A shelter colony for erstwhile enclave dwellers in Cooch Behar. File Photo.
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Kolkata: West Bengal Assembly today passed a legislation to ensure land ownership to the residents of erstwhile enclaves that India and Bangladesh exchanged in 2015.

In the case of Bengal, the erstwhile enclaves are now part of Cooch Behar district, and the dwellers have been residing in temporary shelter colonies for the past three years.

Named West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the legislation was today cleared unanimously in the state Assembly, on day one of the Winter Session.

Calling this a historical move, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that 922 residents of erstwhile Bangladeshi enclaves have opted for Indian citizenship.

“But none among the 23,324 erstwhile Indian enclave dwellers have opted for Bangladeshi citizenship. They have stayed back in India,” she said.

Banerjee made use of the occasion to attack the BJP and the Assam government for the fiasco surrounding the update of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) there.

“Going by the Indira-Mujib Pact, those who have migrated to India from Bangladesh before 1971 are 100 per cent Indian citizens. But a section of political parties is playing politics over this. Due to harassment, several people have already committed suicide in Assam,” the Bengal CM said.

Banerjee said that her government will give full protection to every single person who has migrated to India before 1971.

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