India, Bangladesh signed Land Boundary Agreement of 1974

Jun 8, 2015 16:00 IST

India and Bangladesh on 6 June 2015 signed the historical 1974 Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) which would settle the 4096-kilometre-long border (India’s longest border with neighbour country) dispute between the two countries.

According to the agreement, Bangladesh took over 111 enclaves (17160 acres of land) from India’s possession and India received 51 enclaves (7110 acres of land) from Bangladesh. Enclaves are tiny landlocked territories that each country has within the borders of the other nation. The enclaves in Assam, West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya come under the bill’s ambit.

The protocol and instruments of ratification to make the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) operational was signed by the foreign secretaries of the two nations in presence of Narendra Modi, the visiting Prime Minister and his Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Effects of the Land Boundary Agreement

• It will allow over 50000 stateless people living in these enclaves to gain a national identity after four decades of stateless limbo, as now they will be allowed to live in India or Bangladesh with the option of being granted citizenship in the newly designated territories
• The enclaves would cease to exist
• It will help India to fence its borders with Bangladesh
• It will change the physical map of India and Bangladesh

Comment
This LBA between India and Bangladesh may be helpful in improving India’s border disputes with neighbouring countries like Pakistan and China.

It may also help in solving the dispute of water sharing from Teesta and Feni Rivers which flow through both nations, which was not resolved during this visit of Modi to Bangladesh.

Background
Earlier on 28 May 2015, the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) Bill, 2013 between India and Bangladesh received the assent of President Pranab Mukherjee. The bill also known as the 119th Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2013 was passed by both houses of Parliament in May 2015.

After President’s assent the bill entered in to the statue book as Constitution 100th Amendment Act 2015.

The first pillar of this bill was put by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 6 September 2011, the year when the two countries inked a historic protocol on land boundary agreement following the talks between Prime Minister Mahmohan Singh and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka.

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