Thursday, 19 November 2015


Former enclave-dwellers from Bangladesh step in India

65 members of 19 families from erstwhile enclaves (Chhitmahals) situated in Bangladesh territory arrived today through Changrabandha International Checkpost (ICP). Senior officials of Cooch Behar district administration welcomed them. They were brought by vehicles into India at about 1-15pm. After a brief welcome ceremony they were sent to makeshift houses (rehabilitation centres) newly built for them at Mekhliganj Agriculture Farm. The administration has made all facilities for their comfortable living there.

Cooch Behar MP Renuka Sinha, District Magistrate P Ulganathan, Additional District Magistrate Ayesha Rani and Cooch Behar SP Rajesh Kumar Yadav were among the officials present on the occasion today.

The members of 19 families that opted to come to India after official exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh came in today passing through Changrabandha-Burimari Border Checkpost. They were welcomed by folk dance and folk songs. A Blue-White pandal was erected for the programme at Zero-point of the border. Also, arrangements were made for them for foreign exchange.


t was learnt that they will get facilities like Bank accounts and AADHAR cards soon. After two years, permanent shelters will be arranged for them. Now, during the first month the new comers will be provided with cooked food. Children would get special foods like milk and eggs. After one month they will get essential commodities in free through ration system.

On 31 July midnight, 111 enclaves of India and 51 enclaves of Bangladesh were exchanged. After that 991 members of 220 families of the enclaves expressed their eagerness to come to India. From today they will come phase by phase. Cooch Behar district administration made arrangements for their stay at rehabilitation centres built at Changrabandha in Mekhliganj, Chilahati in Haldibari and Sahebganj in Dinhata. After today, rest of the persons will come on 22, 23, 24 and 26 November.

Cooch Behar District Magistrate P Ulganathan said 65 members of 19 families came today. All arrangements have been made for their stay. "It is an important event. I became a witness of history", the DM said. He also said that the first batch came today and others would come soon. The administration made all arrangements for them, he added.

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