India: Bangladesh “encroaching” on Assam; harbinger of climate disaster?

India’s Border Security Force has launched a new initiative to combat “illegal” infiltration of peasants from Bangladesh into Assam and other northeastern states. The Assam Assembly witnessed noisy scenes last month after the state government announced that Bangladesh and neighboring Indian states were encroaching on the state’s land. Assam authorities said nearly 500 acres of land was being encroached on by Bangladesh along the border while 87 hectares of land was illegally occupied by the states of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya and a small stretch by West Bengal. Scientists warn that low-lying Bangladesh, if inundated by sea-level rise and flooding, could send millions of refugees into neighboring countries. (Daily Green, Aug. 26; Assam Tribune, Aug. 25; Zee News, July 15)

Similar issues of political ecology are causing tensions with Nepal in Bihar state.

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