Bangladesh and India will implement the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) of 1974 and Protocol of 2011 in phases over the next 11 months.
Between July 31, 2015 and June 30, 2016, the entire process, including physical exchange of enclaves and land parcels in adverse possession along with boundary demarcation, will be completed, according to the letters exchanged between the two Foreign Secretaries during the Indian Prime Minister’s visit here last week.
Perhaps the most significant date is July 31, 2015 - the ‘Appointed Day’. The enclaves on both sides of the border “shall stand transferred to the other” by the midnight of the day, reports The Hindu.
The countries will exchange strip maps showing the narrow stretch of territory, completing the transfer of territorial jurisdiction, while the ground demarcation of the boundary will be completed by the respective Survey Departments by June 30, 2016.
Meanwhile, “India and Bangladesh will print, sign at plenipotentiary level and exchange” the strip maps of the un-demarcated sectors “by the Appointed Day.”
Both governments will facilitate “orderly, safe and secure passage” to the enclave dwellers along with their “personal belongings and moveable property” to Bangladesh or India through proper “travel documents.” The passage “will be arranged by the respective governments…[and] take place by November 30, 2015.”
“Entry/exit points will be Haldibari [on Indian side] Burimari and Banglabandha” on the international border, the exchanged letters said.
The Bangladesh-India Joint Boundary working group will address any dispute that “may arise after the transfer for the next five years till June 2020.”
With India and Bangladesh planning to complete, between July 31, 2015 and June 30, 2016, the entire process of the Land Boundary Agreement and the 2011 Protocol, one of the terms of the joint team of representatives visiting the enclaves would be to identify the “residents who wish to continue to retain the nationality they hold prior to the actual transfer of territory.”
The right to “retain the nationality” will only be available to those “who are included in the joint headcount of the population of the enclave,” the letters said. The headcount was finalised by the governments in the joint survey of July 2011.