Bangladesh–India border

The Bangladesh–India border, known locally as the International Border (IB), is an international border running between Bangladesh and India that demarcates the eight divisions of Bangladesh and the Indian states.

Bangladesh–India border
Chickensneckindia.jpg
The border has created a narrow strip known as "Chicken's neck" that has made communication and transportation between mainland India and Northeast India inconvenient
Characteristics
Entities Bangladesh  India
Length4,156 km (2,582 mi)
History
Established17 August 1947
Creation of the Radcliffe Line by Sir Cyril Radcliffe due to the Partition of India
Current shape7 May 2015
Exchange of enclaves, simplification of land boundaries

Bangladesh and India share a 4,096-kilometre-long (2,545 mi) international border, the fifth-longest land border in the world, including 262 km (163 mi) in Assam, 856 km (532 mi) in Tripura, 318 km (198 mi) in Mizoram, 443 km (275 mi) in Meghalaya, and 2,217 km (1,378 mi) in West Bengal.[1] The Bangladeshi divisions of Mymensingh, Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Sylhet, and Chittagong are situated along the border. A number of pillars mark the border between the two states. Small demarcated portions of the border are fenced on both sides.

HistoryEdit

Post number 1273 of Bangladesh–India border

The Radcliffe Line was published on 17 August 1947 as a boundary demarcation line between India and Pakistan upon the partition of India. It was named after its architect, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who, as chairman of the Border Commissions, was charged with equitably dividing 450,000 square kilometres (175,000 sq mi) of territory with 88 million people.[2]

IssuesEdit

 
BDR (now BGB) Commander checking dead Bangladeshi soldiers at the border

The border is used as a route for smuggling livestock, food items, medicines, and drugs from India to Bangladesh. Moreover, illegal immigrants from Bangladesh cross the border to India. Because of a large number of illegal immigrants crossing from Bangladesh into India, a controversial shoot-on-sight policy has been enforced by the Indian border patrols.[3][4][5] This policy was initiated with reports of violence between the illegal migrants and Indian soldiers.[6] The border has also witnessed occasional skirmishes between the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB), most notably in 2001.

In July 2009, Channel 4 News reported that hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis were killed by the BSF along the Indo-Bangladeshi border fence during its construction. The BSF state that the fence's main purpose is to check illegal immigration and to prevent cross-border terrorism.[7] In 2010, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued an 81-page report which documented a number abuses committed by the BSF. The report was compiled from the interviews of abuse victims, witnesses, members of the BSF, and its Bangladeshi counterpart, the BGB. The report stated that over 900 Bangladeshi citizens were killed during the first decade of the 21st century, many of whom crossed the border for cattle rustling or other smuggling activities. However, the report also noted that some were killed due to "indiscriminate firing from across the border". The HRW called for a joint independent investigation to be conducted by both governments.[8]

 
Bangladesh Last House, on the Bangladesh–India border at Jointa Hill Resort, Tamabil, Sylhet

The BSF has often been accused by the Bangladeshi government of incursions into Bangladeshi territory, and indiscriminate shooting of civilians along the India–Bangladesh border. In a news conference in August 2008, Indian BSF officials admitted that they killed 59 illegals (34 Bangladeshis, 21 Indians, rest unidentified) who were trying to cross the border during the prior six months.[9] Bangladeshi media accused the BSF of abducting 5 Bangladeshi children, aged between 8 and 15, from the Haripur Upazila in Thakurgaon District of Bangladesh, in 2010. The children were setting fishing nets near the border.[10] In 2010, Human Rights Watch accused the Border Security Force of the indiscriminate killings. On January 7th 2011, BSF forces killed 15 year-old Felani Khatun after she became tangled while climbing the border fence during a return trip to Bangladesh. Her body was left hanging from the fence where it was photographed, drawing widespread outrage. [11]

EnclavesEdit

 
India Bangladesh Border

Their were nearly 200 enclaves and counter-enclaves that existed on both sides of the border up until 2015. The enclaves or chitmahals (Bengali: ছিটমহল) that ran along the border between the two nations were a longstanding feature of the region. The enclaves were reputedly part of a high-stakes card game or chess games centuries ago between two regional kings, the Raja of Cooch Behar and the Maharaja of Rangpur, and the result of the confused outcome of a treaty between the Kingdom of Koch Bihar and the Mughal Empire. After the partition of India in 1947, Cooch Behar district merged with India and Rangpur went to then-East Pakistan, which became Bangladesh in 1971.

