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In Photo: Officials hoisting the Indian flag at Dhabalguri-II and Dhabalguri-III enclaves in Mathabhanga-I development block in Cooch Behar on 1 August 2015. Photo Courtesy: Mayukh Chakraborty on Facebook.

By A Newsman

Cooch Behar, 10 August: INDIA and Bangladesh have failed to handover each other the land records of all the enclaves that the two countries recently exchanged amongst themselves as they could not locate all the land papers.

The two neighbouring countries instead, exchanged the land records of only 62 enclaves out of the total 162.

The land records were exchanged on Monday during a meeting of the Joint Boundary Working Group of the two countries at Chengrabandha block development office in Cooch Behar.

A 17-member delegation from Bangladesh that included Abu Naser Anwarul Islam of the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata, took part in the meeting. The Indian side was led by the district magistrate of Cooch Behar P Ulaganathan.

During the course of the meet, Bangladesh officials handed over the land records of 19 enclaves to Indian authorities. This is even as the total number of enclaves that have been transferred by Bangladesh to India is 51.

India, on the other hand, handed over to Bangladesh, the land records of only 43 enclaves. The number of enclaves transferred by India to Bangladesh is 111.

Cooch Behar DM P Ulaganathan said that they would undertake fresh survey to prepare the land records of the remaining enclaves. “The land records of all the enclaves could not be traced. Hence, we shall have to carry out fresh surveys to prepare the same,” Mr Ulaganathan told reporters.

Habibur Rehman, deputy commissioner of Lalmonirhat district in Bangladesh and head of their delegation, echoed his Indian counterpart.

“We too could not locate the land papers of all the 51 enclaves. But there are some other land records of Jalpaiguri, North and South Dinajpur districts on the Indian side that are lying with us and some of our land records are lying with them. I have urged the respective district magistrates to exchange such land records for mutual benefit,” Mr Rehman said.

Mr Ulaganathan said that an Indian official delegation would visit Bangladesh on 17 August, to finalise the number of enclave dwellers who want to relocate to India.

Going by the provisional figure, the number of people who have submitted applications to switch over to India is 979. From the enclaves that were with India, not a single person has expressed the desire to settle down in Bangladesh.