Guwahati/Dhubri, July 29: The Centre has promised Dispur that the international border with Bangladesh would be fenced by the year-end.
Sources said this assurance was conveyed by B.S. Lalli, secretary in charge of border management in the Union home ministry, at a closed-door tripartite meeting involving representatives of the Centre, the Assam government and the All Assam Students Union (AASU). It was held at the Assam Administrative Staff College here today.
Two BSF inspectors-general of police, looking after the Meghalaya, Assam and Mizoram border sectors, also participated in the discussions.
Furthermore, sources said the marathon meeting, which started at 3 pm to review implementation of the Assam Accord of 1985, decided that border areas that are thickly populated would be floodlit.
“The meeting also took a serious view of the recurrent floods and mulled a plan to set up an organisation for management of water resources in the Northeast,” the source said after the meeting, which ended at around 8.30 pm.
Assam chief secretary S. Kabilan, who attended the meeting, said Dispur was eager to see the accord’s clauses implemented at the earliest.
AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya said the participation of the secretary (border management) marked a new beginning. He said the students’ union expected the talks to result in a concrete outcome, regarding full implementation of the accord.
Bhattacharyya also told the Centre at the meeting that it should take steps to retrieve land allegedly encroached upon by Bangladesh.
Lalli’s proposed visit to the Mancachar sector in Dhubri district tomorrow has been cancelled for unknown reasons, adds our Dhubri correspondent.
BSF sources in Dhubri said Lalli would instead visit the Indo-Bangladesh border at Mahendraganj and Baghmara in West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya.
Lalli, who is on a special mission to the border areas at the instance of Union home secretary V.K. Duggal, is scheduled to submit a report by Monday.
An official in the Dhubri district administration denied having received any communication from either the Assam government or the Centre about Lalli’s visit to border areas in the district.