People queue up to vote on a polling booth in Coochbehar, West Bengal on Thursday. Photo/ANI
People queue up to vote on a polling booth in Coochbehar, West Bengal on Thursday. Photo/ANI

'New Indians' participate in General election for first time after Enclave Settlement

Joymala Bagchi | Updated: Apr 11, 2019 19:56 IST

By Joymala Bagchi
Coochbehar, (West Bengal) [India], April 11 (ANI): Voters from the Enclave settlement camp in Dinhata sub-division of Coochbehar district participated in the General election for the first time on Thursday after the enclave settlement was sealed in 2015.
A total of 1868 voters are exercising their franchise in two polling booths.
Biswanath Sarkar, Micro Observer, said, "They are voting as Indian citizens for the first time. I spoke to few voters here and they are very happy and excited. No untoward incidents have occurred. Everything is going on peacefully."
Around 245 villagers who were earlier residents of Kurigram District, Bangladesh reside at enclave settlement camp in Dinhata sub-division of Coochbehar district.
Elated to participate in the electoral process for the first time, Bulbul Hossain said, "We, the people of enclave settlement are very excited to participate in our country's voting process. India became independent in 1947 but we gained our true independence only in 2015. We don't need to borrow parents name to appear in exams or govt services anymore."
After the exchange of enclaves with Bangladesh on August 01, 2015, around 9776 'new Indians' were added to West Bengal's voters' list.
This was done as a part of an agreement between India and Bangladesh. (ANI)

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