Dhekiajuli, April 10: The All Assam Adivasi Students’ Association of Assam (AASAA) took out a bike rally in Dhekiajuli on Monday in protest against the State government’s failure to fulfil their long-standing demands. More than 200 AASAA activists started their bike rally from the Dayal Das Panika playground of Dhekiajuli and went to different tea estate areas of Dhekiajuli subdivision by passing through the NH-15 on Monday. The protesters shouted various anti-BJP slogans.
Talking to media persons, Nuwas Barla, the joint secretary of AASAA, and Amarjit Kerketta, the president of Sonitpur district AASAA unit, said that they would impose no entry restriction in the tea garden areas for BJP activists during the forthcoming panchayat election unless and until the present BJP government fulfilled their charter of genuine demands which included granting ST status to the tea tribe communities, hike in the daily wages of the tea garden workers up to Rs 350 and issue of land pattas to the people of Bangaon area. The AASAA activists slammed the present government for betraying the Adivasi people since coming to power in Dispur. The agitators pledged that their agitation programme would take a more volatile turn in the coming days. The AASAA leaders also stated that nearly 60 lakh Adivasi people in Assam should get ST status by default like in other States. Adivasis here are categorized as tea tribes and ex-tea tribes which has deprived them of their tribal status. The truth is that less than half of the Adivasi population are working in tea gardens areas of Assam, said the AASAA leaders.
They also expressed surprise at the fact that the Adivasis in States like Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Tripura and West Bengal were recognized as Scheduled Tribes but the Adivasis in Assam come under the OBC (Other Backward Classes) category.