New Delhi, India (BBN)-Faced with an unusual choice, a couple in Bangladesh have decided to split after four years of marriage as the husband wants to move to India, while the wife wants to stay in Bangladesh.
The couple, Sarwar Alam and Marina Begum, live in Dasiarchhara — one of the 51 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh — which will be part of Bangladesh on Friday midnight.
On August 1, the India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement will come into force, and on this “appointed day”, 111 Bangladesh enclaves will be part of India. In all, an estimated 16,000 people will become Indians Saturday, report The Indian Express.
Sarwar and Marina, both in their 20s, were given a choice — offered to all enclave-dwellers — whether they want to stay at the Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and become Bangladeshi citizens, or move to India and get Indian citizenship.
The choice had to be exercised between July 6 and 16. While the couple agreed to move to India on July 9, the wife changed her mind and told officials she wants to stay back.
“The change of option was communicated to us before July 16. This is a valid personal choice, which has to be respected,” a South Block official said. The couple have two sons, and the wife has decided they will stay with her in Bangladesh.
The husband now has time till November 30 to move to India.
South Block officials found this unique case while they were taking stock of the headcount of people who want to move or stay back.
Sources said a total of 979 people in 222 families from Indian enclaves in Bangladesh have decided to move to India and acquire Indian citizenship. Of the 222 families, 146 are Hindus and 76 are Muslims.
Not a single resident of the 111 Bangladeshi enclaves in India has opted to move to Bangladesh, officials said. With the stroke of the midnight on Friday, 15,134 residents of Bangladeshi enclaves, as well as 979 who have chosen to migrate, will be eligible for becoming Indian citizens.
This will mean that 16,113 people will become Indian citizens on Saturday.
Their Aadhaar cards and ration cards will be processed in the next few months. Bangladesh will have 39,544 new citizens from the 51 Indian enclaves, officials said.
Sources said that the movement of people from Bangladesh to India will take place only after the monsoons, which usually last till September.
“The local authorities have said that the best time will be after Durga Puja celebrations late October onwards,” an official said.