India-Bangladesh land deal a fillip to trade: Meghalaya CM

Shillong, Aug 15 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Saturday said the land agreement that was signed between India and Bangladesh would give a fillip to trade, commerce and tourism between the two countries.

Sangma spoke here at the main Independence Day celebration attended by thousands of people despite rains.

After unfurling the tri-colour and taking the salute at a parade here, the chief minister said the settlement would also go a long way in improving the law and order climate along the border besides the bilateral relations between the two neighbouring countries.

“All this should bring economic benefits to the people residing in the border areas as well as to Meghalaya as a whole,” Sangma said, adding that Meghalaya gained 240.578 acres of land, and Bangladesh would get to retain about 41.702 acres from the India-Bangladesh land deal agreement.

“It is my earnest hope that what was once a boundary of discord will now turn into an area of vibrant trade and commerce to build a bond of friendship,” he said.

On the prevailing internal security situation, the chief minister admitted the security situation in the five districts of Garo Hills continues to remain a cause of concern as militant and criminal outfits engage in anti-national and criminal activities.

However, he said the concerted and untiring efforts of the security forces against the banned terrorist outfit, Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), has been quite successful resulting in the arrest of militants and their sympathizers, seizures of arms and equipment, busting of camps and hideouts and prevention of anti-social activities.

The Meghalaya police, Sangma said, is also keeping a close watch on the trans-border movement of terrorists from Bangladesh and has also taken up the issue with the central government.

The chief minister also urged upon the people of the state to join hands with the government’s continuing efforts to maintain peace and harmony and to march ahead on the path of growth and development.

“I also urge upon the educated youth of the state to progressively take up responsible and challenging positions in different spheres of activities, professions and callings, and counsel their peers and their less fortunate and less educated brethren to always choose the path of peace and progress through dialogue and mutual understanding rather than resort to meaningless violence for resolution of their problems.

“This is our only means for ensuring that the State forges ahead positively on all important parameters of development and progress,” Sangma said.

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