India, Bangladesh inspect disputed land in Tripura

Old impasse over Muhuri Char sought to be resolved before bilateral dialogue in Dhaka

November 18, 2016 12:35 am | Updated December 02, 2016 04:04 pm IST - AGARTALA

A team from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday inspected the disputed Muhuri Char in south Tripura ahead of a bilateral dialogue at Dhaka to resolve an old impasse over the land. Joint Secretary in the MEA Sripriya Ranganathan also held a meeting with officials from Bangladesh at a camp of the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB).

Ms. Ranganathan, Tripura Chief Secretary Y.P. Singh and other officials entered Bangladesh for a discussion with their Bangladesh counterparts at the BGB post in Parshuram. Sheikh Abdul Ahad, Director General of Land Records and Survey, a few senior officers of the Bangladesh Home and Foreign Affairs ministries, were present at the meeting.

The 140-acre Muhuri Char, 150 km south of Agartala, is a piece of land that surfaced due to a change in the course of the Muhuri river. Nearly 90 per cent of the land in India’s control, but Bangladesh has been staking claim over it for a long time. Border forces of both sides have even engaged in several skirmishes since 1978.

Officials of India and Bangladesh later inspected the area in speed boats. The Sripriya Ranganathan-led Indian team will leave for Dhaka on Friday morning through an integrated check-post in Agartala. Past dialogues between India and Bangladesh failed to solve the festering issue.

Uninhabited but fertile Muhuri Char is not inhabited but fertile. Senior Tripura government Minister and Communist Party of India (Marxist) heavyweight from south Tripura said the country wanted a peaceful and meaningful resolution to the dispute.

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