Amid uncertainty, Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) mayor Rezaul Karim Chowdhury held a meeting with the Bolikhela and Mela committee at his Bahaddarhat residence on Thursday night. COURTESY
The three-day Baishakhi Mela, and Bolikhela, a local form of wrestling competition, is likely to be on 12 Baishakh on the street in front of the historic Laldighi grounds in Chattogram city.
The committee had to stop the three-day historic Bolikhela and fair due to renovation work on the Laldighi grounds.
However, given the initiative taken by Chattogram city mayor Md Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Jabbarer Bolikhela and the Baishakhi Mela will no longer be cancelled.
Amid uncertainty, Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) mayor Rezaul Karim Chowdhury held a meeting with the Bolikhela and Mela committee at his Bahaddarhat residence on Thursday night.
At the meeting, they decided to have the Baishakhi Mela and Bolikhela on 12 Baishakh on the street in front of the Laldighi grounds.
According to meeting sources, overall management of the event will be handled by the Chattogram City Corporation. The mayor will make an official announcement on Saturday after a meeting with the fair committee and CCC officials on the day.
SM Jamal Hossain, organising secretary of the Jabbarer Balikhela and Baishakhi Mela committee, told reporters, “We and councilor Jaharlal Hazari, also president of the committee, met with the mayor. Over mobile phone, the mayor also talked to Shawkat Anwar Badal, secretary of the fair committee, and grandson of Abdul Jabbar.”
“The mayor assured us that a three-day Baishakhi Mela and Bolikhela will take place on Laldighi Road on time,” the former councilor added.
On condition of anonymity, the member of the organising committee who attended the meeting told The Business Standard, “It has been decided to organise the bolikhela on the road outside the Laldighi grounds.”
“Bolikhela” was introduced in 1909 by Abdul Jabbar Saodagar. He wanted to cultivate a sport that would prepare youths to fight against British rulers.
People all over the country, including Chattogram, have been expressing displeasure for the last two days about the Boli Khela and Mela being cancelled due to the Laldighi grounds being closed for renovation.
The Department of Education Engineering is implementing a project on the Laldighi grounds to build a historical six-point stage, installing murals of various historical events and a kids’ corner, planting grass, and building a boundary wall and gate, at a cost of Tk2.25 crore.
However, Mayor Rezaul Karim could not be reached on his mobile phone. The more than a hundred year old traditional event was cancelled for the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic
On 13 April, the organising committee made an official announcement at a press conference that Jabbarer Bolikhela would not take place for a third time as the Laldighi grounds had not been opened yet.