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Purvo Shrihatta Sanmillani

(An Association of the Hindus of erstwhile Sylhet District of Assam)

Lakhibazar Road, Debotosh Bhattacharjee Karimganj – 788 710, Assam


Email: purvoshrihatta@gmail.com Ph: 9435342305, 9401283343,9401048761
Dated 30th May, 2017
To
Shri Narendra Modi,
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
152, South Block,
Raisina Hill, New Delh i- 110011

Memorandum I: Sub: Adverse possession of Indian land by Pakistan/Bangladesh-


Request to cause to possess Indian legal Territory (~4692 sq km-hereby designated
as Sreebhumi) due to erroneous demarcation in undivided Sylhet, Assam as per
Cyril Radcliffe AWARD, 1947

Ref: Memorandum submitted by Sarbangin Manab Kalyan Samiti, Chandkhira – 788725;


Dist- Karimganj (Assam) dtd.12th June, 2016 and advice of the Ministry of External
Affairs, Govt of India (Bangladesh – Myanmar Division) to channelize the memorandum
through the Govt of Assam

Respected Sir,

Kindly accept our heroic nationalist salutation.


“LAL, BAL, PAL – BIPIN PAL JINDABAD”. **
** {Lal Bal Pal (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal) were a triumvirate of assertive
nationalists in British-ruled India. They advocated Swadeshi movement involving boycott of all imported items and
use of Indian-made goods. Bipin Chandra Pal was from village Poil in Habiganj of Sylhet district of undivided
Assam which is Indian Territory “Sreebhumi” under adverse possession of Bangladesh.}

While welcoming the popular nationalist Government of the Bharatiya Janata Party led alliance
for the first time in Assam, and the Union Government under the dynamic leadership of Shri
Narendra Modi having strong feeling for India, and signing as well as implementing historic

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Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) between India and Bangladesh on 5th June, 2015, we, on
behalf of the Purvo Shrihatta Sanmillani hereby draw your attention to the facts and
circumstances of adverse possession by Pakistan (now Bangladesh) below as well as request to
cause to possess Indian legal territory so that all round economic development could be made in
this otherwise backward and neglected region of Assam and the contiguous Indian territories
lying presently within Bangladesh.

1. That a land (hereby designated as SREEBHUMI indicated in Map 1 to Map 6), with an
area measuring approximately 4692 sq km, equivalent to 2.6 times of the present
Karimganj district of Assam (1809 sq km) was erroneously demarcated in 1947 in favor
of East Pakistan during partition of Sylhet district of Assam, as per Cyril Radcliffe
AWARD, 1947. Consequently the entitled territory of the state of Assam (and India) is
yet to be possessed or under adverse possession of Bangladesh. Thereby the vast

Map 1. Broad location of the ‘yet to occupy’ territory of India (hereby designated as Sreebhumi)
is indicated. Map 2. Currently Bangladesh/ erstwhile East Pakistan/ East Bengal of Sylhet and
present Bibhag, Zila and Upzila of Sylhet and ‘yet to occupy’ territory –Sreebhumi in the
southern side is indicated, as per Radcliffe’s Award, 1947.

adjoining region of Patharkandi sub-division of Karimganj district of Assam and northern


part of Tripura, with rich in Tea, rubber, oil & natural gas resources had to remain under-
developed with continued sufferings of the non-Muslims viz. Hindus, Buddhist, Christian,
Tea communities, Khasis, Tripurese, Bengalese, Bishnupriya and other people in the
counterpart living in both aforesaid Sreebhumi area and Karimganj district in Assam.

