Guwahati, 05.02.2018: A Public Interest Litigation has been filed before the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court by senior and leading citizens of Guwahati, for the removal of encroachment from Chilarai Park at Amingaon, North Guwahati, including protection and upkeep of the said park premises, wherein an 18 ft. tall bronze statue of Biswa Mahabir Chilarai is also present.
Chilarai Park was built around 1992 in memory of legendary Koch General and Dewan (Prime Minister) Sukladhwaj, popularly known as ‘Chilarai’, who is respected and revered by the people of Assam and beyond, not only for his legendary military exploits but also for – (i) rebuilding the Kamakhya temple in 1565 A.D, which was supposedly destroyed by Kalapahar; (ii) for giving protection and patronage to Srimanta Sankardev, for which he could start a social reformation movement and a renaissance of literature in the region, (iii) for building roads under his leadership from Koch Beehar to Lakhimpur and from Guwahati to Silchar over which State and National Highways have now come up.
Therefore, Chilarai Park not only holds great historical significance to the people of Assam, but also a landmark of North Guwahati, which attracts tourists and locals alike. The resident’s of Greater Guwahati requires such public and green spaces where they can rewind and refresh from the grind of city life. It is particularly important for children to play under the open sky in such public parks, for their overall growth.
The petitioners came to learn from media reports and through investigation that the Assam Police (Traffic Branch), Kamrup district have illegally encroached and set up an Outpost inside the Chilarai Park premises, including encroachment by an Auto stand. The park is also not properly maintained by the district administration and has turned into a den of anti-social elements. Many organizations including the petitioners had earlier submitted memorandum with the D.C Kamrup rural district among others, including holding meetings, but to no avail.
Being aggrieved the petitioners, namely – (i) Sri. Atul Chandra Talukdar, retired HoD, Political Science, Arunachal University, (ii) Sri. Jogeswar Bora, retired Judge of the Designated Court, Assam, (iii) Sri. Nalini Ranjan Ray, senior officer of State Bank of India and (iv) Sri. Arup Jyoti Das, writer and Director of CKRSD, have filed the present PIL praying for removal of encroachment and upkeep of Chilarai Park and the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court has admitted the PIL and issued notice to Government of Assam. Advocate Santanu Borthakur and Vikram Rajkhowa appeared for the petitioners.
Arup Jyoti Das