Silchar, April 2: On a day when voters across 39 constituencies across the state including seven constituencies of Cachar district thronged the polling stations with great enthusiasm braving the inclement weather and heavy showers in the morning to cast vote for the second phase of the Assembly election, villagers living in the Indian territory outside the Indo-Bangla international barbed wire fence at Nathanpur in Katigorah constituency too keenly participated in the festival of electoral democracy.
Abdul Mallik, an aged local from among the 30 families (approximately) including a mix of Hindu and Muslim residents outside the fence on the Indian part of the land and his neighbour young Shahim Ahmed found to be spiritedly approaching the nearby school (at a distance of approximately 500 meters from the fence) which was their polling station to cast their vote. While crossing the border gate, the two had taken the mandatory gate passes from the Border Security Force (BSF) men patrolling the fence.
“The appeals and promises done from outside the fence barely reach us to strike any change in our fate, yet we do not wish to miss the opportunity to exercise our voting rights,” Mallik said.
Two other villagers Karimuddin and Nirmal Das who were found at the polling station for casting their votes shared experiences of their chores to earn their living amidst strict routine of opening and closing of the gate by the BSF. However, they praised the efforts of the BSF unit here in easing their troubles especially when anyone needs medical attention.
The BSF officials, on vigil at the Nathanpur BOP too said “there is no conflict among the residents of the village outside the fence and they share a good camaraderie among themselves.”
However, some other fellow villagers residing outside the fence who also turned up to vote, informed that they consume the river water as there dearth of safe drinking water facility while their children lack the interest to come to schools to study because of the procedural hardships.