Residents of former Bangladesh enclaves celebrate 6th anniversary of merger with Indian mainland
Residents of erstwhile Bangladesh enclaves on Saturday night and Sunday celebrated the sixth anniversary of their merger with the Indian mainland.
They lit candles, hoisted the Indian Tricolour and organised cultural and sports events to observe the day.
On the midnight of July 31, 2015, 51 Bangladesh enclaves landlocked within the Indian mainland, and 101 Indian enclaves landlocked within Bangladesh had merged with the respective countries under the Land Boundary Agreement inked between the two countries.
Under the LBA, citizenship was offered by the respective countries to residents of enclaves. Hence, those in 51 Bangladesh enclaves on Indian mainland became Indian citizens.
“For us, it’s no less than Independence Day. Six years ago, it was on this day that we became Indian citizens,” said Jainal Abedin of Mashaldanga, a former enclave and now a village in Cooch Behar.
On Sunday, a number of political leaders turned up at the enclaves to join the celebrations.
Udayan Guha, former Trinamul MLA of Dinhata, arrived at Mashaldanga with some of his party leaders.
“Chief minister Mamata Banerjee was instrumental in the exchange of the enclaves. She has also taken the task of infrastructure development of these enclaves after they became Indian villages,” said Guha.