New Delhi: CPI on Thursday asked the government to urgently take up the issue of exchange of enclaves with Bangladesh, saying such a move would provide much-needed relief to thousands of people living in these areas.
Noting that there were 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and 51 of that country`s enclaves here, senior CPI member Prabodh Panda said the number of Indians living in these enclaves was 37,100 and Bangladeshis living here was 14,200, as per the latest census carried out jointly by both countries.
The total land in Indian enclaves in Bangladesh was 17,149 acres and the Bangla enclaves in India was 7,110 acres, he said in the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour.
Observing that the problem of exchange of these enclaves was persisting since Independence, he said, "These large number of people of both countries are deprived of political rights and they do not enjoy social facilities that are necessary for development of individuals in a free society."
Maintaining that the problem was cropping up "again and again", Panda said it could not be solved even after the 1974 Indira-Mujib Agreement. "Even at the time of transfer of Teen Bigha, the problem of these enclaves could not be solved," he said.
"I strongly urge the central government to take up the issue urgently with the government of Bangladesh and provide relief to the citizens of both the countries living in these enclaves", he added.