Historic pact signed
India and Bangladesh border dispute dates back to the time when the two (Bangladesh was then called East Pakistan) got independence from British rule in 1947. Since then the two countries shared 4,156 km long border covering five Indian states – West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, and stretching across forests, rivers, fields and enclaves (locally called ‘chitmahals’). Nearly 51,000 inhabitants are said to be living in these chitmahals with no proper access to health care and education since they are surrounded on all sides by a different country. The two countries recently signed an agreement on exchange of enclaves, thus putting an end to the decades-old boundary demarcation problem. The agreeement, which is in accordance with Indira-Mujib pact of 1974, covers 111 enclaves in India and 51 in Bangladesh. The people living in these enclaves will be given the right to continue to reside either in the enclave or choose the country of residence.
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