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Court route for language status

Dumka, May 19: The mood was sombre at the function organised by the Bangla Bhasa O Sanskriti Raksha Samiti, Jamtara and Dumka unit, held to agitate for the cause of Bengali language.

Organised to commemorate the death of 11 martyrs gunned down by the Assam police at Silchar railway station on May 19, 1961, when they were agitating for Bengali to be made the state language in Assam, the event today saw residents protest against the state government’s apathy towards Bengali language.

Held at Raneshwar block, some 48km away from Dumka district headquarters, the event witnessed a large turnout. Samiti secretary Gautam Chatterjee, addressing the huge gathering, said that the situation of Jharkhand was like that of Assam in 1961.

“The parts of Jharkhand like Santhal Parganas and Singhbhum, having a sizeable number of Bengali-speaking population, face problems. Their documents for land and other things are in Bengali but their children have no facilities to get education in their mother tongue,” he explained.

Chatterjee, who is also the joint secretary in Bharatiya Bangla Bhasa Mahasabha, a countrywide body fighting the cause of Bengali language and literature, would soon knock on the doors of the Supreme Court against the attitude of the state government.

“Our case would be based on how the government failed to give Bengali the state’s second language status despite being approved by the cabinet on August 19, 2005 and how the state tabled the linguistic survey reports based on the census reports of 1991 and 2001. There was no such provision of identification of the language-wise population pattern during the two census reports,” he pointed out.

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