Guwahati, January 21, 2019:
Staging mass protest, members of Joint Bodoland Movement groups have again raised their voices demanding separate state and Schedule Tribe (ST) status.
Demonstrators questioned the current BJP administration:
“Where are the Election Commitments of 2014,
Oh! BJP, Where are they!
Fulfil the BJP’s Election Commitment of 2014
by creating Bodoland State &
Revoke the Bill of present form for granting
ST status to 6 more advance and populous Communities of Assam”
Speaking to media, ABSU leader Promod Boro alleged that the government is betraying the minority public to gain majority votes and said, “We have also read the norms of the Constitution of India. There is no separate term called ‘ST Other’ introduced in the Parliament. The government will not be able to come into power by misleading us. The BJP government is so weak that they are making alliance with the district councils and by gaining their support, they are trying to pass the Bill to destroy the indigenous communities of the state.”
The Joint Bodo Movement groups, All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), National Democratic Front of Boroland Progressive NDFB (P), People’s Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement (PJACBM), and National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) expressed deep concern about the lackadaisical and shaky commitment of the Government of India towards resolving the long-standing demand for the creation of Bodoland state.
The demand for creating separate state in the northern part of the Brahmaputra curving out from Assam as per the Article 2 & 3 of constitution of India has been going on for the last fifty-two years.
The groups have alleged that the state and the union government, though having series of dialogue with the Bodo leadership is apparently holding dialogue only for the sake of mere discussion’ without having any political willingness, pragmatic step and clear-cut policy-decision to resolve the issue.
The leaders of movement groups claimed that they have tried to remind the BJP leadership about their verbal as well as written commitment (Election Manifesto of 2014) that they would resolve the Bodo problem immediately if they would be voted to form government in Delhi. The BJP leadership instead of fulfilling the Bodoland State has heavily bull-dodged on the existing ST communities of Assam by bringing an unexpected bill to grant ST status to 6 communities. The Bill is a serious threat to the very existence of the existing ST communities of Assam and if the Bill is passed and made an Act the existing STs will be totally crushed down socially, politically and economically.
“Despite of being turned down for as many as eight times by the RGI as well as the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes not having the criteria to fulfil for being recognised as ST the BJP government has adamantly all set to grant ST to those communities. The ulterior motive behind the bill is purely political motivated, i.e. to harvest the 1.5 crore votes but not the intention of socio-economic development of the concerned communities. How can the advanced communities with large number of population and the migrant people who do not fulfil the criteria for being ST be granted ST status? The bill is completely unconstitutional, illegal, discriminatory and unjustified. The organizations of the existing ST will keep continuing its strong protest with tooth and nail against this draconian bill,” they stated.
The Joint Bodoland Movement Group pledged the following demands for immediate solution:
- Resolve the long pending demand of Bodoland state immediately;
- Ensure political & Land Rights to the Bodos living outside of the proposed Bodoland
- ST Hills Status to the Bodos of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao.
- Stop exploitation, oppression, domination and discrimination on the existing 14 ST communities of Assam;
- Revoke the bill of the present form for granting ST status to 6 more advance and populous communities of Assam.
The Joint Movement Group has also announced to take series of vigorous agitation programs in the days to come to protest against the Government and appealed all section of the people irrespective of Caste, Creed and Religion to rally around with the Joint Movement Group for the Creation of Bodoland State.