Freedom's anxious wait over (video)
As the long wait of almost 70 years approached its end, Nurul Islam was gripped by a sensation he had not felt before - the anticipation of freedom.
The feeling was mutual for over 9,000 enclave dwellers in Lalmonirhat as the clock crept towards midnight on July 31, 2015.
Sixty eight years of waiting – for freedom, to be recognised not as a stranger but as one the children of the soil that these enclave dwellers were born in.
Just hours before the anticipated moment, they were ready. They were waiting to light 68 candles - in memory of the past years and in celebration of being born anew.
There are a total of 9,437 people in the 59 Indian enclaves located in Lalmonirhat Sadar, Hatibandha and Patgram upazilas of the district. Except 200, all others wanted to breathe the free air of Bangladesh.
Confined inside Bangladesh, these enclave dwellers have been deprived of all health, medical, education, employment and other facilities for the past seven decades.
“Now, from August 1, we will never face such problems,” said Haider Ali Sumon, 25, son of Abdul Gony of the Indian enclave Banshkata, inside Patgram.