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Indo-Bangla Land Swap Deal: A Tangled Border Get Straightened
Aug 06, 2015

At the stroke of midnight on July 31, India and Bangladesh started formally resolved a knotty boundary problem left over from history. Bangladeshi enclaves in India and Indian enclaves in Bangladesh shall stand physically transferred to the other country. For over 50,000 people, it is the opportunity to be part of a nation of their choice.

  • It will be the first time since 1947 that India can draw a firm, uncontested boundary line with Bangladesh.

  • July 31, 2015 marks the resolution of a complex issue that has lingered since Independence.


It also marks the day from which enclave residents on both sides of the border will enjoy the benefits of nationality of India or Bangladesh, as the case may be, and thus access to civic services, education, healthcare and other facilities provided by the two governments to their respective nationals.

  • There are 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in India which will be exchanged.

  • 37,000 Indians living in enclaves inside Bangladesh and 14,000 Bangladeshi citizens in enclaves inside India. 

  • The two governments have recorded the wishes of all the people involved. They have been asked whether they would want to become Indian or Bangladeshi citizens. 

  • The last such census was done in 2011, and this year that list was updated.

  • Once the land exchange is formally complete, population movement will start after monsoon and complete by November 30. 

  • The ground has been prepared for the movement of such residents who exercise the option of moving from an Indian enclave to the Indian mainland.

Figures

  • Indian enclaves in Bangladesh: 111 

  • Population: Around 37,000 

  • Area: 17,158 acres 

  • Bangladeshi enclaves in India: 55 

  • Population: 14,584 

  • Area: 7,110 acres

979 People Opt for Indian Citizenship in Bangla Enclaves: Not many ‘yes’ for Indian citizenship from the 37,000-odd staying in Indian enclaves inside Bangladesh. Just 979 people or .02% Indians have opted for Indian citizenship. This is in stark contrast to the 14,854 staying on Indian soil in Bangladeshi enclaves, all of whom have sought Indian citizenship. It was earlier estimated that around 13,000 people staying in the 111 enclaves would move to India.


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