Bogibeel Bridge over Brahmaputra River
Bogibeel Bridge over Brahmaputra River. Photo: Northeast Now

Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha, a leading social organization of Dibrugarh on Saturday said India’s longest-rail-cum-road bridge should be named as Bogibeel Bridge.

It has also opposed the demand raised by various communities and organizations to name the bridge after their preferred personalities. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the bridge on December 25.

Also read: Bogibeel Bridge: Enthusiasm grips northern bank with hope for better connectivity

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Jogen Borah, advocate and president of Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha said, “We submitted our first memorandum on June 21, 1977 to the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai demanding the bridge. Since then the bridge is known as Bogibeel Bridge. So, it should be known as Bogibeel Bridge.”

He said, “No organization has demanded for a bridge before us but now they are demanding the bridge to be named after their preferred personalities. We are happy that after long years of struggle finally, the bridge is going to be inaugurated. The bridge will bring economic development in the region.”

Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha stated that the first complete memorandum to then Prime Minister of India was submitted on June 21, 1977 and the signatories were Late Ramesh Chandra Baruah, former Speaker Assam Legislative Assembly; Late Lakshmi Prasad Dutta, former Rector of Dibrugarh University; Late Jagat Chandra Neog, who was a veteran journalist and Late Binanda Chandra Baruah, who was a noted social worker and senior member of the Dibrugarh Bar Association.

A delegation of Dibrugah Nagarik Sangha comprising Sadar Dilip Singh, Binanda Chandra Baruah and Jagat Neog went to Delhi and submitted a memorandum to the then Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai, for construction of the bridge on the Brahmaputra connecting the north with the south..

“This bridge was conceived in the mind of some nationalistic and service-minded persons in early seventies of the last century as an aftermath of 1962 Chinese aggression which threatened the very existence of Arunachal Pradesh and part of Assam. Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha, formed to protect and look after the interest of Dibrugarh district and its citizens, was the pioneering body which spearhead the demand for a second bridge over mighty river Brahmaputra at Bogibeel in the early part of the 1977,” said Siba Prasad Dutta, another pioneering member of Nagarik Sangha.

The All Assam Chutiya Students’ Union (AACSU) on Saturday released a list of 22 members, who the students’ body said, will sacrifice their lives by jumping into the Brahmaputra if the Prime Minister doesn’t dedicate the bridge in the name of Chutiya dynasty Queen Sati Sadhani.

The students’ body earlier threatened that 100 youths of the Chutiya community will commit mass suicide if the bridge was not named as ‘Veerangana Sati Sadhani Setu’.

The list of the 22 members released on Saturday contains the names of Khirod Saikia (president, AACSU), Mahen Bora (general secretary, AACSU), Rajani Chutiya, Pranjal Raj Khanikar, Raju Chutiya, Raj Barhoi, Kundil Chutiya, Jitu Saikia, Jayanta Khanikar, Sanjib Chutiya, Bitupan Saikia, Tridiv Chutiya Bitul Khanikar, Ranjit Baruah, Ajay Kumar Chutiya, Tapan Chutiya, Jayanta Hazarika, Amrit Das, Dipankar Saikia, Bitoopan Saikia, Manash Saikia and Nitul Chutiya.

The Chutiya community which is one of the oldest ethnic groups of the State has been demanding that the Bogibeel Bridge be named after Sati Sadhani, who ruled the Chutiya dynasty from 1522 to 1524. The erstwhile Chutiya kingdom that was established on the north bank of the Brahmaputra in north-eastern Assam and parts of Arunachal Pradesh, reigned for nearly 500 years from 1187 to 1673.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com

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