India-Bangladesh Enclave
Enclaves Dwellers Rejoice after 68 Years of Stateless ExistenceIANS

At the stroke of midnight on Friday, 14,000 Bangladeshis became Indians and 37,000 Indians became Bangladeshis as part of the historic Land Boundary Agreement between the neighbouring countries that ended the stateless existence of the enclave residents after 68 years. 

As many as 162 enclaves -- 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and 51 Bangladeshis in India -- were swapped, giving new citizenship to the 51,000 people who have been living in a limbo since the Partition. 

"We have been in dark for 68 years. We've finally seen the light," Russel Khandaker, 20, a resident of the Dashiar Chhara enclave, which was formerly Indian but is now part of Bangladesh, told AFP.

While 14,856 residents of Bangladeshi conclaves in India became Indian citizens, 979 more will get Indian citizenship in coming months after they chose to move from the Indian conclaves in Bangladesh to this side of the border, as per reports. 

In India, all the residents of the Bangladeshi conclaves accepted Indian citizenship. 

The Land Boundary Agreement was ratified in June this year when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bangladesh. 

In all, India ceded 17,160 acres of land to Bangladesh and received 7,110 acres in return. 

The Indian flag will be bhoisted in the new Indian land, although it will fly at half-mast as the nation mourns the demise of former Presient APJ Abdul Kalam. 

"As a part of the celebrations, the tricolour will be hoisted in all the 51 enclaves but will be subsequently put on half mast as the country is in national mourning," Cooch Behar District Magistrate P Ulagnathan told IANS.