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A year after merger, union splits
- Greed fragmenting AKRSU, feels former chief and adviser

Dhubri, Jan. 23: The All Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU), which was united just last year after its split in 1997, has fragmented into two groups again — thanks to infighting among its leaders.

One camp is led by Biswajit Roy who has been elected the president of this new faction while Pradip Roy has become the secretary.

Hitesh Barman who claimed to enjoy the support of the majority of district bodies, is leading the other faction.

On January 7 last year, two AKRSU factions — one lead by Biswajit Roy and the other by Atul Roy — were formally united to give more teeth to community’s demands of a separate state and Scheduled Tribe status.

An AKRSU insider was disappointed with the split. According to him, the split would not benefit the community and it had taken nearly a year to complete the unification process by the United Forum of Unification, which was headed by AGP stalwart Phani Bhusan Choudhury. “The leaders are putting their interests above the community’s and this has led to the split in the organisation.”

The president of one faction — Biswajit Roy — said the present body was ousted after a no-confidence motion was brought against it and the new body was formed. “The faction headed by Hitesh Barman has no existence and anyone who tries to use the AKRSU’s name will henceforth have to face legal action.”

An AKRSU source said the no-confidence motion was brought against the Hitesh Barman-led student body, which was supported by the delegations of 19 out of 21 districts.

The no-confidence motion was moved some five months ago and demands were made to change the leadership, but the matter was delayed, the source added.

Hitesh Barman said his AKRSU unit was formed after the unification last year and he still heads the central body.

Atul Roy, former president of AKRSU (Atul faction) and adviser to the current students’ union, said the split was caused by the greed for power. “I am making a fervent appeal to Biswa (Biswajit Roy) not to go ahead and make a new organisation. Instead, he should take steps to give AKRSU a united face because the community is watching and it will not forgive us and our movement to uplift the community will be weakened.”