Kokrajhar, Feb. 4: The All Koch Rajbongshi Students Union (AKRSU) today staged three-hour sit-ins in front of the deputy commissioners’ offices in different parts of the state to press for creation of a separate Kamtapur state and accordance of Scheduled Tribes status for the community. It also demanded recognition of the Rajbongshi language and an initiative from the Centre to scientifically study the language.
A memorandum was submitted to Prime minister Manmohan Singh through the deputy commissioners seeking intervention on the issues.
Members of the Koch Rajbongshi Mahila Samity and Chilarai Sena also participated in the protests.
The student union’s president, Hitesh Barman, was among the protesters here.
Talking to reporters, Barman said the union had been demanding a separate state of Kamtapur, comprising parts of Assam and north Bengal, and Scheduled Tribe status for the community for a long time now. “We demand re-construction of the historical Koch kingdom, Kamtapur, for re-establishment of the social and political rights of Koch-Rajbongshis in accordance with the Constitution. The people have been demanding the state that merged with India after its last Maharaja, Sri Jagadwipendra Narayan Bhup Bhahadur, signed an agreement with the Centre on August 28, 1949,” he said.
Barman said they had been demanding ST status for the community since 1967 for proper safeguard of “their lives, land, language, culture and ethnic identity”.
The union accused the Congress government at the Centre of negligence towards the community said they would continue with their agitation till their demands were meet. “The Congress government has not shown respect and sincerity towards solution of the Koch-Rajbongshis’ problems, including recognition as a Scheduled Tribe,” he said.
“The Rajbongshi people are a deprived lot since decades, forcing them to agitate,” he added, while threatening to campaign against the Congress in the 2014 parliamentary elections.