Barak chants 'leave' mantra

All Cachar Karimganj Hailakandi Students' Association founder president Pradip Dutta Roy on Wednesday reiterated that Barak Valley in south Assam should break away from Assam.

By Swapnaneel Bhattacharjee in Silchar
  • Published 12.07.18
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Pradip Dutta Roy (left) addresses the news conference in Silchar on Wednesday. Picture by Swapnaneel Bhattacharjee

Silchar: All Cachar Karimganj Hailakandi Students' Association founder president Pradip Dutta Roy on Wednesday reiterated that Barak Valley in south Assam should break away from Assam.

Roy, who is also an advocate, told reporters here on Wednesday afternoon that the divide between the Barak Valley and the Brahmaputra Valley has widened over issues like the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and it would be better if the Barak Valley breaks away from the rest of the state.

Only 30-35 per cent of the names of Barak Valley citizens were included in the first draft NRC published on the midnight of December 31 last year, while around 70-75 per cent names of Brahmaputra Valley citizens were included. This has caused a lot of resentment among the general public and organisations in Barak Valley.

On the other hand, while Barak Valley has been strongly supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the Brahmaputra Valley's stand on this is exactly the opposite.

"The people of Barak Valley do not want to live with Brahmaputra Valley anymore. The bitterness is increasing day by day," he said.

He said the association is contacting various organisations of the Barak Valley and a series of movements would be initiated in the coming days to voice their demand to separate the valley from Assam. "Garnering public support is our first goal for starting the movement," he said.

"The time has come for us all to unite and raise our voices in unison for the separation of this valley. The fight will be long, the fight will be tough," he said.

"Separation of Barak Valley will be better for both the valley and Assam," Roy said.

On pro-talks leader Jiten Dutta's threatening statement that he would come to Barak Valley with 1,000 cadres to garner support against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Roy asked why the government has not take any action against him till date.

Union Territory Demand Committee (UTDC) president Sanjit Debnath told The Telegraph that they also want Barak Valley to be separated from Assam and stressed that it should be given the status of a Union territory.

"The valley has remained deprived of development for years. Once it gets the Union territory status, it will be administered directly by the Centre and this will ensure its overall development," Debnath said.

Sadhan Purkayastha, a member of the Citizens' Rights Protection Co-Ordination Committee (CRPCC) and All Assam Bengali Hindu Association president Basudeb Sharma said they would comment only after discussing with the association.