Citizenship granted to residents involved in India-Bangladesh enclave swap
(15 October 2015)
India granted citizenship to nearly 15,000 residents who had lived in Indian enclaves within Bangladesh as part of a recent boundary agreement made between the two countries. The 14,864 residents had been living on the Bangladeshi side of the border, but have religious, economic, and family ties to India. A statement from the Indian ministry of home affairs noted that the agreement “brought to an end their nightmare of being stateless citizens without access to civic services, education, health-care and other facilities.”
The citizenship resolution follows the exchange of 162 enclaves along the India-Bangladesh border on 31 July 2015, ending a decades-long boundary dispute dating back to the British colonial era. India granted over 17,000 acres to Bangladesh and Bangladesh granted over 7,000 acres to India as part of the exchange, and residents of the territories were allowed to choose their citizenship. Most residents surveyed preferred Indian citizenship, according to the Indian ministry of home affairs. The completion of the boundary demarcation and final exchange of territory and citizenship is expected to be finished by 30 June 2016.
Citizenship given to 14,864 people who opt to stay in India, 14 October 2015, Times of India, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Citizenship-given-to-14864-people-who-opt-to-stay-in-India/articleshow/49342061.cms