Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has become the first Indian minister to visit a Bangladeshi enclave in India.

“HM is being briefed by a BSF officer at ‘Chit Balapukhri’ (a Bangladeshi enclave in India) near the India-Bangladesh international border,” the Home Minister’s office said in a tweet along with photograph on Tuesday. Singh was accompanied by the BJP MP from Darjeeling, S S Ahluwalia.  

Singh is on a two-day visit to the State. He will visit the BSF outposts on the Indo-Bangladesh border in Cooch Behar in West Bengal to take stock of the ground reality in the area ahead of the implementation of the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) with Bangladesh.


LBA implementation


Implementation of the LBA, agreed between the two nations in 1974, will lead the exchange of enclaves and prevent porosity of the border. A constitutional amendment bill in this regard is expected to be placed in Parliament in the next session from April 20.

Enclaves are small parcels of land detached from the mainland and located inside the territories of the other country.

Once the land swap deal is implemented, the Indian enclaves in Bangladesh will merge with Bangladesh. Similarly the 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in Cooch Behar will be part of India. The people living in these enclaves will be offered citizenship of the respective country.



Singh’s visit however was not free from controversy.

The Home Minister’s office said, “social organisations active in Cooch Behar area met the HM and handed over a memorandum on Indo-Bangladesh Enclaves” at the BSF outpost at Tinbigha Corridor.

Diptiman Sengupta, convenor of the Bharat Bangladesh Enclave Exchange Coordination Committee (BBEECC), however, claimed that the BJP officebearers restricted his organisation from meeting the Minister.

The Cooch Behar BBEECC has been pushing for the implementation of the LBA since 1994, and the ground force engaged in conducting the census in enclaves (on both sides of the border) and suggesting the rehabilitation measures post-implementation of the land-swap deal.




At least 2,000 people from the Indian and Bangladeshi enclaves gathered at Tin Bigha to meet the Home Minister, Sengupta said. Upon being denied entry, BBEECC submitted a memorandum demanding the immediate implementation of LBA.

In its memorandum, BBEECC claimed that the absence of the administration is making the enclaves susceptible to various anti-social activities.

The lack of basic amenities and education is conducive for fundamentalist forces taking advantage, the memorandum said, and demanded implementation of LBA without further delay.