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Rehab demand with 1971 rider

- BNC accuses Assam govt of being partial towards Bodos

Kokrajhar, Dec. 18: The Bodo National Conference (BNC) has made it clear that the rehabilitation of the people displaced in the violence in lower Assam’s Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts, should be done according to the Assam Accord and taking 1971 as the base year.

The issue was discussed in the delegate session of the two-day second annual convention of the conference held at Bodofa Nwgwr near the BTC secretariat in Kokrajhar, with 31 Bodo organisations making a stand that migrants who came to the state after 1971 should be treated as foreigners according to the accord and the same should applied in case of the BTC.

The Bodo conference also slammed the statement of governor J.B. Patnaik that the rehabilitation criteria of the displaced people would be based on 2011 electoral roll and said it was unacceptable and only genuine Indian citizens should be rehabilitated according to the law of the land.

“The BTC Assembly is of the opinion that 1971 should be the base year for rehabilitation of displaced people according to the Assam Accord,” BTC chief and BNC chairman Hagrama Mohilary said.

Anjali Daimari, a BNC convener and president of Bodo Women Justice Forum, accused the government of being partial.

“Never in our wildest dream we imagined that we will become homeless in our own land. The issue has become clear after the recent violence where the indigenous people have become minority and landless and have nowhere to go. Despite the fact that Bodos are being ousted from the land, they are being targeted unfairly. Nothing can be more unfortunate than this.” Lok Sabha MP Sansuma K. Bwiswmuthiary said the state government trying to force the BTC to rehabilitate the suspected people is a “political conspiracy and attack on the Bodos”. He said the government should not try to impose its decision on the people.

The BNC also stressed on protection of tribal belts and blocks and demanded implementation of the Chapter X of Assam Land and Revenue Regulation Act, 1886.

The NDFB peace talks was also among the topics discussed in the session with an appeal to the Centre to release arrested NDFB leader Ranjan Daimary and expediting the peace process with the outfit for a solution to the Bodo problem. It also demanded similar steps in the case of NDFB (Progressive).

The recent report of the split in the NDFB (Ranjan Daimary faction) also came up for discussion. “The BNC stands for peace and unity and does not want further division of the NDFB. At the same time, we appeal to all stakeholders to join hands,” the statement said.

The BNC also expressed concern over the recent incidents of extortion, kidnapping, killings and appealed to the groups involved to stay away from such unlawful activities. “We urge every organisation and others to stop making extortion demands to the common public and businessmen,” Mohilary later said.

The BNC said a separate seminar would be organised on education, forest, economy and on superstitions to ensure all-round development of the Bodos.

In a fresh development, Gauhati High Court granted bail today to BTC executive member Mono Kumar Brahma. Brahma was arrested by police from his home in Kokrajhar on November 16 for his alleged role in the recent ethnic violence in Kokrajhar.