A dispute concerning forty-four areas of paddyfields on the border between India and Bangladesh has resulted in frequent clashes during November.
GV Indian border patrol on India-Bangladesh border at Belonia, in Tripura State
GV Indian farmers harvesting crop as border guards watch
GV/SV Border guards at field canteen (3 shots)
GV/SV border troops patrolling under-growth and entering border village (5 shots)
GV Small boy watches as border patrol leaves village (2 shots)
GV Indian farmer in field
CU Bangladesh border marker
GV Border troops on patrol
GV/SV Gun position at border outpost (4 shots)
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Background: A dispute concerning forty-four areas of paddyfields on the border between India and Bangladesh has resulted in frequent clashes during November. No-one has been injured in the exchange of gun-fire between Indian and Bangladeshi border guards but reports in Delhi newspapers claim the conflict is only a symptom of the Dacca government's aggressive attitude and that Bangladesh is preparing for a full scale war with its neighbour.
The cause of the dispute is a piece of territory in Belonia in Tripura state. Indian border security was increased following repeated incidents. Bangladesh claims Indian farmers have no right to harvest their crops on the stretch of land and reaping parties have been the target of many of the gunfire attacks. Tripura has a 644 kilometre (400 miles) border with Bangladesh and the argument involves an agreement on border demarcation made between the Delhi and Dacca governments eight years ago when the state of Bangladesh was created.
The Mihuri River was taken as the dividing line between the two countries but problems have arisen because the river has been changing course during the past few years. India claims this had necessitated the building of rivulets and spurs along the river banks. But Bangladesh argues that land erosion has been made worse on its side of the river because of the Indian workings and that these have also prevented the Mihuri from flowing along its original course. The Joint Rivers Commission of Indian and Bangladesh met in Dacca to discuss the basic causes of the dispute.
After ten days of negotiations, the Commission announced on November the 21st that both sides had agreed to prevent further border incidents. Indian and Bangladeshi governments have consistently played down the significance of the clashes and reaffirmed their friendly relations towards each other. But reports in Indian newspapers claim Bangladeshi troops have been building bunkers and defensive embankments along the border and that the Dacca government intends to invade India.