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  • 12 hours Tribals bandh paralysed life in Assam

    Published on January 11, 2019

    By Preetam BC (PNI)


    Kokrajhar: The 12 hours state-wide bandh called by the  Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organizations of Assam(CCTOA), a joint platform of various indigenous communities in protest against the government move to grant Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to six populous and advanced communities of Assam paralyzed normal in Bodoland region including in Bodoland Territorial Council(BTC) headquarter Kokrajhar.

    The bandh which started 5 am today saw total response with educational institutions, business establishment like markets, banks remain closed. The roads, including National Highway 31C, which connects the Northeast to the rest of the country were deserted, though trains plied as usual. Essential commodities like milk and water supply, ambulances, pharmacy were exempted from the strike.

    In Kokrajhar district Nayekgaon area, a Renault duster vehicle was damaged by bandh supporters around 1.30pm. Three persons have been arrested in this connection. In separate incident, a bike was torched by bandh supporter at Bhalukjhora are under Kokrajhar police station. The bandh supporters also burned tyres in many places.

    The bandh was called after the central and state government decided to grant ST status to six populous and advanced communities from Assam. The communities are Koch-Rajbongshis, Tai Ahoms, Morans, Motoks, Chutiyas and 36 TeaTribes.  These communities are at present listed as other backward classes (OBCs).

    Convenor of CCTOA Aditya Khaklary, said the Central and state governments have hatched a plot to eliminate the genuine tribals of the state. Khaklary said the indigenous tribals communities were not consulted and taken into confidence while initiating the move by the governments both in the state and the Centre.

    Ranjit K Borgoyary, former president of the All Tribal Sangha said that if these communities are accorded Scheduled Tribe status, it would mean that all the seats in educational institutions, government offices and political institutions (whether autonomous councils or the state Assemblies) reserved for the Scheduled Tribes at present could be contested by these communities. This will destroy the present Scheduled Tribe communities of Assam as there cannot be differential treatment for the same group of people, that is, (Scheduled Tribes) according to the Constitution.

    The leaders of the committee said these communities are already notified as other backward classes (OBCs) and “there is no provision to re-notify any community as tribal whose characteristics are different”.

    “On several earlier occasions, the Registrar General of India (RGI) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes have turned down such proposals on the ground that these six communities do not fulfil the criteria set for enlisting a tribe as Scheduled Tribes under the Indian Constitution,” he said adding that the state and central govt is planning to destroy the indigenous tribal communities for their narrow political gain.