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Call to separate Barak Valley from Assam grows louder

Nagen Saikia said the move would bring an end to language-based conflicts.   | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

The defacing of Assamese slogans from hoardings of Jal Jeevan Mission in the Bengali-majority Barak Valley has led to a call for the bifurcation of Assam.

Miscreants had over the past few days smeared some hoardings in black to protest the “imposition” of the Assamese language in Barak Valley where Bengali is the official language. The valley covers the southern Assam districts of Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj.

Several Brahmaputra Valley-based organisations, including the All Assam Students’ Union, viewed the defacing of the hoardings as an insult to the Assamese language and people. Their demand for action against the miscreants saw the police arrest two persons. Both are out on bail.

Leading the call for separating Barak Valley from Assam, Assamese litterateur Nagen Saikia said bifurcation would go a long way in maintaining peace and tranquillity in the State.

“Granting statehood to Barak Valley would bring an end to language-based conflicts. The State Government should take the bifurcation issue up with people in both the valleys,” Mr. Saikia, the former president of the influential Assam Sahitya Sabha said.

In Barak Valley, organisations such as the Barak Democratic Front and the All Bengali Youth and Students’ Organisation staged demonstrations protesting the use of Assamese language in the hoardings.

Pradip Datta Roy, the Front’s convenor said Bengali was made the official language of Barak Valley following the language movement of 1961 that had claimed the lives of 11 people in police firing. “The use of Assamese in the hoardings was a violation of the provisions under the Language Act,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 12:19:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/call-to-separate-barak-valley-from-assam-grows-louder/article37144078.ece

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