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.
There 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 Prime Minister Modi’s visit.
2.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.
3.After successfully completing the exercise of ascertaining nationality options of enclave residents, 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. Both Governments are working closely together to facilitate trouble-free movement of these residents before the stipulated date of November 30, 2015.
4.July 31, 2015 will thus be a historic day for both India and Bangladesh. The day 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.
5.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.