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‘Name railway station, airport in historical perspectives’

Special Correspondent

Silchar, July 17: In a chorus and collective voice, various Dimasa organizations have demanded renaming of Silchar railway station after the name of their great freedom fighter Sambhudhan Phonglo. This demand is at cross with the all time and long felt craze for naming the railway station after the 11 martyrs who laid down their lives for the sake of Bengali language. During the historic movement for Bengali language, these martyrs blocking the movement of trains were shot to death by police in and around the premises of the station. Behind the demand for naming the Silchar railway station as Bhasa Shahid Station is linked the sentiments and emotions of 36 lakh people of Barak Valley.

Justifying the naming of the station after the great Dimasa freedom fighter, Uttam Chanda Barman, president, Dimasa Historical Heritage Foundation (DHHF), said Sambhudhan Phonglo stood in open revolt against the British colonial rulers and successfully drove out the whites from the hills. The British colonial rulers became panicky at the daredevil uprising by Sambhudhan Phonglo and ultimately he was taken captive by the British, tortured and killed in 1883. It is the brave saga of the great martyr that continues to stir and inspire the Dimasa people. It was within a kilometre of the Silchar railway station that the British erected a tombstone on the grave of the martyr which is now encroached upon by unscrupulous intruders.

Another demand raised by the Dimasa bodies is for renaming the airport of Cachar district at Kumbhirgram in memory of Raja Govinda Chandra Narayan Hasnu, the last king of Heramba Kingdom. Besides being a ruler, he was also a pioneer in the field of literary culture as well as social reformer.

Besides, these Dimasa bodies have also insisted on naming the RCC bridge under construction over river Barak at Sadarghat that connects this valley with Dima Hasao district and Manipur. During the Dimasa raj, many important developments took place. Among them was the growth and development of Janiganj and its linkage with villages on the other side of river.

The numerous boats plied to ferry passengers from and to Janiganj. It was Raja Lakhichandra Narayan who placed a number of boats for the service of people. The ferry services however came to an end with the construction of a bridge in 1960. Against this backdrop considering the great service of Dimasa king for the rural villagers for their linkage with Silchar, it is pleaded that the RCC bridge now nearing completion be named after Dimasa Raja Lakhichandra Narayan. The joint memorandum addressed to Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister of Public Works Department, during his recent visit to Haflong was submitted by Nikhil Cachar Hidimba Samiti, Dimasa Historical Heritage Foundation, Jadikhe Naisho Hoshom, Dimasa Sahitya Sabha Central Committee among others.

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