KOKRAJHAR: In a systematic opposition to granting constitutional rights to a particular community, the All Assam Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU), All Bodoland Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU), All Santhali Students’ Union (ASSU), All Kalita Students’ Union (AKSU) and BTC Nath Yogi Students’ Union (NYSU) on Thursday held a meeting at Dimwlgaon in Kokrajhar and decided to oppose the move for upgrading the existing BTC to Union Territory. The meeting also resolved to take out a protest rally in Kokrajhar on December 10.
Talking to mediapersons, the general secretary of AKRSU, Gakul Barman said AKRSU and other organizations had opposed the proposed move to upgrade the existing BTC to Union Territory. A tripartite talk between the Bodo leaders, Government of India and Government of Assam was held on November 19 under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi where, as per media reports, the Union Territory concept was discussed. The Secretary to Home and Law and Order, Government of Assam, Pallav Bhattacharjee clarified on November 17 that there was no proposal to discuss the Union Territory as alleged in certain media. Barman said the AKRSU and other organizations sought a reply from Bhattacharjee whether the talk was not held on the Union Territory concept but he maintained silence after the talks, which has created doubts in everybody’s mind.
Barman said the AKRSU and five other organizations would oppose the move to grant Union Territory to Bodos and there would be protest rally from BTC Secretariat to DC office on December 10. He said they would put forward their demand to review the BTC Accord during the rally and would submit memorandum to the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister. Besides, there will be a three-hour protest in every district headquarter on December 14 and Raj Bhavan gherao programme on December 21 if the Government of India failed to take back the proposal for upgrading BTC. He also said that BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary usually assured the Koch Rajbongshi and other groups seeking ST status that BTC had no objection in granting them ST status but he had never approached the Government of India inclusion of the six ethnic communities in the ST list.
The vice-president of ABMSU, Ali Azom said the five organizations had come together to raise a collective voice against the suppressive policy of BTC. He said they were not against a particular community but were demanding equal rights. He also said the inquiry over the killing of ABMSU president Lafiqul Islam was lingering and the culprits had not yet been brought to book.
The president of Nath Yogi Students’ Union, Arabinda Nath also echoed the same and said they would not support granting of Union Territory to Bodos. Secretary of ASSU, Salim Minz and advisor of AKRSU, Hiteswar Barman also opposed the move of granting Union Territory to Bodos. They further said that they wanted more political space in BTC but failed to specify in which constituencies they deserved seat.
Also read: Assam News