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A day after the union cabinet cleared operationalising the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh by including Assam, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Wednesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi by saying that this would not only serve the national interest, but also help as a permanent solution to the India-Bangladesh border dispute in the Assam sector.
Gogoi, in a statement said that it would also facilitate erection of fencing in the undemarcated areas and help prevent the illegal infiltration of foreigners, subversive elements and smuggling etc by sealing the porous border.
The Assam chief minister had on May 2 written a letter to the prime minister urging him not to exclude Assam from the protocol for a permanent solution to the outstanding issues between both the countries.
Following the re-demarcation, approximately 714 acres of land area in Lathitilla area will formally become part of India (Assam) and an area of 193.85 acres of land in Kalabari (Boroibari) and 74.55 acres of land in Pallathal area will formally belong to Bangladesh. “These 268.40 acres of land are already under adverse possession of Bangladesh. Therefore, India (Assam) will formally get a net land area of 445.6 acres with reference to the Radcliff Line,” Gogoi had said in his letter last week.
The Assam government has maintained that Assam will formally gain 714 acres of land out of a total of 982 acres of disputed land along the border. The state government said that as a result of the ratification of the protocol, the Radcliff Line demarcating the Indo-Bangla border will be redrawn and an area of 714 acres of land on the Lathitilla-Dumabari sector in Karimganj district will formally belong to Assam.
According to Assam additional chief secretary SC Das, of the 982 acres of disputed land, 268.40 acres, including 193.85 acres in Kalabari (Boroibari) area in Dhubri and 74.55 acres in Pallathal area (Karimganj) in Assam sector will go to Bangladesh. He also said the Kalabari and Pallathal areas are already in adverse possession of Bangladesh.
Meanwhile the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) today continued it attack on the BJP as well as the Congress for agreeing to hand over some portion of Assam’s land to Bangladesh. The AASU on Tuesday burnt copies of the land swap agreement, while the AGP described the the BJP and Congress as two sides of the same coin as far as Assam’s issues were concerned.
Interestingly, Narendra Modi’s BJP-led government has endorsed the Land Boundary Agreement despite the BJP’s Assam unit still opposing inclusion of Assam in it. In December 2013, the state BJP unit had even called a 12-hour bandh demanding exclusion of Assam from the Land Boundary Agreement.