India-Bangladesh LBA: MASUM says inclusion of names in electoral roll illegal and for political gain
In 2015 India and Bangladesh signed pact to operationalise the historic Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) in 2015. The operationalisation of LBA paved the way for exchange of 162 enclaves under the control of either country. Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) observed that the situation at the enclaves was euphoric after the passing of 119 Constitutional Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha and after the signing of protocol between the Bangladeshi and Indian prime ministers at Dhaka- Bangladesh, the ecstasy reached its epitome.
But as MASUM already voiced its concerns that this act in haste by the governments and their attitude to exclude the populace from decision making would open up a Pandora's Box of distress and conflict; it became a reality.
MASUM in a release stated that the issuance of citizenship is a major task in resolving the problem, and that too without any partisan and whims. This is now amply evident there were procedural flaws as well as large scale irregularities in joint headcounts completed by India and Bangladesh in 2011 and 2015. The citizens are yet to receive their voter identity cards and have been facing an identity crisis even after the land swapping between the countries.
In this situation, all of a sudden, MASUM deplored to confront with a news item that, the District Magistrate of Coochbehar district had a meeting with Election Commission of India and announced that 15786 names are going to be enrolled in electoral roll; amongst this number 11000 have been already being enrolled. This announcement itself made us apprehensive and we smell gross irregularity from politically managed administration.
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) strongly advocated for citizenship for all the enclave dwellers willing to get Indian citizenship. "We apprehend that this segregation has been done to meet political agenda and in this process district administration is trying to appease their political masters," MASUM said.
- For immediate nullification of the process and immediate initiation of a proper and adequate process to extend citizenry to every enclave dwellers (India and Bangladesh) without any type of prejudices and discrimination.
- For taking immediate steps to proper rehabilitation, compensation and relocation to erstwhile Indian enclave dwellers, now in India.
- All the decisions, planning and policies should be framed with participation of erstwhile enclave dwellers.
- All the governmental data / record / schemes / policies / decisions must be published in public domain.