GUWAHATI, Nov 12 - People from Bihar and the eastern part of the then United Province (now Uttar Pradesh) migrated in a significant number to Gauhati after the British rule was established over Assam, especially at the time of laying of the rail track at Gauhati to link it with the rest of the country. All those people were, however, called �Bihari� by the Gauhatians. Most of those people worked as porters at the Gauhati Steamer Station and at the Gauhati Rail Station, according to noted writer Kumudeswar Hazarika.
Some of them also served the Gauhatians as masons, carpenters, daily wage labourers and rickshaw-pullers. Some of them also had bullock carts and pony carts to transport cargo from place to place, while some others started petty businesses in Gauhati.
Those people initially used to stay in Uzanbazar Jahajghat and Gauhati Rail Station areas. Later, when their population grew, many of the old settlers shifted to Athgaon and to the (then) fringe areas like Bhutnath and Ulubari etc.
Some of those people could occupy respectable places in Gauhati society by dint of their roles. Among them, Ramswarup Singh of Tokobari, Rai Saheb Someswar Choudhury of Athgaon and Bikalal Prasad, Bisweswar Singh and Jagrup Ram Chauhan of Chenikuthi-Silpukhuri areas were noteworthy.
In 1930, when the Kamrup Academy school was established opposing the notorious Cunningham Circular, its founders had faced a serious problem to accommodate the school. They neither had a plot of land nor a rented house to run the school. At that time, Ramswarup Singh came forward, offering his two-storey wooden structure, opposite the Tokobari Sattra Road, at a nominal rent.
Someswar Choudhury, who was known as Someswar Sardar because of his leading the porters of the Uzanbazar Jahajghat as their sardar (leader), later became a landlord, owned the fifth cinema hall of Gauhati - the Lakhi Talkies (now Choudhury Talkies) and a brick kiln, which produced the famous �D� brand bricks.
Someswar Choudhury erected the main pandal for the silver jubilee celebration of the rule of King George-V at the Judges� Field in 1935. He was also associated with the Kamrup Academy school, Uzanbazar Jahajghat Hanuman Mandir and Shiv Mandir. One of his sons Raghunath Choudhury was a ward commissioner of the Gauhati Municipal Board for quite a long time.
Bikalal Prasad and Jagrup Ram Chauhan were famous contractors. Prasad and Chauhan owned brick kilns. Prasad�s �B� brand bricks and Chauhan�s �J� brand bricks were once famous brands.
Bikalal assimilated into the Assamese society. He owned huge plots of land in Ulubari area, said Hazarika.