From Assam with Love is about all aspects of Assam from the viewpoint of a Proud Assamese.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Land Boundary aggreement with Bangladesh latest controversy

The Land swap deal between India and Bangladesh has been creating huge uproar from its conception. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's Bangladesh Tour just after the new government was formed was not enough to break the ice between these two countries since Bangladesh was not ready to accept the repatriated  illegal migrants from different places of India. The Congress government has started the  process of Land Boundary agreement two years back but it was stalled for various reasons. Moreover, people as a whole, students bodies, political parties etc are not only unhappy with this decision but also ready to gear up their protest on this. Ironically,
BJP's state unit is seemingly losing all their hopes of doing well in the next Assembly Election of Assam in 2016! Since BJP state unit has marked their protest by observing a statewide 'Assam bandh' on the Central govt's decision  to give away land to Bangladesh, now they seem to actually eat up their own words! BJP MLAs in state also registered their protest in 2011.

History of India Bangladesh  Land Swap controversy:

India and Bangladesh had signed the bilateral Indo-Bangladesh land border Treaty in 1974, which would have determined the land border of India and Bangladesh. In this Treaty both countries agreed that they would either exchange the enclaves under both countries or provide easy access to them. While Bangladesh agreed to that immediately, in India the issue seems to be getting bigger everyday. In this deal India will get 51 while Bangladesh will receive 111 enclaves. So Bangladesh has a reason to be happy.

This Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh states of which lose their land will be Assam, West Bengal and Meghalaya. But those who will gain land(2777.03 acres) will be West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura, (not Assam).

The Parliamentary Standing committee report on Land swap: The Parliamentary standing committee has submitted their report on this controversial land status.(standing committee is a committe formed by members of various political parties, not the ruling party)

The Standing Committee of Dr Shashi Tharoor and Dr Karan Sharma confirm that Assam would not stand to gain any land in the deal, with the State set to lose 268.39 acres of land. The areas the State is going to lose include Thakurani Bari-Kalibari (Baroibari) (Kurigram-Dhubri (193.85 acres) and Pallatthal (Maulvi Bazaar-Karimganj) (74.54 acre).(courtesy: Assam tribune). As per the 1974 deal the citizens would be given option to choose their citizenship after the land swap.

The Committee further insists on speeding up the process of land boundary agreement. According to them, delay in the process has been causing huge humanitarian crisis in the controversial land. And aggravated the illegal migrant issue.  In a recent Assam visit PM Narendra Modi has insisted that this process will help Assam in long run although we may see ourselves losing the game now!

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