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ULFA slams planned border swap deal

September 01, 2011 19:40 IST

The United Liberation Front of Assam (anti-talks has registered its strong opposition to the proposed exchange of adversely possessed land between India and Bangladesh during the visit of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to Dhaka on September 6-7, and warned Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi against taking a 'soft stand' on the issue.

The faction in a statement issued to the media, has taken exception to Gogoi's reported statement that his government was ready for exchange of adversely possessed land with Bangladesh for resolution of vexed boundary disputes so that border fencing work could be completed.

Gogoi is accompanying the PM along with four other chief ministers of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and West Bengal, states that share a border with the neighboring country.

Gogoi further commented that the country would get more land that what Bangladesh would get from the exchange.

The ULFA stated that while West Bengal would get some land from the proposed swapping of adversely possessed land between the two countries, N-E states of Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura would lose land.

"The Central government has invited the four chief ministers to accompany the PM on his Bangladesh visit so that people of these states do not protest later," the ULFA statement said.

The border dispute between the two countries was at 25 points in the four states. India adversely possesses 1,165.49 acres land at 18 points while Bangladesh adversely possesses 1880.81 acres of India's land at seven points.

In case of Assam, 499.79 acres of state's land in Dhubri and Karimganj district have been in adverse possession of Bangladesh since 1948. This land may be returned to India by Bangladesh in case of signing of an agreement between the two countries during the PM's visit.

Of the total area of land in Assam that is in adverse possession of Bangladesh, 189.06 acres in Golabari in Dhubri district has been under illegal possession of Bangladesh since 1948.

Two other areas of 11.73 acres in Promodenagar Tea Estate and 299 acres in Palatal in Karimganj district in South Assam have been in possession of Bangladesh since 1965.

Besides, there is a dispute between the two countries about an eight kilometer stretch of the border in Karimganj district. There is no adversely possessed Bangladesh land in Assam.

K Anurag in Guwahati