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NH blockade by Bodos underway

KOKRAJHAR, May 2: The five-day national highway blockade by the ABSU, NDFB (P) and People’s Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement (PJACBM) demanding tripartite talks at political level and permanent solution to Bodoland issue, to ensure the political rights of the Bodos living outside of proposed Bodoland in Assam and immediately grant of ST status to Bodos in Karbi Anglong got underway from Wednesday. While the NH-31 (C) was blocked at Karigaon in Kokrajhar district on Wednesday, the same NH would be blocked by the joint movement group at Kajalgaon in Chirang district on May 3, Barama of Baksa district on May 4, Rowta in Udalguri on May 5 and Sonitpur on May 6.
Several thousands of supporters of the joint movement group blocked the National Highway at Karigaon and disrupted the movement of trucks and snapped the connections with the rest of the Northeastern region. The supporters, despite rain in the morning, got assembled on the national highway and continued their movement for Bodoland state. The joint movement group questioned itself whether its support to the BJP in the 2014 election in the State was wrong and reviewed its decision which is likely to give a big blow to the BJP in the next general election.
In his address, ABSU president Promod Boro said the ABSU and its movement group again are compelled to come to the National Highway demanding tripartite talks on the Bodoland issue and solutions of other problems. He said similar democratic movement would be continuing until the government of India shows its sincerity to start talks with the struggling group for solution. He said it was an unfortunate fact that the leaders of the world largest political party (BJP) were telling a lie to the native people on their legitimate right. “We believe in the constitution of India which is for entire citizens of the nation, the discrimination or deprivation from right to equality and protection of identity and culture is a constitutional injustice to the indigenous Bodo population of the country. Bodos will never keep mum for the right to live with dignity, identity and preservation of its language and culture”, he said, adding that the Bodos were determined neither to give up the demand of Bodoland state nor the political movement unless they achieve the goal and through this agitation of five-day National Highway blockade they have placed their fundamental demand to hold tripartite talk at political level to resolve the Bodoland issue at the earliest.
Boro said in response to repeated pressure of the joint movement group, the Government of India held a political level tripartite talk under the chairmanship of Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister in his office of North Block, New Delhi on April 26, 2017, in which Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Assam, Chandra Mohan Patowary, Transport Minister of Assam and all the top bureaucrats of the MHA took part in the dialogue. “The joint movement group explained all the grounds and justifications for creation of Bodoland. Without saying much Rajnath Singh assured us of continuing the dialogue as frequently as possible saying that dialogue helps in finding out the means for solution. Dialogue was held in an interval of two to three months during the UPA regime. So we were happy that talk would continue and the means for solution of the longstanding demand for Bodoland state could be sorted out soon. To our great dismay it is already one year passed but no dialogue has so far been held. This is another act of deceit and treachery of the Government of India”, Boro said adding that the movement group had compelled to organize the “Betrayal Day” to show their regret with the Government of largest democratic country of the world by shaving our hairs and putting black badge in their shirts on April 26.

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Ankur Kalita