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12-hour fast for Bodoland

Kokrajhar, Jan. 27: Workers of the All Bodo Students’ Union (Absu) today went on a 12-hour hunger strike at different places across the Bodo belt to press for creation of a separate state of Bodoland.

The influential students’ union appealed to the government to immediately open political dialogues with all the pro-Bodoland groups.

In certain places, the common public also joined the hunger strike, which was carried out in every revenue circle from 6am to 6pm today.

Absu president Promode Boro fasted at Raazmela field in Kokrajhar. He said if the government failed to show sincerity in resolving the Bodoland issue, “Absu will intensify its already declared mass movement and the government will be responsible for any probable untoward incident”.

“Absu appeals to the government to come forward and resolve the Bodoland issue on the basis of legitimacy, geographical convenience and administrative convenience as it includes the 32 tribal belts and blocks in the northern belt of the Brahmaputra river. The union also appeals to the government to address the statehood demands in the country by instituting the second state reorganisation commission to ensure equality, rapid and all-round development in the country,” Boro said.

He said, the union would “continue the movement until and unless the map of Bodoland is drawn on the map of India”.

Boro said the students’ union was demanding a solution of the Bodo issue within the constitutional framework of this country so that “we can protect the identity, existence and security of land and people. And also preserve the language, culture, literature and tradition of the downtrodden Bodo community. Through this we can ensure socio-economic development and preserve the political rights of this indigenous community.”

“The government created three states, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, in 2000 and ignored Bodoland. Now again it is going to create the new state of Telangana by the same policy. Absu is observing the vision-less and discriminatory attitude of the Centre, which is repeatedly depriving the Bodos. We anticipated that the government would respect the democratic and socialist spirit of the Indian constitution and every policy must be based on the aspirations and rights of the citizen,” the Absu president said.

“The irony of the fact is that the Centre is expediting the Telangana issue but neglecting the hopes and aspirations of the Bodos who have been struggling for their birthright for more than half-a-century,” he said.

“The Centre should know that Absu and the Bodo community will never tolerate this and will intensify their movement against such discriminatory decisions, which the community of their constitutional rights,” Boro added.

“We want a comprehensive national policy to address the various statehood demands in the country. The government’s recent resolution to resolve the Telangana issue in isolation again proves its discriminatory attitude and elucidates its lackadaisical intentions. Our question to the national leaders is this, if Sikkim, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland can be created, then why not Bodoland?” he asked.


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