Guwahati: Nagen Saikia, a famous Assamese litterateur and former president of the Asom Sahitya Sabha, proposed for the separation of Barak valley from Assam to decrease anti-Assamese sentiments during the ongoing linguistic debate in Assam.
Notably, former Asom Sahitya Sabha presidents Hitesh Deka and Mahendra Borah have previously made a similar request for the independence of Cachar district from Assam, according to the famed Assamese literature.
The Bengali Language Movement in Barak Valley, Assam was a protest against the Assam government's intention to declare Assamese the state's sole official language, despite the fact that a large section of the Barak Valley population spoke Bangla. Ethnic Bengalis make up over 80% of the Valley's population.
The ethnic Bengali population of the Barak Valley region is approximately evenly split between Hindus and Muslims, who make up the overwhelming majority of the population. Tribals and immigrants from various areas of India make up a sizeable minority. The primary event occurred on May 19, 1961, at Silchar railway station, when Assam police murdered 11 ethnic Bengalis.
The Cachar Gana Sangram Parishad was founded on February 5, 1961, to protest the imposition of Assamese in the Bengali-speaking Barak Valley. The people of Silchar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi held a Sankalpa Divas on April 14 to protest the Assamese government's injustice.
On April 24, the Parishad began a fortnight-long padayatra across the Barak Valley and the adjoining areas of Silchar and Karimganj to promote public awareness. Soldiers from the Assam Rifles, the Madras Regiment, and the Central Reserve Police marched at Silchar on May 12th. Three important leaders of the movement, Nalinikanta Das, Rathindranath Sen, and Bidhubhushan Chowdhury, the editor of the periodical Yugashakti, were detained on May 18 by the Assam police.
Following the incident, the Assam government was forced to rescind the circular, and Bengali was eventually granted official status in the three Barak Valley districts. [In the Cachar district, Section 5 of Assam Act XVIII, 1961, protects the use of Bengali.
Earlier this month, the All Assam United Youth Federation on Tuesday lodged an FIR against leaders of the Barak Democratic Youth Front for allegedly smearing black ink on government banners written in Assamese in the Barak Valley recently.
The FIR was lodged by All Assam United Youth Federation general secretary Bidyut Kalita against Barak Democratic Youth Front chief convener Pradip Dutta Roy and convener Rishikesh Dey. "We condemn the Barak Democratic Youth Front for insulting the Assamese language and community," said Bidyut Kalita.
Meanwhile, the Tai Ahom Yuba Parishad, Assam (TAYPA) on Tuesday staged a protest at the Sui-Ka-Pha Bhavan in Beltola in the city. Activists of the organizations burnt tyres during the protest and shouted slogans. "We demand that Bengali organizations should be banned by the Government of Assam. We also demand that the culprits behind the Barak Valley incident should be arrested within 24 hours and given stringent punishment."