Cooch Behar, India (BBN)-A total of 120 enclave dwellers from Bangladesh side set foot on Indian mainland on Sunday, making them the second batch of enclave people to reach India after 62 people belonging to 19 Hindu families crossed the border through Changrabandha in Mekhliganj in Cooch Behar district on 19 November.
A total of 31 families, belonging to both the Hindu and Muslim communities, on Sunday left the Indian enclaves that were incorporated into Bangladesh on the night of 31 July following implementation of the Land Boundary Agreement-1974, and finally arrived to settle down in government relief camps in Dinhata and Haldibari in Cooch Behar, reports The Statesman.
A total of 182 persons of the 989, who have opted for Indian nationality, have now taken refuge in government camps in Mekhliganj, Dinhata and Haldibari.
A total of 72 members of 16 families are putting up in Dinhata and 48 members of 15 families temporarily settled in Haldibari on Sunday.
Cooch Behar district magistrate P Ulaganathan said more people will be arriving in Mekhliganj and Haldibari on Monday.
Five persons, who were scheduled to arrive with the first batch, will be coming the next day, it is learnt.
“The process of bringing people, who have enrolled for settlement from Bangladesh to India, will be over by 26 November,” Ulaganathan told The Statesman over phone from Cooch Behar on Sunday.
It may be noted that the district administration on Sunday allotted separate accommodation for every family based on the serial number to maintain records prepared by top administrative officials.
The administration has provided them with almost all they need so that they live there comfortably, officials said.
However, some joint families, comprising a good number of adult members, are facing problems living in the two-room quarters.
The Cooch Behar district magistrate met the heads of the 19 family members,who are in Mekhliganj, yesterday and interacted with them to know of their problems.
The DM said that during the interaction, the administration has come to know of the accommodation problem of some big families.
The district administration plans to ask the Red Cross and other organizations to provide medicines free of cost as demanded by the dwellers.
“What the administration has done for us is enough. We don’t have any grievances,” Ulaganathan quoted the enclave people as saying.
“But we are in pain and are worried about our family members, who have failed to enrol their names in the joint survey and settle down in India this time,” the DM quoted some of them as saying.
“I am helpless here when it comes to assuring them on this matter, because it is now under the consideration of the Bangladesh government,” he added.
Indian High Commission sources said the Bangladesh government will now not entertain any appeal from persons who were not enrolled in the joint census in 2011.