BOKAJAN, Feb 12: Around 500 supporters of All Adivasi Students' Association of Assam (AASAA), Karbi Anglong District Committee (KADC) on Friday organized a mass rally in Bokajan demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the Adivasi people of Assam and ST (H) status for those residing in the sixth schedule areas of Karbi Anglong, Dima Hasao and others. The protesters also demanded for an Adivasi satellite council in Assam and reiterated the demand for increasing the daily wages of tea garden workers to Rs 351 per day.
Later, the demonstrators gathered in front of the SDO(C) office in Bokajan and submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister highlighting the core issues of the Adivasi community residing in Assam. The protesters expressed resentment over the delay in according ST status and alleged both the Centre and State Government of politicizing the Adivasi issue since long. The protesters also warned the government of vigorous mass agitations if their demands are not met soon.
Addressing the media, AASAA KADC president Sunil Dungdung said, "Before the Lok Sabha election, 2014, the BJP government at the Centre promised to grant ST status to the Adivasi people residing in Assam. Again, during the 2016 Assembly election, the Adivasi people extended support to the BJP party seeking a change in the government setup and believing that only change can bring about solutions to the burning issues of the Adivasi community in the State. However, the issues remained unchanged and the government failed to deliver what was promised to our people till date."