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Clarify stand on granting ST status: AKRS to Government

Staff Reporter

Guwahati, July 5: Assam Koch Rajbongshi Sanmilani (AKRS) has demanded of the Assam Government to clarify its stand on the granting of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the six communities of the state
Talking to the media, the general secretary of the AKRS Himu Rajbongshi said that during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls the BJP promised that the six communities of Assam, including the Koch Rajbongshis would be granted ST status id the BJP were to be voted to power. He further said that in 2016, during the course of an interaction with the chief convenor of the AKRS Bipin Barman in Guwahati, the latter asked Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh about the according of St status to the Koch Rajbongshis to which the Home Minister replied that matter was as good as being done. But the reality is that Singh version has not materilised in reality till date. Rajbongshi said.

On the other hand, the GS said that although the AKRS sought a meeting with the Chief Minister several timess, til date the CM has not given the time for the same. He went on to add that, on the contrary, several Bangali Hindu organizations have been able to meet even the Union Home Minister through the OSD of the Assam Chief Minister. He said that it is now clear as to what might have been the real design of such meetings. Referring to the much hyped government slogan of ‘Jati, Mati, Bheti’, The GS said that the government has now deviated off the issue and is presently fully engaged in its attempt to grant citizenship to Bangladeshi Hindu nationals.

He alleged that at a time when the government is trying to give citizenship to Bangladeshi Hindus, attempts are on to project the Koch Rajbongshis as foreigners in the NRC update process He further said that if the Centre and the state governments are serious about according ST status to the Koch Rajbongshis, a Bill in this respect be introduced in the coming Lok Sabha session. A failure in this regard would be construed as that the government is only concerned in the issue of granting citizenship to Bangladeshi Hndus and not with the protection of the indigenous communities.

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