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2. Bengal Boundary Commision Report: That to understand the whole gamut, the Report
of the Bengal Boundary Commission (Sylhet District of Assam) during Partition as per
Cyril Radcliffe Award, 1947 is mentioned below for ready reference. The aforesaid
Award read as follows:

Report of the Bengal Boundary Commission (Sylhet District)

13. In those circumstances, I think that some exchange of territories must be affected if a
workable division is to result. Some of the non-Muslim thanas must go to East Bengal and
some Muslim territory and Hailakandi must be retained by Assam. Accordingly I decide and
award as follows:-
A line shall be drawn from the point where the boundary between the Thanas of Patharkandi
and Kulaura meets the frontier of Tripura State and shall run north along the boundary
between those Thanas, then along the boundary between the Thanas of Patharkandi and
Barlekha, then along the boundary between the Thanas of Karimganj and Barlekha, and
along the boundary between the Thanas of Karimganj and Beani Bazar to the point where
that boundary meets the River Kushiyara. The line shall then turn to the east taking the River
Kushiyara as the boundary and run to the point where that river meets the boundary between
the District of Sylhet and Cachar. The centre line of the main stream or channel shall
constitute the boundary.
So much of the district of Sylhet as lies to the west and north of this line shall be detached
from the province of Assam and transferred to the province of East Bengal. No other part of
the province of Assam shall be transferred.
14. For purpose of illustration a map marked A attached on which the line is delineated. In
the event of any divergence between the line as delineated on the map and as described in
paragraph 13, the written description is to prevail.

New Delhi
The 13th August, 1947 CYRIL RADCLIFFE
_________________

K.V.K. SUNDARAM
Officer on Special Duty

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Map 3: Partition boundaries in Bengal and Assam
Map 3 shows Partition boundaries in Bengal and Assam - (Source: 'India, the transfer of power
1942-47', Vol. XII, 8 July-15 August 1947, OIR 354.54P).

3. That Sir Cyril John Radcliffe was a British Lawyer. After heading Boundary Commission
in India, he was appointed as the Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
(Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, commonly known as Law Lords). During five weeks of his
stay in India, he had to work under tremendous pressure for the whole of boundary for
India, West Pakistan, East Pakistan and Sylhet district of Assam. He was not a
cartographer but a legal expert. That’s why he finally wrote in his award for Sylhet
specifically to ignore the ‘Map’ as shown in Map 3 above saying that "In the event of
any divergence between the line as delineated on the map and as described in
paragraph 13, the written description is to prevail".
Now let us look into the written description little closely. “A line shall be drawn from
the point where the boundary between the Thanas of Patharkandi and Kulaura meets
the frontier of Tripura State and shall run north along the boundary between those

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Thanas, then along the boundary between the Thanas of Patharkandi and Barlekha,
then along the boundary between the Thanas of Karimganj and Barlekha,….
So much of the district of Sylhet as lies to the west and north of this line shall be
detached from the province of Assam and transferred to the province of East Bengal.
No other part of the province of Assam shall be transferred.
The dictionary meaning of the word "TO" is “something directly”. (►►►»»»→→→).
Correct geometrical description of the Sylhet Boundary Commission Award, 1947 has been
shown in Map 4 & 5.

Map 4: Correct geometrical description of the Sylhet Boundary Commission Award,


1947
But while delineating the Map, the word “To” was read as “Towards”, the meaning of
which is “in the direction” ({{{├├├↨↨↨) (Map 4. 5 & 6). Accordingly, due to erroneous
exercise, only three Thanas of Badarpur (47 sq mi or 122 sq km), Ratabari (240 sq mi or
622 sq km), Patharkandi (277 sq mi or 717 sq km) and a portion of Karimganj Thana
(145 sq mi or 376 sq km) with a total area of 709 sq mi or 1836 sq km and a population
of 23 million were retained in Assam and a land area of 4692 sq km and a
population of 57 million left in the Sreebhumi or under adverse possession of East
Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

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Map 5. Erroneous interpretation while delineating Boundary as per Radcliffe Award, 1947 in
Sylhet District of Assam resulting in adverse possession of Indian Territory.

