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Non-Bodo Organisations to hold Protest Rally opposing upgradation of BTC to Union Territory in Kokrajhar

Union Territory

Kokrajhar: The All Assam Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU), All Bodoland Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU), All Santhali Students’ Union (ASSU), All Kalita Students’ Union (AKSU) and BTC Nath Yogi Students’ Union (NYSU) today held a meeting at Dimwlgaon in Kokrajhar and decided to oppose the move for upgrading existing BTC to Union Territory.

The meeting also resolved to bring out a protest rally in Kokrajhar on December 10.

Talking to the media, the general secretary of AKRSU Gakul Barman said AKRSU and other organizations had opposed the proposed move to upgrade the existing BTC to Union Territory.

It may be mentioned that a tripartite talk between the Bodo leaders, the government of India and government of Assam was held on November 19 last under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was held in New Delhi where Union Territory concept was discussed as reported in the media.

Barman also stated that the Secretary to the Home and law and order, the government of Assam Pallav Bhattacharjee earlier clarified on November 17 that there was no proposal to discuss on Union Territory as alleged in certain media houses.

He said the AKRSU and other organizations also sought a reply from Bhattacharjee on the matter, but he reportedly maintained silence after the talk was over which brings doubt among the opposing group.

Barman said the AKRSU and five other organizations will oppose the move for granting Union Territory to Bodos and there would be protest rally from BTC Secretariat to DC office on December 10 next.

He said they will put their demand to review the BTC accord during the rally and will submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister and Home Minister of India. Besides, there would be 3-hours protest Dharna in every district headquarter on December 14 and ‘Raj Bhavan Gherao’ on December 21 if the government of India fails to take back the proposal for upgrading BTC.

He also said BTC Chief Hagrama Mohilary usually assured the Koch Rajbongshi and other groups seeking ST status that BTC had no objection in granting them ST status but he had never approached the Government of India for these communities for inclusion in ST list. He further alleged that they were not given equal rights, be in job and political rights.

The vice president of ABMSU Ali Azom said the five organizations have come together to raise a collective voice against the suppressive policy of BTC. He said they were not against a particular community but demanding equal rights. He also said the inquiry over the killing of its president Lafiqul Islam had been being lingered and thus the perpetrators are not coming to light.

The president of Nath Yogi Students’ Union Arabinda Nath also echoed the same and said they will not support the granting UT to Bodos. Secretary of ASSU Salim Minz and advisor of AKRSU Hiteswar Barman also opposed the move for grating UT to Bodos saying that they were not given equal rights and privileges. They further said they wanted more political space in BTC but failed to reply in which constituencies they deserve seat where there are 13 tribes for tribal seats. Ten seats are given for general and open category in BTC out of 40 seats.