FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
SILCHAR, Dec 16: Though Cachar bandh called by Silchar District Congress Committee was total, interestingly Hailakandi and Karimganj remained unresponsive. According to information from the two districts, Congress has lost support base to BJP and AIUDF. It however does not mean that the people of Karimganj and Hailakandi have supported the statement of Rajen Gohain. Rather, sigl emating from the two districts indicated bandh should not be the medium to express resentment and anger. Silchar District Congress Committee has made it clear that they expected support from these districts also.
Across Cachar, the situation has been different. BJP and AIUDF have maintained equidistance while left parties, CPI, CPM and CPI (ML) have not taken any stand in favour or against the bandh. Only SUCI (C) which has ideological difference with other left parties has called separate bandh and its student wing AIDSO has even given call for reviving the movement for separation of Barak. The bandh in Cachar saw closure of business establishments and shops along with government and private offices against the objectioble statement made by Rajen Gohain, BJP MP and Union Minister of State for Railways.
A number of civic bodies and organizations which included Cachar Zila Jubo Ahele Sunt, Bishnupriya Manipuri Gasangram Parishad, Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Students Union, Separate Barak Demand Committee, Cachar Gadabi Parishad supported the bandh. Leaders and members of Silchar District Congress committee assembled before the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar and raised slogans, denouncing Rajen Gohain’s statement. A group of bike riders were seen forcing the shop owners to keep their shutters down. There was no movement of vehicular traffic.
Silchar Book Fair which is on was also affected by bandh. There was adequate security arrangement. Train services in Cachar remained suspended. Air services operated as usual at Kumbhirgram Airport, though the passengers remained stranded till the bandh hour was over. As decided earlier, essential services were exempted from the purview of the bandh. There was no report of any untoward incident. The bandh was a success in Cachar district due to the unimous support of the people of the district. It is a direct message to Rajen Gohain who had defamed the people of this valley and the martyrs of the language movement of 1961 with his objectioble comments on Bengali language.