Eight days after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited an enclave on the India-Bangladesh border, residents of enclaves have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that they are ready to donate land required for rehabilitation of people once the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) is ratified.
“He (Mr. Singh) is the first Union Home Minister to check the ground realities of enclaves,” the letter states. During his visit to Balapukhri enclave, the Home Minister on March 31 said the LBA, envisaging the exchange of enclaves, must be sorted out on humanitarian grounds.
“Our organisation has identified around 100 acres that will be donated for rehabilitation of families living in Indian enclaves in Bangladesh, who may decide to come back to Indian mainland,” the BBEECC letter said.
“Residents of enclaves only want Indian citizenship”
A letter from the Bharat Bangladesh Enclave Exchange Coordination Committee (BBEECC) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered to donate land to resettle people after the ratification of the Land Border Agreement.
The communication signed by Diptiman Sengupta, assistant secretary of BBEECC, claims that the organisation has submitted 15.7 acres of land along with donor declaration to the District Management Cooch Behar claiming no compensation and said it would provide more land if required.
The letter, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, states that of late there has been some recent “controversy on issues pertaining to rehabilitation of enclave dwellers after the ratification of LBA.”
“Having conducted several rounds of extensive survey in both Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and Bangladeshi enclaves in India; we would like to state that none of the residents of Bangladeshi enclaves (located in India) demanded any rehabilitation. They only want Indian citizenship after ratification of LBA,” the letter states.
While 51 Bangladeshi enclaves with a population of 14,000 residents are located in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal, 111 Indian enclaves with a population of 38,000 are located in four districts of Bangladesh.
The BBEECC said it was willing to share all documents in connection with the claims with the Centre and expressed the hope that the government would soon place the Constitutional Amendment Bill in both houses of Parliament and “oblige the stateless people of enclaves.”