of the survey.