Kamatapur autonomous council
Kokrajhar: Difference of ideology between the leaders of the unit and central committees of AKRSU has been seen over the Kamatapur issue as the Government of Assam decided to form Kamatapur Autonomous Council in undivided Goalpara district excluding parts of BTC and Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council.
At a press meet held at Kokrajhar Press Club recently, the Arun Kr. Ray faction of AKRSU welcomed the move to form the Kamatapur Autonomous Council. The Ex KLO Coordination Committee has also hailed the government for taking the initiative to form a new council for the Koch Rajbongshis while West Udalguri unit committee of the AKRSU has vehemently opposed the move. The president of the Udalguri unit, AKRSU, Himanta Bora Koch said the decision of forming the Kamatapur Autonomous Council was not acceptable at this juncture as they wanted ST status first and then Kamatapur.
A delegation of AKRSU led by president Arun Kr Ray and general secretary Gakul Barman met the chief of BTC on Tuesday and requested him to take the necessary initiative to form the new council for Koch Rajbongshis. Welcoming the move of the government to form an autonomous council for Koch Rajbongshis, they praised Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, cabinet ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chandan Brahma and Phani Bhusan Choudhury for the move.
President of the AKRSU, Arun Kr Ray said the student body welcomed the move of the Government of Assam to form Kamatapur Autonomous Council in the undivided Goalpara district excluding BTC and Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council. He said they had confidence that the Government of Assam would take necessary action for granting ST status to Koch Rajbongshis after the formation of a new council for them. He also hoped that the government would bring the bill for Kamatapur very soon.
General secretary Gakul Barman said they were happy at the proposal of forming a new council but wanted an extension of council area up to Barpeta district. He said there was the sizeable number of Koch Rajbongshis in BTC and Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council area and the government should ensure facilities to them equally. He demanded that the government should create 60 council seats in Kamatapur Autonomous Council and all departments should be transferred to the council as it was in BTC. He also hoped that the government would ensure to set up higher educational institutions, university campus and other infrastructure in the council.
The president of the Ex KLO Coordination Committee, Khagen Chandra Ray also hailed the move of the Government of Assam to form the Kamatapur Autonomous Council in the undivided Goalpara district and said the new council would bring the development of the community. He, however, said that the government should ensure granting ST status to them.
Meanwhile, the president of the West Udalguri unit committee of AKRSU, Himanta Bora Koch said they opposed the move to create Kamatapur Autonomous Council at this juncture as ST status should be given to them prior to forming the council. He said their original demand was Kamatapur state but not an autonomous council within the undivided Goalpara district. He also said there were a lot of Rajbongshi people in the BTC region and exclusion of Kokrajhar and Chirang districts was not acceptable. He further said the discussion on granting ST status to them was in the final stage and accepting the new council would be a move to divert attention from demanding ST status and Kamatapur state.