Silchar: Amid massive protest coupled with an FIR, Ishwar Bhai Ubadhiya, the chairman of Surma Valley Branch of Indian Tea Association finally apologized for his Bangladeshi encroachment in Barak Valley tea gardens. In a signed press note, Ubadhiya, who was also the manager of Rosekandy TE, said, “I sincerely regret that I mentioned ‘Bangladeshi’ encroachment, as I do not know their identity, I should not have given that statement.” Ubadhiya however, made it clear that he stood by the grievances of the encroachment and appealed to the state government for setting up a special cell to deal with the issue. He further maintained that for last four and half decades he had been in Cachar and considered himself as an integral part of the society.
Meanwhile, the Barak Democratic Front had lodged an FIR against Ubadhiya for making ‘derogatory’ remarks against the Bengali speaking dwellers in the tea gardens. On Sunday, the 123 annual general meeting of the SVBITA, the tea producers expressed concern over the mass encroachment in the garden land. Later speaking to the mediapersons, Ubadhiya specifically mentioned that the valley was inundated with Bangladeshi immigrants. Meanwhile various organisations like CRPC, Forum for Social Harmony had called a protest rally on Wednesday here in Silchar.