The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Delhi raps Assam on boundary

New Delhi, Nov. 30: The Union home ministry has once again expressed disappointment with Dispur for not being proactive in dealing with the boundary problem in the Cachar-Karimganj sector.

In September, the home ministry wrote to the Assam government, urging it to allocate land in the sector to farmers of the state and help them start tilling the area. The request came in the wake of infiltration by Bangladeshi farmers into Indian territory. They were covered by fire from the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR).

Home ministry sources said tension continues to simmer between the BSF and BDR in the area and blamed Dispur for it. “They (the Assam government) do not have the guts,” said an official, adding that Bangladeshi farmers are still being pushed in by the other country.

The land in question is in patches along the banks of the Surma, a tributary of the Barak. Large chunks of cultivable land come under border posts 1352, 1353 and 1354 that are being claimed by Bangladesh as adverse possessions. India has, however, debunked these claims.

After the Surma changed its course, Bangladesh began to send in its farmers to encroach paddy fields in Assam and claim them as its own.

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi heard out people from the area after clashes occurred and civilians were injured. But he tried to pass the buck to the Centre, claiming that there is need for more security. The Centre has put the ball back in Gogoi’s court.

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