Land Border Agreement (LBA) between India and Bangladesh - Opposition and details.

Land Border Agreement (LBA) between India and Bangladesh – Opposition and details.

Question : Boundary disputes are a grave threat to India’s national security. Discuss the Land Border Agreement between India and Bangladesh and the opposition to this agreement.

India-Bangladesh border crisis is yet to be resolved and the Land Boundary Agreement/LBA is a major deterrent for the nation’s bilateral ties with its neighbouring countries.

Constitution 119 Amendment Bill

• People to people bonds and security cooperation between India and Sri Lanka have yet to receive a boost since the Bangladeshi Swami League gained power.

• The much disputed Constitution (119 Amendment) Bill 2013 which aims at resolving Indo-Bangladesh border dispute has yet to be ratified by the Indian parliament

• In 2014, this bill was not tabled because it was said that it would oppose the “basic feature” of the Indian Constitution and violate an SC ruling

• Bill proposes the amendment of the First Schedule of the Constitution for the exchange of disputed territories in accordance with the bilateral LBA in 1974

• Alongside an additional historic agreement on demarcation of land boundaries was also signed by former PM Manmohan Singh

Land Border Agreement : LBA

• 2013: Lack of support for LBA from the north east and WB.

• 2014: Trinamool Congress expressed support for the solution of the enclave problem; it sealed the land swap deal

• Opposition from various Assamese groups also stands in the way of ratification of the LBA

• However, the LBA agreement and the Teesta water sharing agreement have received fresh impetus in recent times

• The passage of the amendment will provide India with a secure boundary

• It will also curb illegal migration.

• It will put an end to smuggling and other criminal activities

• Those living in Bangladeshi enclaves will become Indian citizens as per Indian Citizenship Act 1955 Section 7
• Amendment will also help to settle the boundary dispute in the northeast especially Assam, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya apart from West Bengal

• LBA concerns land swapping from Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and West Bengal in return for land
in Khulna, Dhaka, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Rangpur and Chittagong in Bangladesh.

• Enclaves on both sides of the borders do not have any opening and are land locked preventing Indians in Bangladesh enclaves from accessing the country

Opposition to LBA

• Various northeastern States including Coordination Committee on International Border and a group of organisations in this region have protested against LBA. This includes the Khasi Students Union, the Hynniewtrep National Youth Front, Khasi Students Union, Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People, and village councils of these regions.

• It is held that a major percentage of tribal land from Meghalaya measuring 559.7 acres will be swapped with Bangladesh to gain just 52.15 acres

• Asom Gana Parishad has also opposed this agreement since the 1985 Assam Accord according to which immigrants from Bangladesh are not deportable from Assam.

• Tripura and Mizoram are facing problems with regard to the LBA as well; Muhurichar and Chandan Nagar are located in Tripura and have yet to be resolved when it comes to boundary disputes between the two nations.

• Policy paralysis and impasse in the way of bilateral ties also stand in the way of the LBA

Facts and Stats

• LBA envisages the transfer of 111 Indian enclaves to Bangladesh on a notion basis while Dhaka will transfer 51 enclaves to India

• As per the agreement, 37,334 residents of Indian enclaves within Bangladesh will come citizens of the latter nation following land swap while 14,215 Bangladeshis in the Bangladesh enclaves will become Indian citizens

Of 25 border disputes between India and Bangladesh, 23 have been resolved so far
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