Enclave-dwellers call for land, citizen rights on 4th anniversary of LBA
Kolkata: Enclave-dwellers of the India and Bangladesh border called for citizen rights, land rights, 100 days work and social benefits on the fourth anniversary of the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), 2015, on Tuesday.
After the LBA was signed in June 2015 in Bangladesh, the historic agreement facilitated the transfer of 111 enclaves, adding up to 17,160.63 acres, from India to Bangladesh. Conversely, India received 51 enclaves, adding up to 7,110.02 acres, which were in Bangladesh.
"The erstwhile living conditions of the enclave-dwellers still remain same after four years of the agreement. They have not been recognsied as citizens. They have been issued voter ID cards and Aadhaar cards that often contain errors relating to their names and other information," said Kirity Roy, secretary of Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha, on the sidelines of a programme held on the fourth year of LBA, 2015, at Academy of Fine Arts.
The programme was attended by 50 erstwhile enclave-dwellers, where they expressed fear that lack of citizenship will render them stateless if the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is extended to Bengal.
NRC, the list of Indian citizens in Assam, is being updated to weed out illegal immigration from Bangladesh and neighbouring regions.
The erstwhile enclave-dwellers claimed that they lack social security benefits such as tubewells for drinking water and irrigation purposes, electricity, schools, hospitals and police stations. This apart, the progress of work related to construction of roads is slow as well.
"We want people living along the India and Bangladesh border area to get citizen rights, land Rights, 100 days work security under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme
and social benefits being enjoyed by a common citizen. If our demands our not met, then we will not vote," Roy pointed out.