Kalain Mayhem : AIUDF MLA’s caution unheeded
From our Special Correspondent
SILCHAR, July 5: After all the emotional upsurge and violence over Rumi-Jacky affair, Barak Valley is limping back to normalcy. However, simmering discontent in certain troubled and sensitive areas still continues. Nilambazar in Karimganj and Kalain in Cachar which hit the headlines of the media for unprovoked attack on the peaceful picketers and squatters during the bandh on Wednesday have brought into sharp focus the questionable role of the officer-in-charge of Nilambazar police station, Tanveer Ahmed, circle officer, F R Laskar, as well as the circle officer of Kalain, Khaleda Sultana Ahmed. Shipra Goon, All India Secretary of Mahila Morcha of BJP, who led the peaceful picketers on the NH-44 at Nilambazar, alleged before the media persons that when hundreds of opponents of bandh swooped on them in the very presence of the OC and the CO, there was no intervention from them. Rather, they stood like silent spectators, allowing the anti social elements a free hand. Three of her picketers were injured in the scuffle and had to be shifted to the Karimganj Civil Hospital. Shipra Goon saw behind it the hands of Siddeque Ahmed, minister of border areas development, as well.
For the mayhem at Kalain, the scene of bloody confrontation between the supporters and opponents, circle officer, Khaleda Sultana Ahmed, was at the centre stage of fomenting trouble by her prejudicial and partisan role. Kirit Bhushan Purkayastha, district president of Cachar BJP, raised his accusing finger at Khaleda Sultana Ahmed for the violent disturbances in which five peaceful picketers were seriously injured by the unprovoked assault on them by anti-social elements armed with all sorts of handy missiles. He alleged that the circle officer pressed on Kalain bazaar committee president Sukhendu Kar to open his shop and some Muslim businessmen also created pressure on him. It was a well-designed conspiracy to target the picketers who were simply picketing before the office of the circle officer and on NH-44.
Simultaneously, the opponents of bandh too pressurized the supporters to withdraw the bandh. This led to heated exchanges and blows. In the melee, Sukhendu Kar was hit by some sharp missile thrown from some unknown zone. This was enough for provocation. Both the supporters and opponents came head on and it took the most ugly turn resulting in injury to 20 persons, 6 of them grievously. The six seriously injured were taken to Silchar Medical College Hospital who included Sunil Mandal, Jamal Uddin Barbhuiya, Praneet Deb, Sukhendu Kar, Suman Dey and Sushil Dey. According to a hospital source, all of them were recuperating.
AIUDF MLA and general secretary of the party said he wondered why the administration did not send sufficient forces to Kalain even after it was alerted by him. He added to say he had received several calls on his mobile phone on the night of Tuesday about the design of some group or groups of people planning to create disturbances during the bandh period in Kalain. He immediately conveyed the message to the administration but despite repeated appeals, as he claimed, his warning was not given any importance.
The information from Kalain said that as there was significant improvement in the law and order situation, curfew was relaxed from 8 am to 10 am and after that from 12 noon to 4 pm. By tomorrow, if nothing untoward happens, it is expected that the administration would lift the curfew or allow longer hours of relaxation. In the aftermath of Rumi-Jacky affair what happened across the valley could not but be termed ominous for future. Once described as an island of peace, this valley is now the most turbulent.
Many questions have been raised in responsible in circles and civil society in view of the unpleasant happenings. In the first place, if the Congress leadership of Cachar and the state had reined in Rumi for her wayward conduct and behaviour in public, the communal elements waiting in the wings would not have exploited the situation. In fact, even sensible Muslim leaders, political and religious, admitted that Rumi had crossed the limit of decency and decorum as a people’s representative. Her marriage with Jakir Hussain was not acceptable according to Shariat law as stated by Nadwatut Tamire and Jamaat-e-Islam. She was even allowed to enter the MLA hostel at Dispur with Jacky and made to appear before the media before whom she gave the statements which only were hotting up the situation in Barak Valley.
Rumi Nath appeared to be confused about her own religious identity when she expressed her gratefulness to Allah and Lord Jagannath as well as Lord Krishna in the same breadth for being safe and sound after all the dastardly attack on her in a Karimganj hotel. In the process, she had hurt both the Hindu and the Muslim sentiments and caused the greatest ever communal-divide in Barak Valley which would take long time to heal. In the meantime, SMS alert, most probably by the administration, has cautioned people about ‘rumours’ now being afloat around the Kalain incident and not to be swayed by it.
It is now more than apparent that for the mayhems at Nilambazar and Kalain, the officials of the police and civil administrations who had been identified by the political leaders and public for their questionable and partisan role, if the higher authorities concerned in Cachar and Karimganj as well as at Dispur glossed over it, it would only be at the cost of more such mayhems in future, possibility of which could not be ruled out due to the fragile communal divide in the valley. Besides, it would need more searching and probing answers.