Garo organization calls for 48-hour Assam bandh, threatens armed struggle in Goalpara
Goalpara: On the day the Central Government, through its tripartite talk, inked a fresh Bodo agreement in New Delhi, the United Garo Autonomous Council Movement Committee (UGACMC) threatened in Goalpara district to choose ‘armed struggle’ unless their long-pending demand for a Garo Autonomous Council (GAC) in Assam was fulfilled soon.
In a press meet held on Monday at the office of the district journalists’ association, the Garo leaders alleged that the BJP government did not understand the language of the democratic protest. “It has been 17 years that we have been demanding for GAC on satellite basis for about 7 lakh Garo people living in Assam. But we are receiving a step-motherly treatment since 1972 by the successive State governments. Every government, from Congress to BJP, has given us false promises. This time, we have discussed with our people and if the government apathy towards the Garos does not change immediately and GAC is not provided, we may opt for armed struggle,” said Alex K. Sangma, chairman of the UGACMC, in presence of its other office-bearers. “The Garos are one of the major tribes of Assam with a relatively higher population than the recently created autonomous councils like Kamatapur and Moran-Motok. Though the declaration of autonomous councils like Kamatapur and Moran- Motok has paved the way for the creation of GAC, the government seems reluctant to do justice for our people,” said Alex.
The UGACMC has also called for a 48-hour Assam bandh from 5 am to January 28. “If the Assam Government is not responsive post the bandh, we will be compelled to call for an indefinite economic blockade,” he added. “The first government survey on the basis of language in Brahmaputra Valley has proved that the Garo population is more than 7 lakh. If the survey includes Barak Valley, it will cross 10 lakh people,” said Thengsil Sangma, secretary of the organization. The bandh call in Assam is likely to affect the NH-17 from Naranarayan Setu of Goalpara to the Boko of Kamrup district. It is more likely to impact the transport sector from Dudhnoi and Krishnai to Meghalaya. People in Garo areas responded positively to the 71st Republic Day boycott call.