By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, June 7: Members of the All Koch-Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU) and its sister organizations staged a three-hour sit-in demonstration at Dighalipukhuripar in the city today in support of their demand for a separate Kamatapur State and ST status to the Koch-Rajbongshi community. They sent a memorandum to Prime Minister rendra modi through the Kamrup (M) Deputy Commissioner.
In a statement issued to the press, AKRSU president Pradip Roy and general secretary Gokul Barman said: “Atal Behari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh governments at the Centre did create Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Sattishgarh and Telenga States. They, however, stopped short of the creating Kamatapur State that amalgamated with India through an accord signed in 1949, after the independence of India. We have been demanding ST status since 1968. In 1996, with efforts from former Assam Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia, the President of India did issue an ordince granting ST status to the Koch-Rajbongshis. However, as the successive governments didn’t raise the ordince on the floor of Parliament, we failed to get ST status. The BJP assured us before the last Lok Sabha elections that, if voted to power, it would accord us ST status. It too failed to rise to the occasion. On February 29 this year, a seven-member committee was formed in the presence of Union Home Minister Rajth Singh, then Union minister Sarbanda Sonowal and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma. The committee was supposed to submit its report to the government by May 31, but no report has been submitted by the committee as yet. We ask Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal if they will fulfil the assurance given by the party to accord us ST status or continue to do politics on the issue. We’re not begging, we’re demanding our genuine demands. If need be, we’ll start mass agitation again. If Sonowal doesn’t take any concrete steps in this regard, we may take arms in hands.”