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Indo bangladesh enclaves

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Introduction• The Indo-Bangladesh enclaves, also known as the chitmahals,sometimes called pasha enclaves, are the enclaves alongthe Bangladesh–India border, in Bangladesh and theIndian state of West Bengal.

• There are 106 Indian enclaves and 92 Bangladeshi enclaves. Insidethe main part of Bangladesh, 102 of these are first-order Indianenclaves, while inside the main part of India, 71 of these areBangladeshi first-order enclaves.

• Further inside these enclaves are an additional 24 second order- orcounter-enclaves (21 Bangladeshi, 3 Indian) and one Indiancounter-counter-enclave, called Dahala Khagrabari #51 .

• They have an estimated combined population between 50,000 and100,000.

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History• According to a popular legend, the enclaves were used asstakes in card or chess games centuries ago between tworegional kings, the Raja of Koch Bihar and the Maharaja ofRangpur.

• As far as history records, the little territories were apparentlythe result of a confused outcome of a 1713 treaty between theKingdom of Koch Bihar and the Mughal Empire.

• Possibly, the Kingdom and the Mughals ended a war withoutdetermining a single boundary for what territories had beengained or lost.

• After the partition of India in 1947, Rangpur was joinedto East Pakistan, and Koch Bihar was merged in 1949 withIndia.

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Condition of Residents• The residents of the enclaves live in poor conditions, with alack of water, roads, electricity, schools and medicines.

• Crime also is rampant, as complaining would mean crossingthe international boundary due to the lack of law enforcementresources.

• Residents of the enclaves may go to their respective countriesonly on the production of an identity card, after seekingpermission from the border guards, causing muchresentment.

• Recently the countries have moved towards an agreement toabsorb the enclaves, but the resulting nationality of thecurrent residents remains an impediment, as it could haveimplications for border disputes in other parts of the region.

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Progress• In September 2011, the governments of India and Bangladeshannounced an intention to resolve the issue by means of swapping162 enclaves, giving residents a choice of nationality.

• India will receive 51 enclaves (out of 74 Bangladeshi chhits insideIndia proper) of 7,110 acres, while Bangladesh will get 111 enclaves(out of the 119 Indian chhits inside Bangladesh proper) of 17,149acres.

• Apparently Bangladesh would retain the 4617 acres of itsDahagram-Angarpota exclave.

• India planned to submit a constitutional amendmentto Parliament to approve the agreement in August 2013.

• Bangladesh has already ratified the agreement.• The bill was submitted to the India's Rajya Sabha on 18 December2013.

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