In a historic step towards improving ties, India and Bangladesh exchanged the instruments of ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement recently, promising an end to the “stateless existence” of more than 50,000 people on both sides of the border.
About the land swap deal:
The swap will involve handing over 17,000 acres of land to Bangladesh in return for 7,000 acres in 111 enclaves in West Bengal, Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, and was first decided under the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) between India and Bangladesh, but never ratified by Parliament.
- It will require an amendment to the Constitution (the 119th amendment) ratified by both Houses of Parliament with a two-thirds majority.
- The deal relates to demarcation of boundary under the Land Boundary Agreement between the two countries.
How will it affect the existing citizens?
- The number of people to be involved in the whole swap is approximately 52,000, of which about 15,000 are on the Indian side of the border.
- Under this agreement, the enclave residents could continue to reside at their present location or move to the country of their choice.