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Koch-Rajbongshis reiterates demand for Kamatapur, ST status

A Correspondent
TANGLA, June 19: Reiterating its demand of Kamatapur statehood and Scheduled Tribe (ST) categorization of the Koch-Rajbongshi community, the Udalguri district committee All Koch-Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU) along with All Koch-Rajbongshi Sanmilani (AKRS) staged sit-in at the DC office premises here in Udalguri on Monday. The organizations staged the protest for three hours starting from 11 pm. The protesters comprising men and women alike came down heavily on the alleged statement made by Tribal Affairs Minister Juel Oram that it takes four decades to grant ST status to a community, and hence there was little hope for fulfilling the demands for ST status.

The activists, holding placards, raised high-pitched slogans. President of Udalguri AKRSU, Atul Barman alleged that the government had turned deaf ears to the genuine demands of the community for years. He also criticized the government for making false promises regarding fulfilment of their demands within six months of coming to power. The student leader also alleged that indigenous Koch-Rajbongshi people had been meted out harassment in various places of the State in the ongoing verification of National Register of Citizens (NRC). He further stated that if the government did not grant ST status to the community before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the people would be forced to vote for alternative parties.

President of All Koch Rajbongshi Sanmilani (AKRS), Sunil Kumar Barman also criticized the saffron party and Prime Minister Modi for false pre-poll promises. The two organizations also submitted separate memoranda to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal through the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Udalguri.