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B`desh, India conclude joint survey in 162 `enclav

The enclaves, or areas land-locked by territories belonging to the other side, has been an unresolved border issue between the two countries since partition of the subcontinent.



Dhaka: Bangladesh and India on Monday
concluded a crucial joint survey in 162 `enclaves` on both
sides of their porous borders so as to prepare the ground for
a deal on the historical dispute during Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh`s visit to the country in September.

The enclaves, or areas land-locked by territories
belonging to the other side, has been an unresolved border
issue between the two countries since partition of the
subcontinent.

"We have completed the head counting and hopefully we
will be able to prepare the report within this month," Kamal
Uddin Ahmed, the Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry said.

He said joint teams of officials of the two countries
carried out the joint survey during the past three days to
find the exact figure of Indian and Bangladesh citizens living
in each other’s territories since 1947. He said the report
would be referred to political leaders for a solution.

"We expect the long-standing frontier problem, that
also includes the issue of `land in adverse possession` to see
a tangible solution during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s
Dhaka visit in September," a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Bangladesh and India share over 4,000 kilometers of
common porous border, of which 6.1 kilometres is still
un-demarcated.

The two countries have 162 such enclaves -- 111 of
them Indian territories inside Bangladesh.

The Joint Boundary Working Group meeting between the
two sides and subsequent home secretary level talks earlier
this year had decided to expedite the process of exchanging
the enclaves under a 1974 agreement.

The enclave residents, who are virtually state-less
refugees, need to cross the international border every day for
cultivation and have to follow the official formalities as
well as clearance from paramilitary forces of both countries.

PTI

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