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11 May 2018

Name change relief, finally

MAIN UDDIN CHISTI, TT, May 11, 2018, Cooch Behar: Rahaman Ali from an erstwhile Bangladeshi enclave in Cooch Behar has finally got his father's name changed in Madhyamik documents.

The youth from Poaturkushi visited the north Bengal regional office of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, on the outskirts of Siliguri, where an official changed the name of his father.

"It is an important development and would largely help several of us who had earlier showed our Indian neighbours and relatives as fathers," said an elated Ali.

In the enclaves, it was common practice till July 2016 - when the enclaves merged with the mainlands of India and Bangladesh as per the Land Boundary Agreement signed among the nations - to show others as fathers in documents.

"We had to do it to continue our education and to get admission. I had passed Madhyamik in 2008 and later, did higher secondary and graduation. In all documents of the educational qualifications, right from admit cards to certificates, I have used the name of Saher Ali, one of my uncles, who stays at Khatamari close to our enclave," said the youth.

This is because their parents were Bangladeshi residents till the merger.

After all 51 Bangladeshi enclaves merged with India, the administration took the task of providing them with Indian citizenship and enrolled their names in voter lists and issued them ration cards.

This change made Ali and many other youths approach the administration, seeking the change in the names of their fathers in their academic documents.

The administration took up the matter with the state education department so that the change can be made.

"Recently, I was informed by the administration that the change would start from the documents of Madhyamik. On Wednesday, I went to the board's office and an official of the special deputy secretary rank made the changes in my admit card, registration card, mark sheet and certificate of Madhyamik," said the youth.

Sources in the administration said in due course, the West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary Examination and the North Bengal University authorities would also make the necessary changes in other documents of Ali. His father's name was changed to Naskar Ali from Sahar Ali.

"Now that the process has initiated, the change would be made in the academic documents of all such students and youths of the erstwhile enclaves," an official said.

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