The prime ministers of India and Bangladesh signed a Land Boundary Agreement in 1974 to exchange all enclaves and simplify the international border. In 1974 Bangladesh approved the proposed Land Boundary Agreement, but India did not ratify it. In 2011 the two countries again agreed to exchange enclaves and adverse possessions. A revised version of the agreement was finally adopted by the two countries when the Parliament of India passed the 119th Amendment to the Indian Constitution on 7 May 2015.[12][13]

Inside the main part of Bangladesh, there were 111 Indian enclaves (17,160.63 acres), while inside the main part of India, there were 51 Bangladeshi enclaves (7,110.02 acres). Under the Land Boundary Agreement, the enclave residents could continue to reside at their present location or move to the country of their choice.[14][15] The adverse possession of Boraibari went to Bangladesh.[16] The undemarcated borders between the nations were also finally solved with respect to Daikhata-Dumabari, Muhurichar (an island in the Muhuri River),[13] and Pyrdiwah.[17][18][19]

Maritime boundaryEdit

India and Bangladesh, with different perceptions of their maritime boundaries and exclusive economic zone, engaged in eight rounds of bilateral negotiations since 1974, which remained inconclusive until 2009 when both agreed to undergo arbitration under the UNCLOS. On 7 July 2014, Arbitration Tribunal resolved the dispute in Bangladesh's favor, which was amicably accepted by both sides, thus ending the dispute.[20][21] Dispute also included South Talpatti (also called "New Moore"), a small uninhabited offshore sandbar which emerged as an Island in the aftermath of the Bhola cyclone in 1970, and disappeared around March 2010.[22][23]

TransportationEdit

 
India–Bangladesh Friendship Gate between Tamabil (Bangladesh) and Dawki (India) border.

Road linksEdit

Designated Integrated Check Posts (ICP, with both customs and immigration facilities) and Land Customs Stations (LCS) are:[24]

Bus serviceEdit

Transport between India and Bangladesh bears much historical and political significance for both countries, which possessed no ground transport links for 43 years, starting with the partition of Bengal and India in 1947. After the establishment of Bangladesh following the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, bilateral relations improved considerably, but the two governments moved slowly on implementing a 1980 agreement on improving transport links.[26]

The KolkataDhaka Bus started in 1999.[27] In 2001, another bus service was launched to connect Dhaka with Agartala, the capital of the Indian state of Tripura, the second largest city of Northeast India that borders Bangladesh in the east. In 2015 June direct bus service from Kolkata to Agartala via, Petrapole, Dhaka, Akhoura began. The service is operated by West Bengal surface transport corporation.

India–Bangladesh rail linksEdit

Before partition India and Bangladesh had multiple rail links. In the 21st century the countries are only connected by rail links on the Western Bangladeshi border, although there are plans to rebuild some of the other rail links. 2 scheduled passenger trains run between Kolkata and Bangladesh as the Maitree Express and the Bandhan Express.

India–Bangladesh barrierEdit

 
The border fence close to the Hili Border station in West Bangladesh

The project has run into several delays and there is no clear completion date for the project yet.[28][29][30] The barrier when complete will be patrolled by the Border Security Force. The fence will also be electrified at some stretches. The BSF claims that the barrier's main purpose is to prevent smuggling of narcotics.[7]

India is constructing the India–Bangladesh barrier, a 3,406-kilometre (2,116 mi) fence of barbed wire and concrete just under 3 metres (9.8 ft) high, to prevent smuggling of narcotics. Out of this, 500 kilometres (310 mi) of fencing was completed at the cost of 28.81 billion (US$400 million) by November 2007. The deadline for project completion was set to 2008–09.[28] By October 2009, about 2,649 kilometres (1,646 mi) of fencing along with about 3,326 kilometres (2,067 mi) of border roads were completed. The deadline for project completion was revised to March 2010.[29] By March 2011, 2,735 kilometres (1,699 mi) of fencing was completed and the deadline was revised to March 2012.[30]

