Political parties in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district has raised the issue of enclaves and are demanding votes seeking credit for the land boundary agreement between India and Bangladesh in 2015.
The Cooch Behar constituency includes 51 enclaves which became part of India in 2015 after the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh. Enclaves refers to territories inside India that actually belongs to Bangladesh and vice versa.
The Prime ministers of India and Bangladesh signed the Land Boundary Agreement in 1974 to exchange enclaves and simplify their international border.A revised version of the agreement was adopted by the two countries on 7 May 2015 when the Parliament of India passed the 100th Amendment to the Indian Constitution.
Under this agreement,which was ratified in 2015,India received 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in the Indian mainland while Bangladesh received 111 Indian enclaves in the Bangladeshi mainland.The enclave residents were allowed to either continue residing at their present location or move to the country of their choice.
The exchange of enclaves was to be implemented in phases between 31 July 2015 and 30 June 2016.The enclaves were exchanged at midnight on 31 July 2015 and the transfer of enclave residents was completed on 30 November 2015. After the Land Boundary Agreement,India lost around 40 square kilometres to Bangladesh.