12–hour Barak bandh today

SILCHAR, September 23: In order to garner mass support for the 12–hour Barak bandh on Tuesday convened by Silchar–Lumding Broad–Gauge Rupayan Sangram Committee to protest against the undue delay of gauge conversion project, Sammilitho Sanskritik Mancha, an umbrella of 22 social and cultural organizations, today held a public meeting before the statue of Khudiram Bose.
Biswajit Das, secretary of the Mancha, said that it was a long pending demand of lakhs of people of Barak valley. He said that the Mancha has also organized several protest programmes demanding expeditious completion of the broad gauge project. He added that they have support with all those who have been doing movement for the cause with sincerity and dedication. The members of SSM will also take part in the picketing tomorrow to make the strike a success.
Meanwhile, some other socio–cultural organizations have come forward, supporting the strike. Barak Upothakya Banga Sahitya O Sanskritik Sammelan and South Assam Bengali Hindu Association (SABHA) also extended full support to the bandh. Parthasarathi Das, general secretary of the SABHA, said that former Prime Minister, H D Devegowda inaugurated the Silchar Lumding broad–gauge project with much funfare in 1996. But, even after 17 years of sanctioning of the much–awaited venture, a mere one–half of the work has been completed, which is in reality almost unnoticeable, he added. Silchar Bhasa Sahid Station Sahid Smaran Samiti also decided to support the bandh. In a release to media, the Samiti opined that the target date of this BG track has been changing with the passage of time. It added that the government has been taking the help of different ploys to hoodwink the people of this valley for the last one decade. After all the hurdles of land acquisition and insurgency, the project has been dragging its feet year after year with new promises and assurances about which people are no more convinced.
Sources said that the Silchar–Lumding Broad Gauge Rupayan Sangram Committee today held an internal meeting to chalk out the strategies to make the strike a success that would put pressure on the government to expedite the broad–gauge. (Source:SentinelAssam)