It is not a denying fact that through a well planned conspiracy, maneuvering, manipulation
through a farce referendum and above all on erroneous demarcation of boundary during
Partition, Pakistan could adversely possess 87.2% of land area covering 12,298 sq km (present
Sylhet Bighag in Bangladesh) and only 12.8% of land area covering 1,809 sq km was retained in
Assam, in place of 6,128 sq km. There was an unwanted, biased, and statutorily non-tenable,
unprepared Referendum in a single district (Sylhet) of Assam on 5-7 June, 1947. A district is not
an independent unit of administration. However, there were 5, 41,517 eligible voters and 77%
voter participated in the voting. Out of these 77% voter (4, 23,660), the 56.56% (2, 39,619)
voters voted for East Bengal (Pakistan) and 43.44% voter (1, 84,041) opted for Assam (India).
Demarcation of boundary was based not on results of simple majority but on the basis of
“sharing of land area in proportion to voting pattern”. Sir Cyril John Radcliffe genuinely
awarded 43.44% (6,128 sq km) of land to India (Assam), more or less in proportion to the overall
voting pattern in the Referendum, as shown in Map 4, 5 & 6. In an unfair exercise, Assam
(India) was allowed only 1,809 sq km (12.8%) of land and East Bengal (Pakistan) was allowed
87.2% (12,298 sq km) of land. As per description, Assam is entitled to 44% land and East

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Bengal (Pakistan) is entitled to 56% of Sylhet, Assam. But Assam was allowed only 13% and
East Bengal was awarded 87%. As such, we demand that such a territory be put under India
without further delay.

4. Sreebhumi is Hindu dominated region: That the South Sylhet region (comprising
Kulaura, Rajnagar, Moulvibazar, Kamalganj, Srimangal thanas constitute about 60% of
the aforesaid Sreebhumi) was Hindu majority area. There are 133 tea gardens in the
aforesaid area of Sreebhumi. Among them 24 tea gardens are located in neighboring
Habiganj sub-division. The tea communities are all Hindus. Interestingly they were not
allowed to caste vote in the referendum. Still, amidst all adversities, majority of votes
in the Referendum went in favor of remaining in Assam (India). In South Sylhet sub-
division, 52 per cent (33,471) of votes were casted in favor of Assam (India), whereas for
East Bengal (Pakistan) it was only 48 % (31,718) in the referendum. {Source: IOR,
R/3/158, File No. 1446/20/GG/143 – Referendum in Sylhet. Telegram from the Governor
of Assam to the Viceroy, 12 July 1947.} (Refer Table 1). The rest of aforesaid Sreebhumi
consists of southern part of Sunamganj sub-division (Sulle Thana) and Western part of
Habiganj sub-division (Ajmiriganj thana) were also Hindu majority areas, as per report of
the Boundary Commission. The Sylhet Boundary Commission headed by Radcliffe was
therefore, in favor of retaining South Sylhet and its adjoining contiguous areas to Assam
and India. Accordingly he awarded South Sylhet and its adjoining areas to Assam, India
with the word “TO” the west.

5. Location of Sreebhumi: That as per written description, taking the word "TO" as
“something directly, when a line is delineated from the tri-junction i.e. Border pillar
near Putni village, Patharkandi of Karimganj district (where Tripura, Assam and
Bangladesh meet) (~24061’N, ~92024’E) and is allowed to proceed to the WEST
direction of about 108 km, it would meet at the end point of Sylhet district (now
Bibhag), at an unmanned place (~24061’N, ~91018’ E) in Ajmiriganj, Sylhet. The
land area in the southern part measuring ~ 4692 sq km would then be of Indian Territory
which the state of Assam or India has to lose, as shown the Map 4, 5 & 6. Thus it
deserves to restored in the interest of the majority people who voted for India.

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Map 6 shows the combined boundary of Indian part of erstwhile Sylhet district of Assam in
Karimganj district 1809 sq km and Sreebhumi ~4692 sq km, there by a total of 6501 sq km.

