Members of the Bharat Bangladesh Enclave Exchange Coordination Committee (BBEECC) has written separately to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu regarding the “speedy implementation” of the Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh which remains unresolved since 1974.
Recently, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had visited the enclaves in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal while Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, during her visit to Bangladesh in February this year, had assured the neighbouring country that her government “would not stand in the way of the LBA being executed between the two countries” in what was seen as a major climbdown for Mamata who earlier used to hold many reservations.
Diptiman Sengupta, assistant secretary of the BBEECC, pointed out in the letters how the NGO had been fighting for the granting of “right to citizenship” to the enclave dwellers and bestowing of “nationality to stateless people” living in enclaves for more than two decades now.
Parliament’s Standing Committee on External Affairs has already cleared the draft Land Boundary Agreement Bill for Parliament’s perusal, which will subsequently be signed by the two countries, Sengupta said. The BBEECC has urged the leaders to take the initiative to introduce the Bill in Parliament. “It will be a historic move,” Sengupta said, “if the two countries can implement the LBA as it will bring an end to the “greatest human tragedy of our times”.
Under the proposed legislation, 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh’s four districts and 51 Bangladesh enclaves in India will be exchanged.
– Express News Service | Kolkata