62 people arrive from Bangladesh after exchange of enclaves

New Delhi: The first batch of 62 people have arrived from Bangladesh following India’s exchange of enclaves with its South Asian neighbour earlier this year, the government announced on Friday.

“The first batch of 62 people arrived through Changrabandha (India)-Burimari (Bangladesh) Immigration Check Post yesterday (Thursday),” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

They were greeted with honour in a joyous ceremony organised by the Cooch Behar district administration, MP, MLA, district magistrate, and superintendent of police, according to the statement.

India’s assistant high commissioner of India in Rajshahi and others were also present to welcome the returning Indians.

Facilities made available at the camps include tin houses, common dining hall and kitchen, community toilets, anganwadi centre, and playground equipment among others.

Arrangements have also been made for bank account opening, biometric enrollment, currency exchange and relief kit for each family.

“Eight more batches will arrive in India by the stipulated deadline of November 30,” the statement said.

In all, 51 erstwhile Bangladeshi enclaves in India and 111 erstwhile Indian enclaves in Bangladesh were physically transferred to the other country with effect from the midnight of July 31 this year.

“Based on the joint survey exercise meticulously carried in the enclaves, it was determined that 989 people out of total 38,521 residents from erstwhile Indian enclaves in Bangladesh have opted to retain their original nationality while all 14,863 residents of the Bangladesh enclaves in India have opted for Indian nationality,” the ministry statement said.