AKRSU activists participate in the protest rally in Guwahati on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos
Kokrajhar, March 13: The All Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU) today blocked the railway tracks at various places of lower Assam districts to mount pressure for its demand for a separate Kamtapur state and Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The train services were affected for nearly three hours during the blockade.
Members of All Koch Rajbongshi Mahila Samity and students’ body blocked railway tracks at several places from 8.30am to 11.30am.
Among the affected trains were the Down New Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express, which was stranded at Pathsala, Sampak Kranti Express, stranded at Bongaigaon and Up Gaya-Kamakhya Express, which was held up at Fakiragram.
The picketers also blocked the tracks at Salakati in Kokrajhar, New Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Golokganj in Dhubri.
Participating in the blockade at Salakati, AKRSU president Hiteswar Barman said the union had been demanding the Kamtapur state and ST status for the Koch-Rajbongshi community for a long time.
He said Kamtapur should be carved out of 16 districts of Bengal and Assam.
“We are demanding Kamatpur based on the agreement with the Centre and Koch kingdom. The Koch-Rajbongshis are demanding constitutional rights through the creation of Kamtapur state and ST status,” he said.
Slamming the ruling Congress government of doing nothing for the welfare of the ethnic people in the state and the Koch-Rajbonghshis in particular, Barman said, “The Congress government has not shown any respect and sincerity towards the solution of the Koch-Rajbongshi problems,” he said.
He said the Registrar General of India had forwarded the matter related to ST status to the state government, however, the government has not responded.
“The Congress government has not taken the community’s demand with sincerity for which we have to intensify movement. The Koch-Rajbongshi community will oppose and go against the Congress party in the election,” he said.
Barman has warned that he would launch a movement if their demands were not met soon.
He said the student body would organise a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi shortly to demand ST status.
Around 1,300 members of AKRSU, Koch Rajbongshi Mahila Samity and Chilarai Sena today took out a procession from Latasil playground in Guwahati and marched towards Raj Bhavan.
The groups shouted anti-government slogans and submitted a memorandum to Assam governor J.B. Patnaik.
AKRSU president Biswajit Ray said they would step up the agitation for creation of Kamtapur state, to accord ST (plains) status to the Koch-Rajbongshi community and include their language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
“From April, we will hold a series of agitation programmes as the Tarun Gogoi-led government has failed to take up our grievances properly with the Centre,” Ray said.
The AKRSU will stage a dharna in New Delhi on April 2, he said.