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�Deprived� Badarpur up in arms

By Debasish Banik
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BADARPUR, Aug 22 - The local residents, and all political and non-political organisations of Badarpur area, have joined hands to register a stern protest against the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu�s recent decision to set up a new Rail division at Silchar.

The locals have been demanding the government to upgrade the Badarpur Rail subdivision to a division for several years.

Following the reports of �deliberate� deprivation, several political parties of Badarpur in Karimganj district like the Congress, BJP, SUCI, CPM, CPI(M), AIUDF along with the Railway unions and employees and the members of Badarpur Rail Division Implementation Demand Committee (BRDIDC) have again staged protests against the Centre.

Criticising the Government, the general secretary of the BRDIDC, Sukumar Ghosh, said that they would launch a stern movement against the Centre�s decision, as according to him, the locals have been demanding a full-fledged Rail division at Badarpur since 1988.

Talking to this correspondent, he said, �We are going to register a strong protest in the coming days. It�s a very logical demand from our point of view. It�s an important Railway junction. It also serves as an important centre of BG Railway communication between south Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram. So, it needs to be upgraded to a division.�

�Badarpur is a perfect place for a Rail division. A vast area belongs to the Railways here. The subdivision is also equipped with traffic control system,� he added. Citing examples, Ghosh said that the subdivision has already been maintaining the traffic of routes - from Badarpur to NC Hills (500 kms), from Badarpur to Bhairabi (460 kms), from Badarpur to Tripura (510 kms) and Badarpur to Manipur (430 kms).

It�s worth mentioning that Badarpur is the only gateway to the neighbouring States like Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram and to the entire Barak Valley. In these places, entire Railway services are being controlled by the Badarpur subdivision.

If the Railway communication is set up with Bangladesh in the future, Badarpur will be the only suitable junction for train operations.

Talking about Silchar being the new Railway division, Ghosh said that the Railway Department has to purchase land to accommodate all the facilities there. As per Railway Traffic Rules, Badarpur can easily get the status of a rail division, said BRDIDC sources.

In the past, more than 200 protests, three torchlight parades and several rail blockade programmes were organised supporting the decade-old demand. Among these protests, the 1990-91 torchlight parade was said to be a historical one where more than 2,000 people hit the streets.

Apart from these, more than 100 memorandums were submitted to the State and Central Governments, Railway high authorities, President and Prime Minister highlighting the issue, but all in vain.

The entire Badarpur region is rife with gossip about the Railway Minister�s announcement, which has also been criticised by educationist and intellectual communities.

Reacting on the issue, former BJP MLA, Mission Ranjan Das said, �This is misleading. It�s a wrong decision taken by the Railway Minister which will not be tolerated at all by the BJP here. The BJP members here will continue to give support to the movement of the BRDIDC.�

The Karimganj district BJP president, Biswarup Bhattacharyya, said, �Badarpur should get the division status as it is a very old demand.�

BJP leader Dipak Dev, former BTC chairman Chandan Paul, Badarpur Mandal Congress president Paritosh Chandra Ghosh and several others have also criticised the announcement. In a joint statement, they stated that the movement of Badarpur Rail Division is a very old, genuine and vital one. It cannot be ignored by the Railways and Central Government.

The BRDIDC�s general secretary also said that former minister Santosh Mohan Dev and RS MP Karnendu Bhattacharyya also wrote separate letters to the Railway Minister pitching for the same demand.

The former Chief Minister of Assam, Hiteswar Saikia, had also announced that Badarpur would get the status of a Rail division, as all required elements were there at Badarpur Railway subdivision.

Badarpur MLA Jamal Uddin Ahmed and former Karimganj MP L M Suklabaidya also expressed their displeasure over the issue, assuring that they would take it up with the higher authorities.

Meanwhile, two urgent meetings were organised at Badarpur under the chairmanship of BEDIDC president Chandan Sen recently, where all the representatives of the various political parties were present. They also took an oath to continue the protest until their demands were fulfilled.

They again sent a memorandum to the Railway Minister arguing for the rail division at Badarpur saying that �Upgrading of 100 years ancient Badarpur Railway Subdivision as full-fledged Railway Division at Badarpur Railway Junction, existing Sub-divisional Headquarters (since British regime), the connecting junction of Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, greater Assam and the international State - Bangladesh is the need of the hour.�

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�Deprived� Badarpur up in arms

BADARPUR, Aug 22 - The local residents, and all political and non-political organisations of Badarpur area, have joined hands to register a stern protest against the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu�s recent decision to set up a new Rail division at Silchar.

