M’laya-B’desh boundary issue resolved: Mukul

State gains 240 acres of land, to hand over 41 acres to B’desh

By Our Reporter

TAMABIL (Indo-Bangla Border): Announcing the end to the long-pending border dispute between Meghalaya and Bangladesh, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma has asserted that the give and take policy adopted by India and Bangladesh to sort out the long-pending border dispute will safeguard the interests of the State.

The statement came from the Chief Minister at Dawki as he crossed over to the State after finishing the official tour to Bangladesh along with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and others.

It is learnt that the boundary issue including the 6.5-km land in Meghalaya sector under adverse possession has been settled as the whole stretch has been mapped but nothing has been clarified on the give and take policy which has been adopted by both countries with regards to the land dispute.

The Chief Minister said, “We would be gaining around 240 acres of land under adverse possession of Bangladesh. But we would losing only around 41 acres of our land to Bangladesh,” while adding that the agreement was very much in favour of the people of the State.

He also said that the agreement on exchange of land would be ratified at a later date by both India and Bangladesh.

On the other hand, villagers from the adversely held and disputed areas of Meghalaya on the India-Bangladesh border are decrying the fact that villagers owning land in the borders area should have been taken into confidence before Meghalaya agreed to hand over any land to Bangladesh.

Waiting to be enlightened about the agreement, the villagers from the border areas on Thursday alleged that landowners, traditional institutions and district councils were not consulted before Dr Sangma accompanied Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to Dhaka.

On reaching the Tamabil border, the Chief Minister, his wife and KHNAM legislator Paul Lyngdoh, who was also part of the delegation, were received by senior State police and Government officials.

Dr Sangma while speaking to reporters soon after arriving at Tamabil stated that the relationship between India and Bangladesh will start moving in the right direction following the agreements signed on the border disputes.

“Border of conflict should be converted into border of mutual trust,” Dr Sangma said.

The State Government is also endeavoring to revive border trade with Bangladesh at the earliest as this would improve the economic condition of people living on both sides of the border.

Dr Sangma also mentioned that Tourism is another sector where Bangaldesh and the Northeastern states including Meghalaya can join hands together to promote the region.

Citing an example, Dr Sangma said, “There is a dargah in Sylhet which is visited by people from all over the world and if we can join hands people who visits Sylhet can also visit Meghalaya and other Northeastern states.”

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