12:00 AM, October 02, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 02, 2011

Long march held in Sylhet

Alleged move to hand over border lands to India protested

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Staff Correspondent, Sylhet

A long march to protest alleged move to hand over Bangladesh lands along Sylhet-Meghalaya and Sylhet-Assam borders to the Indians in the name of joint survey was held in the city yesterday.
The event was organised by affected border people and others under the banner of 'Amra Simantabashi.'
Starting at about 12:00 noon from Sylhet Government Aliya Madrasa ground, several thousand people on over 300 microbuses and a thousand motorbikes concluded their 55-km march at Jafflong Amir Miah High School field of Gowainghat upazila at 2:30 pm.
A rally followed the long march. Jaintapur upazila chairman Zainal Abedin and Gowainghat upazila chairman Abdul Hakim Chowdhury, former lawmaker M Ilyas Ali and Amar Desh editor Mahmudur Rahman addressed the rally while former lawmaker and district BNP vice-president Dilder Hossain Selim chaired it.
The speakers alleged that in the name of resolving the border trouble, the AL-led government handed over the lands of the bordering people to the Indians.
BNP vice-chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury said the AL-led government had just cheated the people in the name of border survey. "We would not accept it," he said.
Survey officials of Bangladesh and Indians from Meghalaya and Assam carried out a joint border survey and demarcated adversely possessed lands (APL) at different points recently.
After many hassels and troubles, things were completed. But still the Indian Khasias and others, including BSF, had been barring Bangladeshi nationals from ploughing croplands and fishing in their water bodies on Jaintapur and Gowainghat borders.
Besides, two Bangladeshis were shot dead and at least 20 others injured in clashes during the last two months in the region.
Locals under the forum 'Amra Simantabashi' have been raising protest against the survey alleging handing over of lands to the Indians. However, the forum is mainly dominated by the opposition leaders in the region.

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