Disputed tracts along Bangla border likely be included in

Written by: Pti
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Shillong, Feb 16 (PTI) Residents along the disputedtracts along the Indo-Bangla border are likely to beenumerated in the 2011 Census, officials indicated today.

"The India-held adverse possession lands (APLs) alongthe border should be included in the census and the districtadministration will be taking all the necessary steps tointervene in the matter," a senior Census official said.

He also indicated that the district administrationsare likely to take help from the BSF while conducting censusin APLs.

According to current official records, there are 551.8acres of Bangladeshi land under "adverse possession" of India(Assam and Meghalaya) while 226.81 acres of Indian land isunder adverse possession of Bangladesh.

The areas under adverse possession, 12 of them inMeghalaya sector, were created when the two countriesdemarcated the international boundary in the mid-1960s.

Meanwhile, the joint survey to be conducted in thesedisputed tracts continue to hang fire, with no word comingfrom either New Delhi or Dhaka.

The exercise, which was mooted by the Joint BoundaryWorking Group during its meeting in New Delhi in November2009, was initiated by survey and land records officials ofBangladesh and Meghalaya in December.

However, the exercise was stalled on Christmas-eve inthe wake of opposition from locals and the border guardingforces.

Bangladeshi miscreants armed with sharp weapons andbacked by BDR men illegally entered India and confronted thejoint team of survey officials several times after the surveybegan on December 7, bringing to halt the exercise. The surveyvirtually remained suspended since December 16.

Government sources said the issue has been referred tothe External Affairs ministries of both the countries.

Border guards of both the countries have been lockedin gun battles time and again on those frontiers overpossession of the stretches, leading to fleeing of localsoccasionally.

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