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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 April 2024

PIL filed in Calcutta High Court over Bengal government's recognition of Rajbanshi schools

Bhabesh Roy, a spokesperson for the Rajbanshi Bhasha Siksha Sansad, said: 'We came to know that Bangshibadan Barman has sent a list to the state which comprises the names of only some so-called schools which he has set up. There is no mention of even one of our 407 schools in the list'

Our Correspondent Jalpaiguri Published 24.02.24, 10:57 AM
Representatives of the Rajbanshi Bhasha Siksha Sansad in Jalpaiguri on Friday.

Representatives of the Rajbanshi Bhasha Siksha Sansad in Jalpaiguri on Friday. Picture by Biplab Basak

An organisation that has been working on the Rajbanshi language for years filed a case at the Jalpaiguri Circuit Bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday, raising questions over the state’s decision to recognise Rajbanshi medium schools on the basis of a list sent by Bangshibadan Barman, a leader of the community who also heads the Rajbanshi Bhasha Academy.

Bhabesh Roy, a spokesperson for the Rajbanshi Bhasha Siksha Sansad, said after Mamata Banerjee assumed the chief minister’s office in 2011, her government recognised the Rajbanshi language.

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“Her decision encouraged us to open Rajbanshi-medium primary schools. We engaged educated youths in these schools as teachers. As of now, there are 407 such schools where there are over 1,000 students,” said Roy.

Most of these schools, sources said, are in South Dinajpur district. The rest are in the districts of Malda, North Dinajpur and in the Siliguri sub-division of Darjeeling
district.

He mentioned that during a recent visit to north Bengal, Mamata had said that the state government will recognize 200 such Rajbanshi-medium primary schools and will also depute teachers in these institutions.

“However, we came to know that Bangshibadan Barman has sent a list to the state which comprises the names of only some so-called schools which he has set up. There is no mention of even one of our 407 schools in the list. We have sent a number of letters to the state and to the chief minister but didn’t receive any response so far,” said the spokesperson of the Sansad.

Barman also heads a faction of the Greater Cooch Behar Peoples’ Association, is not approved by the state.

“We also have doubts as to whether the teachers would be recruited with a proper process,” Roy said.

Barman, when contacted, was brief in his reaction. “Anybody is free to approach the judiciary. Now that they have filed a case, I would not comment on the issue,” he said.

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