Choosing citizenship on India-Bangladesh border

Choosing citizenship on India-Bangladesh border
Bash Kata Indian enclave resident, Musamat Lipi, stands for a photo after choosing Bangladeshi citizenship with the Enclaves Exchange Coordination CommitteeImage copyrightGetty Images
Image caption Enclave resident Musamat Lipi chose Bangladeshi citizenship

In May, India’s parliament approved a key agreement with Bangladesh enabling the two countries to exchange control of areas of land on each other’s territory.

Tens of thousands of Bangladeshis live in 51 enclaves in India, while Indians live in 111 areas within Bangladesh. The residents lack access to public services.

Under the new agreement, more than 50,000 villagers from both sides will be given the option to choose where they want to live and which nationality they would prefer.

People living in Indian enclaves inside Bangladesh are officially Indian citizens and those living in Bangladeshi areas inside India are Bangladeshis. The enclaves will cease to exist on 31 July.

Earlier this month officials of two countries began asking the residents of the enclaves which nationality they want to opt for after the exchange of enclaves.

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