Guwahati, Jan. 28: The new executive committee of the All Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU) today said it was planning to move the Supreme Court seeking Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the community.
The committee, led by Biswajit Roy, said it would move the apex court as the state government had neglected its long standing demand and impress upon the Centre.
“The Koch-Rajbongshis were accorded Scheduled Caste (SC) status in 1996 and we have been demanding ST status for long. But the state government has not been serious enough about our demand. It is because of the state government’s failure to give a proper presentation before the Centre that the Registrar General of India (RGI) had rejected the proposal for inclusion of Koch-Rajbongshis in the ST (plains) in 2003. So we are now planning to move the Supreme Court seeking its intervention. We will take a final decision in a few days,” Biswajit Roy today said at a news conference here.
The Assam government in 2011 had announced that RGI in 2003 had rejected inclusion of the Koch-Rajbongshis in the list of Scheduled Tribes (plains) on the grounds that the community lost its tribal characteristic long ago.
The state government thereafter formed an expert committee to study the subject and look into the issue of according ST status to Koch-Rajbongshis and five other communities.
Roy, however, questioned why the expert committee was yet to submit its report and impress upon the Centre. “Tarun Gogoi had, during his first tenure as chief minister announced that the state government would do everything to accord ST status to our community but the state government has been found neglecting our demands,” he said.
Roy, along with members of the new executive committee of the students’ body, today took oath of office and said they would intensity their movement for Kamtapur state and ST status.
“The committee, which was constituted after our unification last year, was dissolved by 19 of the 20 AKRSU district units on January 22 as it failed to carry forward our movement. They decided to form the new executive committee and elected me as its president,” Roy said.
The AKRSU was constituted in 1990 but it split in 2003. It, however, reunited last year and formed a new committee.