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Dhaka Tribune

Kurigram, Lalmonirhat residents of former exclaves to vote for the first time

They are happy to exercise their rights as citizens after 68 years of struggle

Update : 28 Dec 2018, 12:26 AM

The residents of former exclaves in Kurigram and Lalmonirhat will exercise their voting rights for the first time as Bangladeshi citizens, in the upcoming general polls.

They are happy to exercise their rights as citizens after 68 years of struggle.

Election festivities are ongoing among them at the moment and they are feeling joyous to participate in their first parliamentary election.

Earlier, they took part in union parishad elections also.

Election scenario in Kurigram former exclaves

In Kurigram, there are 12 former exclaves in three upazilas of the district.

The people of these exclaves said they would vote for one who will work for the betterment of their lifestyles and development of their region.

They expressed their gratitude to the current government for giving them citizenship and also for doing major development work in their areas.

In Phulbari upazila’s Dashiarchhara, the election was the main topic of discussion everywhere.  From tea stalls to kitchen markets people were seen very keen to discuss and know their candidates.

Dashiarchhara village resident and former chairman, Nazrul Islam, said: “For the first time in life we will cast our votes as citizens of Bangladesh which is very big for us as we were deprived of our rights for the last 68 years.”

Residents of the village said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given them a light of hope. Because of her (Sheikh Hasina), our children can go to schools and colleges freely,” they said.

They said they are forever grateful to the prime minister and wanted her to be elected again.

According to the upazila election office, the number of voters from this area is 3,172, of which 1,590 are males, and 1582 are female voters.

The 12 former exclaves consist of 1,880.44 acres of land and Dashiarchhara has a population of 6,889 people.

Polls environment in Lalmonirhat former exclaves

In Lalmonirhat, there are 59 former exclaves.

According to information from the deputy commissioner’s office, residents of 36 former exclaves can cast their votes in the general polls.

Jainal Abedin, 53, of the former Bhotbari enclave said: “The daughter of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, has given us everything from citizenship to roads, schools and much more. I will definitely vote for her.”

Another resident, Moushumi Akhter, said: “Sheikh Hasina’s government has given us everything. I will definitely vote for her.”

Many residents of the region said they cannot express their joy in words and this is all because of Sheikh Hasina.

On August 1, 2015, in the light of the Mujib-Indira Treaty of 1974, the land border agreement was implemented and 111 exclaves of 17,160.63 acres of land was added to Bangladesh’s mainland from India.

According to Bangladesh-India joint calculation, the population of these ex exclaves is 37,535 people.

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