Kokrajhar, Feb. 11: The Bodo Sahitya Sabha today hit out at Dispur for the turmoil in the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council area and urged it to stop the panchayat election scheduled for tomorrow.
Sabha president Kameswar Brahma told reporters here that by trying to hold the panchayat election “forcefully”, despite opposition from the indigenous people, the state government had created a “tense, unwanted situation”.
Condemning the move, it urged the state government to hold the council election, as demanded by the people, before the panchayat poll. “It’s sad that the government is neglecting the genuine demand of the indigenous people and working against their interest,” Brahma said.
Echoing Brahma, Sabha general secretary Kamalakanta Muchahary said the government should demarcate the council’s boundary and hold the council election before the panchayat poll. “If the government goes ahead with the election against the people’s wishes, it would be undemocratic.”
Tension prevailed in the council area with arson reported in the run-up to the panchayat poll. Unidentified persons torched three schools where polling booths have been set up, two trucks and market sheds in the district yesterday.
The Rabha Hasong Joint Movement Committee, an umbrella organisation of 34 groups, is opposing the panchayat polls in the council area.
The All Rabha Students’ Union (Arsu) and other organisations, representing the Rabhas and other indigenous communities, have resorted to widespread protests in the district since last month to demand holding of council election before the panchayat poll in the Rabha Hasong council area.
The Sabha also announced that its 52nd annual conference would be held at Tipkai in Parbhatjhora subdivision of Kokrajhar district on March 16 and 17. A reception committee has been formed and preparations are under way. Brahma said the meet would discuss various issues pertaining to the Bodos, including Bodo-medium education.
Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi is expected to inaugurate the session. Birendranath Dutta, former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha, will be the chief guest. Meghalaya governor R.S. Mooshahary has been invited as special guest.