Explainer: Katchatheevu is a thing of the past, Modi government had given 111 enclaves to Bangladesh, 10 thousand acres of land was lost. - Newztezz Online


Monday, April 1, 2024

Explainer: Katchatheevu is a thing of the past, Modi government had given 111 enclaves to Bangladesh, 10 thousand acres of land was lost.

India Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement News: It is the time of Lok Sabha elections and it is not possible that there is no political activity in the atmosphere. When BJP raised the issue of Katchatheevu Island to make inroads in South India, Congress also did not delay in retaliating. He raised the issue of Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) between India and Bangladesh. This agreement was signed between both the countries in 2015, in which India handed over 111 enclaves under its occupation to Bangladesh. Let us explain to you in detail why PM Modi made this agreement and what is the Katchatheevu controversy. 

Katchatheevu Island is situated near Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu.

First of all let us tell you about Katchatheevu Island. This island is a small island situated in the sea, 19 km away from Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. Its area is about one and a half square km. It is believed that this island originated from a sea storm or volcano. Both India and Sri Lanka claimed rights on this island. In a statement given in the Parliament after independence, the then PM in a way accepted it as a part of Sri Lanka. However, this did not happen on paper. 

Sri Lankan Navy has the authority

In the year 1970, the then PM Indira Gandhi made a secret agreement with Sri Lanka and accepted it as a part of Sri Lanka. When this news came out, massive protests started in Tamil Nadu. Since then this issue has remained a sensitive issue in Tamil Nadu politics. The fishermen of Tamil Nadu are suffering huge losses due to this. Whenever the fishermen of Rameshwaram go to sea for fishing, the Sri Lankan Navy personnel stationed at Katchatheevu Island catch the fishermen and confiscate their boats. 

There is resentment among the people of Tamil Nadu 

There has been deep resentment among the people of Tamil Nadu over gifting this island to Sri Lanka. They have been holding the central government responsible for this. To cash in on this resentment, BJP has formed Tamil Nadu Party State. RTI was filed through Annamalai, in which the then Congress PM Indira Gandhi was held responsible for giving this island to Sri Lanka. After this, PM Modi and BJP leaders of Tamil Nadu appealed to the people of the state to teach a lesson to Congress and its ally DMK in the elections for snatching away their rights.

Congress reminded Bangladesh agreement

Now we come to the land boundary agreement with Bangladesh, in which PM Modi had given 111 enclaves of India to Bangladesh. When the issue of Katchatheevu was raised, Congress has now attacked the Modi government by reminding it of the India-Bangladesh border agreement. Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh posted, 'In the year 2015, Modi government signed a land boundary agreement with Bangladesh. In this agreement, 17,161 acres of Indian land was given to Bangladesh, while it got only 7,110 acres of land from Bangladesh. By doing this the land area of ​​India directly reduced by 10,051 acres. But considering the cordial relations with the neighboring countries and the national interest, instead of making childish allegations against the Modi government, the Congress supported this bill in both the houses of the Parliament. 

The matter was complicated regarding rights on 162 areas

India and Bangladesh share about 4,000 km long land border. This border was formed by the border drawn on the map by Sir Radcliffe and the India-Pakistan partition. However, the real problem started when the creation of Bangladesh led to the creation of areas which legally belonged to India but were taken from Bangladeshi land. There were also many areas over which Bangladesh had rights but they were surrounded by Indian land. Due to this situation, both the countries were not able to reach their people easily. 

According to media reports, in view of this technical problem, both the countries started discussions on demarcating the boundary afresh and exchanging more than 160 areas between the two countries. The then PM Indira Gandhi signed the Land Boundary Agreement with the then PM of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the year 1974. According to the agreement, both the countries had to get this agreement ratified in their respective parliaments. Bangladesh did this but at the last moment the then Indira government backed down. 

Talks moved forward with the arrival of Modi government

After this, another agreement was reached in 2011 between the then PM Manmohan Singh and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina and it was agreed to maintain the status quo. According to the report of think tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF), under the agreement, India was to acquire 2,777.038 acres of land from Bangladesh, while 2,267.682 acres of land was to be handed over to the neighboring country.

After this, in the year 2014, Modi government came to power, which adopted the policy of Neighbor First to sharpen its foreign policy. He met Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina during the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. In this meeting, when the issue of land agreement was raised, PM Modi remained calm and did not react. After this, their second meeting took place during the SAARC summit in Kathmandu, in which Hasina also raised this issue. After this, PM Modi decided to resolve this complex issue.

Took Assam-West Bengal government into confidence

He first talked to the governments of Assam and the West who will be affected by the agreement. Since there was a BJP government in Assam, there was not much problem. After this, he talked to the Mamata government of West Bengal and convinced it for the agreement. Then he also took the consent of the main opposition party Congress on this issue. After this, he signed the historic border agreement with Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina in a conference held in Dhaka in June 2015. 

Under this agreement, 162 unresolved areas were exchanged between the two countries. Under this, 111 areas (17,160 acres of land) were given to Bangladesh. Whereas India's share included 51 areas (7,110 acres of land). People living in all 162 areas were given the option to choose citizenship of either India or Bangladesh. After this, 14,854 residents of 51 areas that were part of Bangladesh took Indian citizenship. At the same time, more than 36 thousand people took citizenship of Bangladesh. All the people who chose Bangladesh citizenship were Muslims. 

50 thousand citizens got citizenship

With this agreement made by the Modi government, about 50 thousand people living without a country got nationality and all of them were able to get the fundamental rights to which they were entitled. Modi government also approved a rehabilitation package of Rs 1005.99 crore for the welfare of the people who came to India.

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