Ex-Bangladesh enclave people in India lack basic needs | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 01, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 01, 2016

Ex-Bangladesh enclave people in India lack basic needs

Many trying to return as they are still jobless

Some 14,000 people of former Bangladeshi enclaves are still deprived of basic civic amenities although they got Indian citizenship one year ago following the official exchange of adversely possessed lands between Bangladesh and India.

Meanwhile, many of the dwellers of former Indian enclaves inside Bangladesh, who had opted for shifting to India, are now trying to return to Bangladesh as they did not get any employment.

Talking to this correspondent during the last few days, enclave dwellers narrated their plight in the changing circumstances.

"Earlier we faced problems with our nationality. Now we are facing problems with livelihood and land. Despite the government's announcement for compensation, we did not get anything in last one year," said Saddam Hossain, a resident of Moshaldanga, a former Bangladeshi enclave.

Osman Gani, a resident of Hinhata camp in India, is among 921 people who opted for going to India after the enclave exchange deal.

“We are minority Muslims in this country. We celebrate the Eid festival after one month long Ramdan fasting. But we did not get even sugar or vermicelli from the government on the occasion of the Eid," he told this correspondent.

"I was a resident of No 1 Chhoto Goral Jhora enclave under Bhurungamari in Kurigram district inside Bangladesh. I earned Tk 10,000 to Tk 15,000 a month by running a medicine shop there.

"I came to Hinhata camp in India on November 22 last year but did not get any work here till today," he said.

Ashwini Kumar Roy, a resident at Haldibari camp in Cooch Behar district under India, said he got nothing from the government except 30 kg of rice, 5 kg of lentil, 5 litres of edible oil, 7 litre of kerosene, one kg of salt and one packet of powder milk.

Roy, who was an HSC student in Bangladesh, crossed Indian border recently to participate in the examinations. After staying inside Bangladesh for three months to sit for the examinations, he returned to Indian camp.

Rajya Sabha member from West Bengal and CPI (M) leader Ritabrata Banerjee and Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya recently became vocal in the Rajya Sabha following the allegations made by the residents of former enclaves.

"The union government did not keep its promises made to the 921 residents of former enclaves when they came to India. Many of them have returned to Bangladesh and some others are trying to go back as they did not get any work in West Bengal," Ritabrata Banerjee told The Daily Star.

Pradip Bhattacharya, former president of West Bengal chapter of Congress, said lack of coordination between the state government and the union government and corruption at local level are responsible for the plight of the residents of former enclaves.

Of the 921 people who came from Bangladesh, 486 people of 96 families of former Indian enclaves who came from Bangladesh have been staying at Haldibari camp, 245 of 58 families are living in Hinhata camp and the rest are living in Mekhliganj camp.

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