Guwahati/Dhubri, July 31: As the 1,000-hour economic blockade called by the All Koch-Rajbongshi Students Union entered the 12th day, Dispurs belated move to placate the community got off the blocks.
In an indirect attempt to convey its message to the students union, Dispur today assured the All Assam Koch-Rajbongshi Sanmilani — an influential body of the community — that the state government would arrange meetings with agencies that deal with the Scheduled Tribe issue.
Sources in Dispur said chief minister Tarun Gogoi this afternoon asked a five-member Sanmilani team to submit the report of its expert committee at the earliest so that it could arrange the meetings, notably with the registrar general of India to clarify objections he had raised on the communitys claim for Scheduled Tribe status.
Gogoi told the team that he would arrange a meeting with the Union tribal affairs ministry. Besides, Gogoi pledged an immediate sanction of Rs 25 lakh to set up a research centre and a film on Bir Chilarai, a great 16th century general of the community.
A magisterial inquiry was ordered into the circumstances leading to the death of the unions activist, Bireswar Roy, who was run over by a speeding Tata Victa at Khograpur on July 27. The probe was ordered by Bongaigaon deputy commissioner Mukesh Kumar Sahu today. The inquiry will be completed in 15 days.
Besides these steps, the ruling Congress was making attempts to convince the Biswajit faction to withdraw the blockade which has crippled movement of goods in the districts close to the Bengal border. Two PCC office-bearers — Anil Raja and Chandan Sarkar — were in touch with Biswajit to get the blockade withdrawn, a development, which was confirmed by the unions boss himself.
Bireswar Saikia, general secretary of the Sanmilani, said the organisation has suggested tripartite talks on the Scheduled Tribe issue involving the Biswajit faction though it does not get along with it.
The unions chief, however, said he would not settle for anything less than a separate state.