GUWAHATI, Sept 11 – The All Assam Lawyers’ Association (AALA) has expressed concern over handing over of the State’s land to Bangladesh as part of a bilateral treaty, and said that the agreement would cease to come into effect unless ratified in the Parliament.
The lawyers’ body, in a press statement, has stated that though solving border dispute with the neighbouring country is essential, it should not have been done without taking the people of Assam into confidence.
“Illegal migration is one of the major problems the State is facing today. Sealing the border with barbed wire is a must to stop illegal infiltration. But at the same time, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi should have taken the people into confidence before signing this important treaty,” AALA said.
“Both the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister are elected by the people through a democratic process. They should have respected the democratic values. This pact was signed in the most clandestine manner and people of the State are irked due to this,” the statement added.
The lawyers' body also asked the Union Government and the State Government to come clean on the issue and give an explanation as to under what circumstances Assam’s land was ceded to Bangladesh and how the State is going to benefit through this agreement.
AALA in this connection referred to a case of 1960. When a plot of land belonging to a family in West Bengal was sought to be transferred to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) under similar circumstances, the matter reached the Supreme Court, with the court directing the Government to pass a resolution in Parliament by a two-thirds majority to that effect.