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AGP Calls for Sealed Borders with Bangladesh

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 24 (UNI) The Asom Gana Parishad today called for strict security measures in the north-eastern state of Asom -- facing unchecked illegal migration from its southern borders which had resulted in the state becoming a hotbed of ISI-sponsored anti-India activities.

An AGP delegation -- led by party Pesident Brindaban Goswami, in a meeting here with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, submitted that the porous India-Bangladesh -- affording easy trans-border movement -- had resulted in not only a threat to national security but also changed the demographic pattern of the gateway to the Indian north- east.

''The unchecked influx from across the border has endangered the socio-political situation in the state -- pushing indigenous people of Asom to minority status,'' Mr Goswami informed the Prime Minister -- who has been elected to the Rajya Sabha from the state.

Mr Goswami later told mediapersons here that the problem, of late, had assumed serious dimensions and suggested ''sealing of the border'' as the only viable solution.

The problem, he said, had assumed even more grave dimensions with unprovoked firing and mortar-shelling on BSF posts by the Bangladesh Rifles. ''At least two women died in Cachar district in BDR firing from across the border on August 9... on August 22, the same area experienced mortar-shelling....'' ''Some 10,000 people have been forced to flee their homes and hearth in the border districts of Cachar and Karimganj,'' said the AGP President.

Claiming that Bangladesh had, in this manner, illegally occupied Indian territory, Mr Goswami demanded that the Centre make ''all-out efforts'' to get restored some 500 acres of land that was presently under Bangladeshi occupation.

The AGP President appealed to the Prime Minister for immediate compensation of Rs 500,000 to the next-of-kin of the deceased and ''adequate relief'' to the injured.

''Besides, confidence-building measures should be set in place in the border areas so that the residents could lead a normal life,'' urged Mr Goswami.

Responding to queries from newspersons, Mr Goswami said his party welcomed the Centre's peace-initiative with the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

''It is only through dialogue and discussion that a permanent solution can be reached to this problem -- and others of the same nature in the north-east....'' UNI BKS/DG VD GC1851

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