Assam shares 263 kilometres (163 mi) of border with Bangladesh out of which 143.9 kilometres (89.4 mi) is land and 119.1 kilometres (74.0 mi) is riverine. As of November 2011, 221.56 kilometres (137.67 mi) of fencing was completed.[31] India has completed the installation of flood lights for 277 kilometres (172 mi) in the West Bengal sector.[28] Sometimes between 2001 and 2006 Bangladesh Border security troops (BDR) clashed with the Indian Border Security Force when the fence was built beyond the no man's land.[32]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Border Management: Dilemma of Guarding the India–Bangladesh Border". IDSA. January 2004.
  2. ^ Read, Anthony; Fisher, David (1998). The Proudest Day: India's Long Road to Independence. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. p. 482. ISBN 9780393045949.
  3. ^ Tusha Mittal (15 October 2011). "Blood on the Border". Tehelka. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  4. ^ Adams, Brad (23 January 2011). "India's shoot-to-kill policy on the Bangladesh border". The Guardian. London.
  5. ^ "India: New Killings, Torture at Bangladeshi Border". Human Rights Watch. 24 July 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  6. ^ "BSF jawan killed in ambush near Bangladesh border". DNA. 6 August 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  7. ^ a b "India-Bangladesh 'security' fence". Channel 4 News. 24 July 2009. Archived from the original on 25 July 2009.
  8. ^ "India/Bangladesh: Indiscriminate Killings, Abuse by Border Officers". Human Rights Watch. 9 December 2010. Archived from the original on 23 January 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  9. ^ India says 59 killed over last six months on Bangladesh border, Reuters, 24 August 2008.
  10. ^ "BSF abducts 5 children from border". The Daily Star. 24 July 2010. Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  11. ^ "15 Years Innocent Bangladeshi Girl Felani Killed by Aggressive Indian Border Security Force (BSF)". Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  12. ^ "The Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill, 2013" PRS India. Retrieved 10 May 2015.[1]
  13. ^ a b Shubhajit Roy (2 December 2014). "Everything you need to know: Land swap in offing with Bangladesh to end disputes". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  14. ^ Sougata Mukhopadhyay (7 September 2011). "India–Bangladesh sign pact on border demarcation". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Parliament passes historic land accord bill to redraw border with Bangladesh". The Times of India. 7 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  16. ^ Manoj Anand (8 May 2015). "Bangladesh land swap deal: AGP calls bandh, says PM Modi betrayed people". The Asian Age. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  17. ^ "Meghalaya groups flay land-swap deal". The Telegraph. Calcutta. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Stateless misery on India–Bangladesh border". BBC News. 5 September 2011.
  19. ^ "Bangladesh, India to swap 162 land parcels", AFP, 1 September 2011
  20. ^ "UN tribunal puts an end to 40-year-old India-Bangladesh maritime dispute". RT Op-Edge. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  21. ^ PCA Ruling on the Chinese claims of sovereignty in South China Sea, Times of India, 6 Jun 2020.
  22. ^ Global warming as peacemaker? Disputed island disappears under rising sea. , Christian Science Monitor, March 24, 2010
  23. ^ Bonnett, Alastair, 1964- (2014). Off the map : lost spaces, invisible cities, forgotten islands, feral places, and what they tell us about the world. London. ISBN 978-1-78131-257-5. OCLC 868380030.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ ICP and LCS
  25. ^ "India opens two border crossing points with Myanmar, Bangladesh". The Hindu Business Line. 1 October 2017.
  26. ^ Malhotra, Jyoti (18 June 1999). "Bus maps the route to better Indo-Bangla ties". The Indian Express. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  27. ^ "Kolkata–Dhaka Moitree Express flagged off". The Times of India. 14 April 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  28. ^ a b c "Centre has fenced 3406 km along Indo-Bangladesh border". Thaindian news. 27 November 2007.
  29. ^ a b "Indo-Bangla border fencing to be completed by March 2010". Zee News. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  30. ^ a b "Bangla border fence deadline extended". The Assam Tribune. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  31. ^ "Fencing along India–Bangladesh Border". Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  32. ^ "India–Bangladesh News from India". India Monitor. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 11 July 2007.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 26°15′43″N 88°45′06″E / 26.26194°N 88.75167°E / 26.26194; 88.75167