6. Series of Protest: That the protests on erroneous demarcation, popularly known as


"SYLHETER BARO THANAR DABI" (Demand for twelve Thanas of Sylhet) were
immediately voiced by local citizens in 1947, but the response from the Governments of
India & Pakistan was feeble. The matter of erroneous demarcation was raised also by the
then Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha Late Suresh Deb and Member of Parliament
in Lok Sabha Late Bhupesh Gupta. Representations, Memorandum were submitted from
time to time. Late Mahitosh Purkayastha, M.P. (R.S. 1966-72); eminent educationist and
Member of Parliament Late Professor Jogendra Kumar Choudhury, had also raised the
issue repeatedly in the parliament and outside. The Barak Upatyoka Bongo-Sahitya O
Songskriti Sonmellan, represented by the then General Secretary Late Premendra Mohan
Goswami, (Principal, Narshing H.S School, Silchar) and President Late Mahitosh
Purkayastha, ex-MP; ex-MLA, along with Shri Iresh Ranjan Bhattacharjee submitted

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petition to Late Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India and others concerned at Delhi in
the year 1985. The Voting pattern in referendum and list of attributed 12 police stations
(Baro thana) out of 35 thana of the then Sylhet district of Assam were repeated
mentioned in their petitions which are mentioned below for ready reference (Table 1).
But no tangible action was initiated on all such appeals and petitions made time to time to
recover the land from adverse possession of the then East Bengal/ East Pakistan or now
Bangladesh.

Table 1. Voting pattern in referendum and list of attributed 12 police stations (Baro thana)
out of 35 thana of the then Sylhet district of Assam, 1947.

7. Size of Sreebhumi: As per Redclfffe’s Award, 1947, territory (designated here as


Sreebhumi) lies to the border of north-eastern of Tripura in its south-west. It is to be
pointed out that the NCR of Delhi is only 1,484 sq km. The combined area of said
Sreebhumi (6,501 sq km) is about three times of NCR of Delhi. In Assam, it would
have ranked 2nd among 33 districts only after Karbi Anglong district (10,434 sq
km). In terms of existence as independent country (under hypothetical Maharajadhiraj
of Sreebhumi), the land area of Sreebhumi could be reckoned above some 66 countries
in world say, Kosovo, French Polynesia, Mauritius, Singapore that have an area of 4203,
4167, 2014, 693 sq km respectively.

8. Resource strength - Common geographical and economic belt: That the area under
Sreebhumi lies in a uniform physical features that make it a distinct geographical

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division. On being bordered by the hills ranges, viz. Mizo, Tipperah hills and northern
plains of Bangladesh, it is a homeland for homogeneous group of people with common
economic belt. When Dibrugarh is called the ‘tea city of India’ with 140 tea gardens, the
aforesaid Sreebhumi plus Karimganj could be ‘grand tea region of the world’ with
more than 133 tea gardens in Sreebhumi and 27 tea gardens in contiguous Karimganj
district (a total of 160 gardens). Quality of tea produced in the aforesaid region is not
only comparable with the tea produced in Dooars and Terai regions, but has earned a
niche in the world market for its liquor quality and flavor with prestigious CTC (crust,
tear and curl) tea. It normally fetches higher prices in the world tea market. With lack of
economic corridor in matters of connectivity and communication, many factories and tea-
estates including that of state-owned Assam Tea Corporation Ltd. in Karimganj district of
Assam are compelled to down their shutters. Tea Research Institute at Sreemangal could
have catered the needs of the whole geographical region. Moreover, region is famous for
oranges, lemons, Satkora (used in perfumery, culinary industries), bird’s eye chilly,
pineapple, jackfruit, jute seed, bamboo, cane, agar, rubber etc.

