TANGLA, May 6: The Udalguri, Sonitpur and Baksa district committee of All Santal Students’ Union (ASSU) on Saturday organized a mass gathering programme at Manpur in Udalguri and expressed anguish over the non-fulfilment of various demands pertaining to the development of the community, including Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the community in the State.
The student leaders stated that Santals were the most backward community in the State, lagging behind in all developmental parameters. They alleged that the community had been denied their rights and the government had not taken initiative to bring them into the larger framework of development. The student leaders demanded inclusion of Santals in ST list, creating posts for Santali teachers from primary to university level and providing land pattas to them under the Traditional Forest Dwellers Act, 2005.
Hundreds of activists and supporters of Sonitpur, Baksa and Udalguri took part in the programme which was led by ASSU general secretary Mintu Hembrom. He reiterated that the Santals were not getting their ST status due to apathetic attitude of the government. Hembrom also spoke on the citizenship issue to Hindu Bangladeshis and warned the government not to adopt such decisions detrimental to the cause of indigenous communities of Assam. The progranmme was also attended by All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) assistant general secretary Jayanta Bhattacharjya, Udalguri AJYCP leader Mukut Das and others.