People pay heartfelt tribute to 855 martyrs of 1979 Assam agitation

Guwahati (Assam) [India], Dec. 17 : For the first time in Assam's history and after a gap of 30 long years, the present Assam government organized an event in the memory of those martyrs, who had given up their lives in the hope of an "Infiltration Free Assam" in the 1979 Assam agitation.

The grand ceremony named "Shraddhanjali" was held at Khanapara Veterinary College playground recently here.

"The Assam Movement was a spontaneous non-violent mass uprising not just for safeguarding the existence of the Assamese people but for protecting the nation's unity and integrity as a whole.

Led by students, it was guided by the ideals of the Constitution of India and the apostle of peace Mahatma Gandhi.

It exemplified the spirit of the Assamese people," said Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. People from almost all districts of Assam gathered in large numbers to pay their tributes to the great martyrs.

Representatives from various indigenous organizations - All Assam Students Union (AASU), AJYCP, Asam Sahitya Sabha, Sadou Asam Karmachari Parishad, Kendriya Ardha-Kendriya Karmachari Parishad were also a part of it.

Chief Minister Sonowal led the prayers on the occasion, where proceedings began with placing of wreaths on a 34-feet-tall martyr's memorial.

In his address, the chief minister pledged to carry forward the legacy of the Movement and complete their unfinished agenda.

"Nowhere else in India one could find such historical movement where for six long years the Assamese community suffered difficulties struggled for a free Assam.

The movement was a historic approach of unity and integrity of the people of Assam. The mass movement earned global acclaim and support from all section of people be it hindu, muslim or Sikhs.

All were part of the movement," said Sonowal. Along with Sonowal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Railways, Rajen Gohain, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma and other cabinet ministers were present during the ceremony.

"Six years of struggle by the jawans of Assam who sacrificed their lives for the safety and security of the people of Assam.

Today they are being given tributes after 30 long years of gap which is only possible because of the humble approach of the state government.

It is really appreciable," said Minister of State (Independent Charge) Railways Rajen Gohain. During the ceremony, financial assistance of Rs. five lakhs was declared by Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma to the martyrs' families. A souvenir titled 'Shraddhanjali' was also released during the auspicious ceremony. A patriotic song composed by legendary singer Late Bhupen Hazarika "Swahid Pronamo Tumak" was performed by a group as a mark of tribute to the martyrs.

It was during the period of 1979-1985 when Assam was burning in the fire against illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.

The movement was led by All Assam Student Union (AASU) with support of various other organizations of Assam.

Though the decade-long issue of illegal immigrants still remains unsolved, efforts are on to solve the matter.

During the historic Assam movement, one of the most famous agitations in post-colonial India, 855 martyrs laid down their lives and thousands were injured.

Source: ANI