Hyderocarbon resources: Hydrocarbon Unit is 3,852 billion cubic feet lies in Habiganj
district alone, whereas similar amounts are available in contiguous Indian part in
Karimganj and Tripura (Adamtilla & Longai gas fields). Combined with Bibiyana gas
field of Habiganj, natural gas reserves would be more than 20 trillion cubic feet. Natural
gas from this region is renowned for being very pure with a composition of 95–99%
methane and almost no sulphur. Drilling & Production; Exploration & Development are
hindered due to lack of connectivity.

International Trade and Tourist Circuit: The region on clubbing could become a
major national and international trade and tourist circuit. The rain forest of the region is
the habitat of white browed Gibbons, hornbills and many other rare endangered wild
animals, species of birds, insects. The wet lands of region are full of extra-ordinary flora
and fauna. It has attractive scenic hot spots, tea garden, tea factory, British days Club,
polo and golf ground, eco-club, war memory etc. The magnetism of Baniachong which is
famous for largest rural village in Asia and once capital of the Lour Kingdom of Sylhet is

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famed for Old Rajbari, Komola Ranir Dighi (Sagor Dighi). The Rajnagar, ‘the city of
king’, place of "Vishnu Pod" Dham is famous for its people as peaceful, progressive and
creative. The ancient Chinese Traveler Huen Tsang made all praise for these people. As
per latest historical revelation, it was a seat of higher learning (Sanskrit University), even
before Nalanda, Taxilla. The ancient Kamarupa kingdom derived its intellectual strength
from Rajnagar, Srihatta. Thus Sreebhumi could form a grand Tourism Circuit (Map 7)
with Agartala, Unokuti, Jumphai Hills of Tripura; Longai Reserve Forest, Chandkhira
areas of Assam and Sreemangal, Muraicherra Eco-park, Lowacherra, Satchari National
Parks, Madhupur eco-resorts.

Map 7. Economic & Tourism corridor in Sreebhumi, Karimganj, Tripura and Bangladesh

9. No legal national or international obligation for India in acceding “Sreebhumi”:


That in 1960, a transfer case of Berubari Union of West Bengal to East Pakistan was
referred to the Supreme Court by the President of India (in Berubari Union: AIR 1960 SC
845, 1960 3 SCR 250). From the judgment it appears that the recognition and

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implementation of boundary, as awarded by the Boundary Commission, as per
Indian Independence Act, 1947 is a matter of executive action. No legislative action
is necessary. Indian Union has full and exclusive authority, jurisdiction and power
of governance in the titled land. Adverse possession of land by Bangladesh or earlier by
Pakistan for some years after Boundary Commission Award would not, in any way, affect
its status. There are instances that after 15 years or even after 69 years, transferring of land
between India and Bangladesh (Pakistan) was being affected.

Stoppage of exodus out of religious persecution: With annexation of legal territory


‘Sreebhumi’ with India on vacating Bangladesh from its adverse possession, it will help
to stop exodus of the Hindus, Buddhist, Christians to migrate to India out of religious
persecution in Bangladesh.

Under the facts and circumstances, we request you to cause


to possess Indian legal territory “Sreebhumi” from adverse possession of
East Bengal/ East Pakistan or now Bangladesh,
so that apart from annexation of Indian legal Territory with mainland India, the region as a whole
would prosper.
And for these attention and action, we shall ever pray.
“LAL, BAL, PAL – BIPIN PAL JINDABAD”

With regards
Yours sincerely;
On behalf of the Purvo Shrihatta Sanmillani
Conveners:
Sd/-Angshuman Majumdar Sd/- Sudip Sarma Choudhury Sd/-Dr. Iresh Ranjan Bhattacharjee
Ph: 9435146122 Ph: 9864333911 Ph:9435342305

Sd/- Sandip Nath Sd/- Madhuchandra Bhattacharjee Sd/- Kamal Choudhury


Ph: 9435146034 Ph: 9435042897 Ph: 9854134488
(Original copy of the Memorandum had been handed over to Shri Banwarilal Purohit, Hon’ble
Governor of Assam at Raj Bhavan, Guwahti on 30.5.2017 for onward transmission).

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