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Sylhet Referendum, 1947


Sylhet Referendum, 1947 As per the government declaration of 3rd July 1947 the date for holding the referendum in Sylhet was fixed on the 6th and 7th July 1947. The referendum became necessary to decide whether Sylhet would go to East Bengal or remain within Assam, a province of India. HC Stork was appointed the Referendum Commissioner to conduct the secret ballot. 478 Presiding Officers and 1434 Poling Officers were appointed for 239 poling centres.

The results of the referendum were as follows:

Name of Subdivision Total Number of Voters Votes cast in favour of East Bengal Votes cast in favour of Assam
Sylhet (North) 141131 68381 38871
Karimganj 100243 41262 40536
Habiganj 135526 54543 36952
Sylhet (South) ie Maulvi Bazar 79024 31718 33471
Sunamganj 90891 43715 34211
Total 546815 239619 184041

So there was a clear majority for Sylhet acceding to East Bengal. The referendum was acknowledged by Article 3 of the India Independence Act of 18 July 1947. By the radcliffe award published on 12 August 1947 some Muslim majority thanas of Karimganj were given to India. [Dewan Nurul Anwar Husain Chowdhury]