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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bithika faces wrath of mancha, sammelon

SILCHAR, Sept 4: Sammilito Samskritik Mancho, a platform of various cultural organizations of Silchar town, has demanded apology from MLA Bithika Dev for her alleged derogatory remarks that had hurt the sentiments of the language-loving milieu of the valley.

Barak Upatyaka Banga Sihitya Samskriti Sammelon, an apex body of the valley, also convened an urgent meeting recently to condemn the alleged remarks by Dev at a meeting of the Cachar Zila Parishad held recently.

Both the cultural platforms alleged that Dev wanted to divide the Bengali-speaking people of the town and villages. Meanwhile, Dev while speaking to The Sentinel clarified that she never intended to hurt the sentiments of the people, neither had she shown any disrespect to the language martyrs, but she actually wanted to focus on some practical problems regarding the distribution of ration cards erroneously printed in Asomiya language.

It is to be noted that the district administration had stopped distributing ration cards printed in Asomiya language after the Sammelon and some other organizations protested it as a move of cultural aggression. Referring to this, Dev said that the distribution of ration cards was stalled only because of protests made by some linguistic organizations.

Bithika further said that the organization did not even submit a copy of the memorandum to her so that she could take up the matter with the government. However, after knowing the fact she took up the matter with the Supply Ministry who argued that since there was budgetary allocation for reprinting of ration cards in Bengali, the entire process was stalled temporarily. In the current financial year, budget was allotted for printing of ration cards in Bengali language and the same would reach Silchar very soon, he said.

Meanwhile, the mancha and the sammelon, at separate meetings, condemned the alleged remarks of Bithika Dev. Mancha general secretary Biswajit Das said: “Dev should withdraw her remarks and apologize to the people of the valley.” On the other hand, the sammelon in its urgent meeting has decided to convene a press meet where they would show documents that they had actually informed the MLA about their protest against the ration cards printed in Asomiya language.

BJP MLA Dr Rumi Nath and former CPM MLA Dipak Bhattacharjee also reportedly criticized Dev for her remarks which, according to them, had hurt the sentiments of the Bengali people in the valley, sources said. THE SENTINEL

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