NEW DELHI, July 31 - Following completion of the exercise of ascertaining the nationality options of enclave residents, India and Bangladesh are working closely together to facilitate trouble-free movement of these residents before the stipulated date of November 30.
The ground has been prepared for the movement of such residents who exercised the option of moving from an Indian enclave to the Indian mainland, official sources of the Ministry of External Affairs said.
Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s visit, much work has gone into ascertaining the nationality options of the enclave residents. The Office of the Registrar General of India, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and DM, Cooch Behar and DCs of Lalmonirhat, Panchagarh, Kurigram and Nilphamari worked systematically and in a coordinated manner to collect the options from the residents, said sources.
The actual option taking exercise was carried out by 75 teams operating in the enclaves in India and Bangladesh from July 6-16. At least 30 observers from both governments were also present in the enclaves during this survey period. Data from this joint exercise is now being verified by the Office of the Registrar General of India and the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.
July 31 marks the resolution of a complex issue that has lingered since Independence. It also marks the day from which enclave residents on both sides of the border will enjoy the benefits of nationality of India or Bangladesh, as the case may be, and thus access to civic services, education, healthcare and other facilities provided by the two governments to their respective nationals, sources said.
Other steps relating to implementation of the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement and 2011 Protocol are under way in accordance with agreed modalities between the governments of India and Bangladesh, said MEA.