GUWAHATI, Dec 1 – Noted merchant Bholanath Barooah, known in Assam as Sadagar Bhola Barooah, had left a bequest worth around Rs 100 crore at Howrah in West Bengal for the development of Primary Education in Assam. But due to the negligence of the State Government that valuable property is now under the unauthorized possession of a political party.
The legacy of Late Barooah left in other places like Shillong are also under the possession of people who are not entitled to be the beneficiaries of those inheritances, rued noted writer Kumudeswar Hazarika. He was talking to this correspondent.
Barooah, who rose to prominence because of his business acumen and lofty donations for the spread of education in the State, had appointed Sir Rajendranath Mukherjee, EB Railways Chief Engineer Raibahadur Allaram, Tarun Chandra Borooah and Mohinarayan Bora the executors of his will.
According to Hazarika, in clause 11 of his will, Barooah had stated: “After the death of Mohinarayan Bora, Tarun Chandra Borooah and Keshab Kanta Barooah, I direct my Executors to wind up all my business and to sell the rest of my estate and then to make over the whole estates sale proceeds and other moneys which will be in their hands, to the Government to be employed in such manners as Government may think fit for Primary Education of poor students in Assam.”
As per this provision of his will, the Education Department of the State is the legal heir to the asset left behind by Barooah. Chidananda Barooah, the author of the Assam Buranjir Alikhita Tathya Sambhar had prepared a list of Barooah’s property in Kolkata.
Keshavkanta Barooah also sent one of his nephews to take stock of the property of Barooah in Kolkata and Orissa (Odissa). This nephew of Keshavkanta Barooah had told Hazarika that the landed property of Barooah near the Cuttack Rail Station and at other places of Orissa were under the possession of encroachers.
Barooah also purchased two bungalows named Maxwell Ton Estate in Shillong. This estate is now in deplorable state, said Hazarika.
The total worth of the immovable property of Sadagar Bhola Barooah spread in different parts of the country is around Rs 1,000 crore. The State Government by finding out the probate of his will can easily acquire these properties and use them for the benefit of the people of the State, Hazarika said.