Students demand to settle enclave issue with India  

Days before the commencement of winter session of Parliament, voices demanding the settlement of the issue of enclaves in Bangladesh and India can be heard on both sides of the border. On Thursday, hundreds of students gathered outside Dhaka University with posters and placards demanding a solution to the six-decade-old issue.

“Thousands of people living on either side of the border are being denied citizenship rights. They have no access to basic health, education and other facilities from either of the governments,” Lizu Hasan a student of philosophy in Bangaldesh, told The Hindu on Friday.

While 51 Bangladeshi enclaves with about 14,000 residents in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal, 111 Indian enclaves with a population of 38,000 are located in four districts of Bangladesh.

bd-indiaThe posters which the students held up read “74 chukti Chitbasir Mukhti” which means ratify the agreement of 1974 to settle the issue of enclaves.

Politicians from Bangladesh such as Bangladeshi Member of Parliament Nazmul Haque Pradhan who visited Poaturkuthi, a Bangladeshi enclave in Cooch Bihar district, in August also met the students. His constituency Panchagarh-I is next to Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal.

Diptiman Sengupta, assistant secretary of Bharat Bangladesh Enclave Exchange Coordination Committee, said that people in enclaves on the Indian side of border on Friday are also celebrating Children’s Day in view of the fact that even six decades after independence the children of the enclaves have do not have access to schools.