The town of Belonia in south Tripura wears a deserted look. The state government has evacuated around 2,500 families in Muhurichar Enclave without offering them any rehabilitation. As a result, they have lost their homes and agricultural land.
Anupam Chakraborty, a social activist in Belonia who is helping the affected people reach out to the authorities to address their grievance, told Land Conflict Watch that the government did not give any notice to the people before evacuating them nor did they specify the reason for the mass evacuation, the process of which started in 2016 and was completed in 2018.
Meanwhile, the Belonia Municipal Corporation has offered temporary shelter to some of the families, while a large majority continues to live on the streets.
Belonia is located by the Muhuri river on the border of India and Bangladesh. The town has been a bone of contention between the two neighbours for almost half a century now.
A report by Business Standard quotes Tripuras Revenue, Public Works Department and Health Minister Badal Choudhury as telling IANS that since decades before the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, around 60 Indian farmers have been cultivating in the 63acre Muhurichar Enclave area".
"As part of the implementation of the bilateral Land Boundary Agreement of 1974 and its 2011 Protocol, India gave away to Bangladesh 110 of its 111 enclaves in Tripura in July last year and received 51 enclaves in return, but the talks over Muhurichar remained inconclusive," he said.
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