SILCHAR, March 5: Different literary and cultural organization of Barak Valley have objected to the counting of votes on May 19 as declared by the Election Commission of India. This day is very significant for the people of this valley as 11 people laid down their lives for the sake of mother tongue Bengali. May 19 is observed across the length and breadth of this valley as ‘martyrs’ day’ to pay tributes to the fallen heroes. It is to be recalled that all the martyrs were hit by police bullet while on movement to block the movement of trains from Silchar railway station during the language agitation of 1961. Among the organizations are Barak Banga Sahitya O Sanskriti Sammelan, Matribhasa Suraksha Samiti and Sammilit Sanskritik Mancha.
Taimur Raja Choudhury, president, Barak Banga, Mihir Lal Roy, president, Matribhasa Suraksha Samiti, and Dr. Rajiv Kar, convener, Sammilit Sanskritik Mancha, in identical manner said it would be a disrespect to the martyrs to have some important election agenda like counting of votes. It is on May 19 since 1961 that entire Barak Valley turns out every year to pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives so that they could have the freedom to speak and write as well as learn through their mother tongue Bengali.
They blamed the political leaders of this valley for not raising before the Election Commission during its visit to Guwahati to decide the poll dates in consultation with the representatives of all the political parties. It was after consultation that the Election Commission fixed poll dates before Bihu and also counting date. Similarly, Barak leaders should have told the Commission not to hold counting on May 19. Choudhury, Mihir Lal Roy and Dr. Rajiv Kar said if counting takes place on May 19, it will disturb the observance of martyrs’ day.