Demand for ST status reiterated

National Integration Day of Adivasis observed

Our Correspondent

Kokrajhar, July 2: The 163rd National Integration Day of Adivasis or the Hul Divas was observed on Sunday at Monglajhora High School Playground at Karigaon Joypur in Kokrajhar with a day-long programme to pay tribute to martyr brothers Sidho and Kanho in memory of their uprising against the British in 1855. Several thousands of people gathered for the celebration of Hul Divas from Kokrajhar, Chirang, Gossaigaon and Baksa at Monglajhora High School Playground at Karigaon in Kokrajhar district. Organized by Adivasi National Convention (ANC), the day-long programme started with a flag hoisting ceremony by Boyal Hembrom, president of ANCC, and Birsing Munda, general secretary of the ANC, followed by homage to martyrs by Moseram Marandi, president of Assam Santali Sahitya Sabha.

A plantation programme was also carried out on the occasion which was inaugurated by Kamleswar Brahma, DFO, Haltugaon Division. Later, an open session was held which was presided over by Ananias Hembrom, president of the reception committee. The committee also felicitated successful students from the community who passed the last HSLC examination in first division.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, Durga Hasda, chairman of the Birsa Commando Force (BSF) ceasefire group, said the Adivasi ceasefire group and Adivasi people had been deprived of their rights. He said that Adivasi people were ST in other States but here in Assam they had not been granted ST status. He slammed the government, both at the Centre and State, for doing little to grant ST status to the Adivasi community. He said that the BJP promised to provide ST status to the Adivasi community within six months if they came to power in the State but now they had forgotten their promises.

Hasda said that the BJP government would face the consequences in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election in 2019 if it failed to grant ST status to Adivasis. He also urged the BJP government to grant ST status to the Adivasi community before the forthcoming Lok Sabha election. In the open session, several student organizations like ABSU, AAGSU and AASSA and leaders of other organizations were present.