31 July, New Delhi
India and Bangladesh redrew their maps at midnight tonight- Friday as 162 enclaves on the border get transferred to respective countries under the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement effected during Prime Minister’s Bangladesh visit last month.
111 Indian enclaves within Bangladesh will merge with Bangladesh, and 51 Bangladeshi ones will get merged with India. The transfer will give over 50,000 people citizenship of either country, bringing them access to all legal rights and civic amenities.
A joint survey conducted from 6th -16th July gave gave them choice to decide which country they want to live. Those who have decided to move have been promised safe and secure passage with personal belongings & movable property till November 30th this year.
Ban on property sale imposed since 6th July will be lifted to allow those moving, to sell their land. In a few hours from now, residents of 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh are set to obtain the new identity of citizenship.
To mark the taste of freedom after 68 years, elaborate programs have been drawn up. Enclave dwellers are set to light 68 candles and release 68 balloons. Besides special prayers, there will be boat races, and cultural programs.
As the clock strikes midnight, the boundary pillars known as British Pillars which demarcated enclave lands will be dismantled. The Indian flag will go up in 51 Bangladeshi enclaves while the Bangladeshi flag in 111 Indian enclaves.