During the sixties and early seventies, RKM of Kailashahar had been a hub of the smouldering communist movement in Tripura and it hatched a handful of future leaders like Bimal Singha, Tapan Chakraborty, Ananta Pal and Gaurmohan Singha. Bimal Singha, with his dauntless bravery, unsurpassable charisma and legendary powers of oratory, was the epitome of popularity, adoration and admiration.
At the time of the Indo-Pak war in 1971. Kailashahar, for its frontier location, had become a place of immense strategically importance. Every inch of the town and its surrounding areas was occupied by army establishments. The unnerving presence of armed jawans everywhere had put the town’s womenfolk in unforeseen trouble. One day, a bizarre incident caught everybody off their guard. Some army jawans molested a school-going girl on the wooden bridge over Laxmichhera, a stream that divides the town in two parts. It was a busy working day and office and school goers could not help witnessing the grotesque occurrence. A hush fell on the area. Passersby stood aghast, refusing to acknowledge each other’s glances. Bimal Singha, who was on his way to his class, arrived there on a bicycle. He surveyed the scene and asked the jawans something only to meet with a lewd gesture. The jawans threatened to beat him up if he poked his fine nose any further. Bimal Singha, as daredevil as ever, gave the closest jawan a hard punch on the nose and knocked him down. The other jawans rushed him to the nearby hospital. The frozen onlookers regained their senses and quickly fled the spot. But not Bimal Singha. He stood reclining on the side railings of the bridge and asked every school and college going youth to stop there. Messages were sent to senior students who had already reached their classes. Within an hour the students of all the schools of the town and RKM gathered around him. They set up a roadblock and shouted slogans for immediate redressal. People who had feared for Bimal Singha’s life (the jawans were supposed to strike back soon after hospitalizing their colleague), found how he had changed the circumstances in his favour. The S.D.O came to tackle the situation. But he had no power to say a word to army jawans, especially at wartime. The officer then contacted the military authorities. The top officials of the local military establishments descended on the spot. They gave Bimal Singha assurance that they would punish the jawans. The civilian population of Kailashahar that day witnessed a kind of punishment they had never seen. The aberrant jawans were subjected to a harsh form of what is called in military parlance ‘Pitthu’. With heavy weights on their backs, the jawans had to trot down the road in front of the public.
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