Exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh starts midnight

31 Jul 2015


New Delhi/Dhaka, July 31: In a historic event which will end four decades of deadlock, India and Bangladesh are all set to start the exchange of 162 enclaves from Friday to accord nationality to more than 51,000 people.

"In accordance with steps agreed to between India and Bangladesh during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh on June 6-7, 2015, the Bangladeshi enclaves in India and Indian enclaves in Bangladesh shall stand physically transferred to the other country with effect from the midnight of 31 July 2015," India\'s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.


The MEA said there here are 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in India which are to be exchanged pursuant to the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement and 2011 Protocol, instruments of ratification of which were exchanged during Modi’s visit to the neighbouring nation.


"Following the Prime Minister Modi’s visit, much work has gone into ascertaining the nationality options of the enclave residents. The Office of the Registrar General of India, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and DM, Cooch Behar and DCs of Lalmonirhat, Panchagarh, Kurigram and Nilphamari worked systematically and in a coordinated fashion to collect the options from the residents. The actual option taking exercise was carried out by 75 teams operating in the enclaves in India and Bangladesh from July 6-16, 2015. 30 observers from both Governments were also present in the enclaves during this survey period. Data from this joint exercise is now being verified by the Office of the Registrar General of India and the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics," read the statement.


The Indian government said other steps with regard to implementation of the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement and 2011 Protocol are underway in accordance with agreed modalities between Government of India and Bangladesh.


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