Jamalpur Bengalis a frightened lot

JAMALPUR: In many places of eastern Bihar, like Bhagalpur, Munger and Jamalpur, the local units of Bihari-Bengali Association (BBA) postponed their Baisakh (the new year day in Bengali calender) celebrations on Saturday in the wake of the brutal killing of a Bengali couple in Jamalpur. A few families of this linguistic minority wore black badges on the new year day.

The killings have triggered large scale migration of Bengali families from this area. According to local BBA secretary Mani Kumar Roy, more than 200 Bengali employees in the railway workshop have obtained transfer orders in the last two months. Altogether 37 people were transferred to West Bengal on April 10 and another 50 Bengali rail employees are scheduled to leave Jamalpur in coming months. “These families, who settled here due to the employment of their one or another member, are a frightened lot and they feel insecure,” said Ujjwal Chatterjee, convenor of BBA here. According to him, more than 1,000 Bengalis have migrated from here in the last one year.

Earlier, the local BBA had organised a meeting of its members on the Durgabari premises. The participants expressed serious concern over the mass exodus of their brethren from the area. The association members urged the local administration to ensure security to the frightened Bengalis. Otherwise, they too would leave the place as was done by the Sikhs, Sindhis and Marwaris earlier, they said.
Whereas the Bengalis were relieved of their ancestral properties by the vested interests which led to their migration from many places of eastern Bihar, the scenario in Jamalpur is somewhat different. “Some local unemployed youths do not like the Bengalis who are in majority at the Jamalpur railway workshop. At times, such elements force the outsiders to leave the place,” said Lakhani Lal Prasad, a local businessman.

The murder of the couple was not an isolated case of atrocity on the linguistic minorities by the local goons. A few years ago, close associates of a former state minister and former MP allegedly sexually abused all the female members of a Bengali railway employee in the Rampur railway colony. The wife of a Bengali supervisor was stabbed recently.

“But the local administration never provided a helping hand to the community members who are spending agonising moments for quite sometime now,” rued a local Bengali citizen.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/37863049.cms

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