The All India Democratic Students' Organization (AIDSO) staged a protest on Saturday against May 19 being set as a date for Secondary and Higher Secondary Examination. The protestors gathered in front of the School Inspector's Office at around 11:30 am.
According to Hillol Bhattacharjee, a member of the All India Committee of AIDSO, a conspiracy of "extremist-provincialist" forces was at work, behind setting May 19 as a date for the secondary and higher secondary examination. In a reaction to the publication of exam date-sheet by the State Education Board of Assam (SEBA) and Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC), various organisations in Barak Valley had protested and demanded a change in the exam schedule.
The District Secretary of AIDSO, Gaur Chandra Das announced, "Within the next 48 hours, if the SEBA and the AHSEC do not issue an official order, cancelling the exam on May 19th, the AIDSO will stage massive protests, and the administration must take the responsibility, if any student, involved in the protest, is later found to be COVID-19 positive."
Nikhil Pal, the editor of Rupam Cultural Organisation called upon the students of the valley to join the movement and execute the Barak Bandh on April 26. Tomojit Saha, a poet, called for a strong movement, to "defeat the conspiracy of extremist-provincialist forces."
Earlier on April 16, various organisations of Barak Valley, including Barak Democratic Front (BDF), All Cachar Karimganj Hailakandi Students' Association (ACKHSA), SUCI, Rupam Cultural Organisation, Ganasur Theatre Group, Bhasha Shahid Station Smaran Samiti, Banga Sahitya Sammelan and Sammilita Sanskritik Sangstha, had called for a "Barak Bandh", to be held on April 26, as a mark of protest.
May 19 is observed as the "Bhasha Shahid Divas", acknowledging the 9 "shahids" (martyrs), who achieved martyrdom, while protesting against the "imposition" of Assamese in the Bengali speaking area of Barak Valley in 1961.