GUWAHATI: In support of its twin demands – ST status to the Koch Rajbongshis and separate Kamatapur State – the All Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU) rent the air at Dispur Last Gate on Monday when the one-day special session of the Assam Assembly was in session.
A statement issued to the media by AKRSU president Atul Barman and secretary Sumanta Koch said, “The Koch Rajbongshi community is on the verge of extinction because of negligence and deprivation on all fronts like political, social and economic. In such a situation, ST status to the community could be a safeguard. However, instead of doing that the government has declared the Kamatapur Autonomous Council so as to divide the community. This is nothing but what is called kona hanshok potan diya in Assamese (chaff for the blind duck). From this ground, we caution the BJP government to stay away from such diplomacy. The Koch Rajbongshis comprise around 70 lakh, and people in the BTC, Rabha-Hasong Autonomous Council, Mising Autonomous Council, Dima Hasao Autonomous Council, the Karbi Autonomous Council etc have to live the life of third class citizens. We, therefore, appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government to accord ST status to the Koch Rajbongshis and form a separate Kamatapur Autonomous Council later.”
The students’ union reiterated their demand for according ST status to the community as promised by the BJP before the election, failing which, they will resort to a vigorous agitation. They students’ union has further said that since the Koch Rajbongshi population scattered in the State cannot be brought under a territory, the community should be given a satellite autonomous council.