Celebrations in Bangladesh over enclave exchange with India

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Dhaka
  • Updated: Jul 31, 2015 21:00 IST

“End of 68 years of pain,” said the leading Bangladeshi daily Samakal.

It succinctly summed up the mood in Bangladesh, celebrating the exchange of enclaves with India following decades of deadlock.

Special prayers were held at mosques and temples in enclaves inside Bangladesh as the countdown to the exchange scheduled for Friday midnight began.

India had 111 enclaves inside Bangladesh territory that would merge with Bangladesh under the Land Border Agreement. They become Bangladeshi territory now, with almost all the inhabitants deciding to stay back.

Akhteruzzman Azad, local chief government administrator at Kurigram district in northern Bangladesh, said the authorities would hoist Bangladeshi flags past midnight in the enclaves. Sixty-eight candles would also be lit to mark the implementation of the agreement after a 68 year long wait.

He said the region wore a festive mood on Friday.

Traditional plays would be staged while Hindus and Muslims in the area were also organizing small cultural events to demonstrate communal harmony.

With Bangladesh TV stations providing 24/7 coverage, the enclave exchange is the talk of the town.

Farid Hossain, a Bangladeshi senior journalist and analyst, told HT that the implementation of the agreement would have positive political implications for both India and Bangladesh.

"India has the desire to be a world power. Currently it has a policy of neighbours first. Through this India will have a peaceful manner to build confidence with neighbours. For Bangladesh, it will help build a more stable and trusted relation with India."

Read: Bangladesh, India in historic land swap after nearly 4 decades

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