Amid the ongoing language controversy in Assam, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Tuesday that a language unites masses and there should not be a dispute over it.

Chief Minister Sarma said this while addressing an election rally in Thowra where the Congress-turned-BJP leader Sushanta Borgohain is contesting Assembly by-election.

He said that the people should not feel bad about hoarding in the Assamese language that was defaced in the Cachar district which led to the arrest of two youths.

The hoarding on the “Jal Jivan Mission” also led to protests from various organisations including the Barak Democratic Front (BDF) and the All Bengali Youth and Students’ Organisation (ABYSO).

In reaction, a few people in Guwahati defaced a signboard in Bengali.

“We should work together for an undivided India and a united Assam. We would be very cautious and serious that no one should do anything which may hurt the sentiments of the people of Brahmaputra Valley or the Barak Valley,” Sarma added.

“If anyone hurts the sentiments of other communities, we would only create a difference between the people of diverse communities,” he said.

Sarma said that if by mistake a textbook was published in Bengali in the Brahmaputra Valley or a textbook in the Assamese language circulated in the Barak Valley, people should refrain from giving any kind of reactions.

“Language brings people closer, maintains peace and harmony and if due to any minor reason language caused any division among the people, there would be no signs of a language,” he added.

Reacting to the comments of renowned Assamese scholar Nagen Saikia’s call for the separation of the Barak Valley from Assam, the Chief Minister said that he did not want to comment and that it was his personal opinion.

After the Cachar incident, Saikia, winner of the Sahitya Academy Award and former president of the Asom Sahitya Sabha, the state’s highest literary body, had suggested the separation of the Barak Valley to maintain peace and tranquillity in the state.

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