The founder president of All Cachar Karimganj Students Association (ACKDA), Pradip Dutta Roy has furiously protested Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s claim that Assam University, a central university at Silchar, was “a fruit of the Assam Agitation”.

Dutta Roy, now a leading advocate at Gauhati High Court, said in his statement that Sonowal’s statement was “the very opposite of reality”.

“During the Assam Agitation, students from Barak Valley suffered untold harassment, intimidation and humiliation when they would go to Guwahati for higher study. That is why ACKSA, after its inception in 1983, fought for a decade to get a Central university in Barak Valley,” said Dutta Roy.

“Finally, the Rajiv Gandhi government cleared it despite fierce opposition from Prafulla Mahanta’s AGP government. Then BJP MP Bijoya Chakrabarty even tore up the bill in Parliament to protest the setting up of the central university in Silchar. The central university in Barak Valley is a fruit of ACKSA’s movement, not of the Assam Agitation.”

Dutta Roy said the AGP managed to get the central university at Tezpur on grounds that ‘both Valleys in Assam should get one central university.  So in a way, the Tezpur University is also an indirect fruit of our movement,” said Dutta Roy.

He said BJP MP Rajdeep Roy should have protested Sonowal’s statement at the convocation because his father Bimalanghshu Roy played an active role in the ACKSA movement for a central university in the Barak Valley.

“But neither he nor other BJP MLAs, who know the genesis of our central university, did raise their voice against the chief minister’s statement,” Dutta Roy said.

“The chief minister may have been misguided but local BJP leaders know the truth. They should not have taken this lying down.”

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