52 yrs after Bangladesh Liberation War

Abu Sufian

After 52 years of 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War that forced 15 lakh refugees from erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) to seek shelter in India, the Tripura government has started a survey to unearth the status of land plots exchanged between the people of both the countries.

Thousands of people had migrated after the partition between India and Pakistan in 1947 to get rid of the hostilities of the Pakistan forces. After the war was over, many went back but many stayed back. Among them, most of the Hindus settled in Tripura permanently after exchanging land plots with Muslims in the state, who later migrated to Bangladesh.

The in-depth survey began following guidelines of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). As part of it, the district magistrates are engaged in field surveys to find out whether the land occupants have some valid documents or not.

“Some people migrated here and exchanged plots. Some occupied plots with unregistered deeds and some without them. There might be some people who occupied the plot without migration. We are conducting a survey to find out the status of these plots. So far, 2,117 such cases have been found here,” said an official from the Revenue Department of India on the condition of anonymity.

A series of surveys between 1980 and 2006 were conducted in different phases to unearth the status of these land plots.

As per the government regulations, any land occupied without valid documents would become state property.

“Those who have valid documents would be aided with mutation of plot. Those who don’t have documents for their occupied plots would be asked to take these plots on lease,” said the official.

In their preliminary findings, Sepahijala district has been found to have one of the highest numbers of exchanged plots.

A similar kind of plot identification process was done in Assam, West Bengal and others earlier.

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