The central government has arranged for five companies of the Border Security Force (BSF) to be used at the discretion of the administration at Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts where residents of the Indian and Bangladeshi enclaves are to be transferred.
The two countries Prime Ministers recently signed the Land Boundary Agreement facilitating the exchange but the transfer of residents would take some time as they are being offered to choose the county of their choice.
Accordingly, a fresh census would be jointly conducted by India and Bangladesh to record the actual ground situation before the transfer takes place.
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A senior BSF official said on Tuesday that the five companies of BSF have been already made available and their immediate task was to ensure peace and order at the enclaves. After the treaty was signed, several cases of violence and arson were reported from some of the Indian as well as Bangladeshi enclaves.
Meanwhile, in Haldibari in Jalpaiguri district, around 800 people took out a procession, claiming that they were residents of Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and had been forced to leave their homes several times because of threats, intimidation and torture in the neighbouring country, resulting in them taking up camps as refugees in different parts of Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts.
Debabrata Chaki, member of the Chitmahal United Council, which has taken up the cause of these refugees, said the Council had sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Union Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj demanding that these refugees be included in the rehabilitation package that the West Bengal government has announced for those displaced in the transfer of enclaves.
Trinamool Congress’ Cooch Behar MP, Renuka Sinha, also said that the refugees should be covered under the rehabilitation package offered by the state government. Sinha toured various parts of Jalpaiguri and Cooch behar districts on Monday.