GUWAHATI, July 15: The Sadou Asom Koch-Rajbongshi Sanmilan (SAKRS) has fired its warning shot asking both Dispur and New Delhi to accord ST status to the community before the 2019 Lok Sabha poll, failing which, the Sanmilan will mobilize support against the BJP and its allies in the run-up to the election. The Sanmilan has also asked the government to put an end to the political conspiracy against the ST status to the community.
Addressing the media in Guwahati on Monday, SAKRS president Bireswar Saikia said: “The government has all along been doing an injustice to us on the issue to according us ST status. In protest against the injustice and in support of our demand for ST status, we’re going to start a long agitational programme from July 20.”
Saikia said: “In 2002, the then BJP government at the Centre deceived us. It accorded ST status to as many as 142 ethnic groups, but didn’t feel like including the Koch-Rajbongshis amongst them. In 1996 ST status was accorded to the Koch-Rajbongshis for the first time with the issuance of an ordinance. The ordinance was renewed for the fourth time, but the issue was pushed to the back burner.”
Meanwhile, Saikia condemned the Coordination Committee of Tribal Organizations of Assam (CCTOA) that had opposed the move to accord ST status to the six ethnic groups of the State at a meeting held in Guwahati on Sunday. He cautioned CCTOA chief convener Aditya Khakhlary asking him to stay away from fratricidal clashes in the State.