The locals have been demanding the government to upgrade the Badarpur Rail subdivision to a division for several years.

Following the reports of �deliberate� deprivation, several political parties of Badarpur in Karimganj district like the Congress, BJP, SUCI, CPM, CPI(M), AIUDF along with the Railway unions and employees and the members of Badarpur Rail Division Implementation Demand Committee (BRDIDC) have again staged protests against the Centre.

Criticising the Government, the general secretary of the BRDIDC, Sukumar Ghosh, said that they would launch a stern movement against the Centre�s decision, as according to him, the locals have been demanding a full-fledged Rail division at Badarpur since 1988.

Talking to this correspondent, he said, �We are going to register a strong protest in the coming days. It�s a very logical demand from our point of view. It�s an important Railway junction. It also serves as an important centre of BG Railway communication between south Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram. So, it needs to be upgraded to a division.�

�Badarpur is a perfect place for a Rail division. A vast area belongs to the Railways here. The subdivision is also equipped with traffic control system,� he added. Citing examples, Ghosh said that the subdivision has already been maintaining the traffic of routes - from Badarpur to NC Hills (500 kms), from Badarpur to Bhairabi (460 kms), from Badarpur to Tripura (510 kms) and Badarpur to Manipur (430 kms).

It�s worth mentioning that Badarpur is the only gateway to the neighbouring States like Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram and to the entire Barak Valley. In these places, entire Railway services are being controlled by the Badarpur subdivision.

If the Railway communication is set up with Bangladesh in the future, Badarpur will be the only suitable junction for train operations.

Talking about Silchar being the new Railway division, Ghosh said that the Railway Department has to purchase land to accommodate all the facilities there. As per Railway Traffic Rules, Badarpur can easily get the status of a rail division, said BRDIDC sources.

In the past, more than 200 protests, three torchlight parades and several rail blockade programmes were organised supporting the decade-old demand. Among these protests, the 1990-91 torchlight parade was said to be a historical one where more than 2,000 people hit the streets.

Apart from these, more than 100 memorandums were submitted to the State and Central Governments, Railway high authorities, President and Prime Minister highlighting the issue, but all in vain.

The entire Badarpur region is rife with gossip about the Railway Minister�s announcement, which has also been criticised by educationist and intellectual communities.

Reacting on the issue, former BJP MLA, Mission Ranjan Das said, �This is misleading. It�s a wrong decision taken by the Railway Minister which will not be tolerated at all by the BJP here. The BJP members here will continue to give support to the movement of the BRDIDC.�

The Karimganj district BJP president, Biswarup Bhattacharyya, said, �Badarpur should get the division status as it is a very old demand.�

BJP leader Dipak Dev, former BTC chairman Chandan Paul, Badarpur Mandal Congress president Paritosh Chandra Ghosh and several others have also criticised the announcement. In a joint statement, they stated that the movement of Badarpur Rail Division is a very old, genuine and vital one. It cannot be ignored by the Railways and Central Government.

The BRDIDC�s general secretary also said that former minister Santosh Mohan Dev and RS MP Karnendu Bhattacharyya also wrote separate letters to the Railway Minister pitching for the same demand.

The former Chief Minister of Assam, Hiteswar Saikia, had also announced that Badarpur would get the status of a Rail division, as all required elements were there at Badarpur Railway subdivision.

Badarpur MLA Jamal Uddin Ahmed and former Karimganj MP L M Suklabaidya also expressed their displeasure over the issue, assuring that they would take it up with the higher authorities.

Meanwhile, two urgent meetings were organised at Badarpur under the chairmanship of BEDIDC president Chandan Sen recently, where all the representatives of the various political parties were present. They also took an oath to continue the protest until their demands were fulfilled.

They again sent a memorandum to the Railway Minister arguing for the rail division at Badarpur saying that �Upgrading of 100 years ancient Badarpur Railway Subdivision as full-fledged Railway Division at Badarpur Railway Junction, existing Sub-divisional Headquarters (since British regime), the connecting junction of Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, greater Assam and the international State - Bangladesh is the need of the hour.