Much awaited Enclave exchange at midnight tonight

Friday, Jul 31, 2015,20:12 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Cooch Behar (WB) | The historic exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh will be made at midnight tonight. More than 100 enclaves of India encircled by Bangladesh border and over 50 enclaves of Bangladesh enclosed by Indian territory will be exchanged between the two neighbouring countries at midnight tonight, officials said here.
As the country is observing mourning following the death of former President A P J Abdul Kalam, there would be no celebrations to mark the exchange, they said. About 51,000 residents of the enclaves, who have been stateless for decades, have made up their mind to choose the country they want to live in.
The exchange of enclaves followed signing of an agreement in Dhaka by India and Bangladesh on June 6 this year. Under the deal, signed in Dhaka in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, the two countries will swap the enclaves dotted around the border.
Their inhabitants have been deprived of public services and living in squalid conditions. The land accord was originally agreed in 1974 by Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The progress of the accord stopped for a long time after Mujibur was assassinated in 1975 and subsequent governments failed to agree on the transfer of enclaves.