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Assam absorbed 3,000 E Pakistani employees
AJIT PATOWARY
 GUWAHATI, Sept 20 – It’s a 66-year-old story on the plight of around 3,000 government employees, who were refused to be retained by a government that was supposed to take care of them. Those employees were made to flee their homes and travel to a country, made a ‘foreign land’ for them overnight by the colonial power with the mere stroke of a pen. In that ‘foreign land’, those employees organised a movement for their absorption in the government departments. This is the content of the forthcoming book by Minister Nilamani Sen Deka.

Those who are looking for hard information on the socio-political impacts of Independence on this part of the country, may find some significant information in this book.

Deka told this correspondent that in this book he is trying to provide the readers a picture of the complexities resulting from the refusal of the erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) Government to retain around 3,000 Hindu employees in the post-partition period.

Subsequently, those Government employees reached Assam and started demanding their absorption by the Assam Government. They held a meeting at Shillong in 1947.

Personalities like the then Indian Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel wrote to the then Assam Prime Minister Gopinath Bordoloi to absorb those employees. Patel’s letter to Bordoloi was followed by a letter to him from the then Indian President Rajendra Prasad on the issue with the same undertone.

On the issue, Gopinath Bordoloi had communications with the Central leaders for a long period. The then East Pakistan Prime Minister Nazimuddin also had correspondence with Bordoloi. Gopinath Bordoloi went to Dhaka in 1948 in this connection.

After repeated correspondence and deliberations with the Indian Central leaders, Gopinath Bordoloi had to accept those employees as State Government employees in phases.

The plight of those employees and the concerns of Assam Government in connection with their absorption have been included in Deka’s forthcoming book – Desh Bibhajan, Shylet Sanghat aru Gopinath Bordoloi.

Deka said the book also contains the Cabinet decisions, besides the correspondence among Gopinath Bordoloi, Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Nazimuddin and Bishnu Ram Medhi, among others, on the issue.

It is worth mentioning here that in 1946, a process was initiated to distribute man-power and property between India and Pakistan. The Separation Council was formed, with SK Dutta as its Member Secretary, to supervise this process. But the Separation Council failed in its efforts to persuade the East Pakistan Government to retain those employees.

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