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Non-Rabhas protest at Last Gate

Dhubri, March 26: The Non-Rabha Co-ordination Forum staged a sit-in today at Dispur Last Gate to register its protest against the inclusion of non-Rabha and non-tribal dominated villages in the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council.

The forum also wants to exclude the names of 394 villages dominated by non-Rabha, non-tribal and Garo villages from the draft of villages being prepared by Goalpara and Kamrup district administrations.

Nearly 1,500 activists of the forum, including the members of All Assam Minority Youth and Studentsí Council, joined the demonstration from 11am today.

The president of the forum, Shajahan Ali, opposed the draft of villages published by the Goalpara and Kamrup district administrations.

There are 91 non-tribal villagesand 98 villages where Garos are in majority in Goalpara while there are 118 non-tribal villages and 87 Garo villages in Kamrup district, Ali said.

The forum is opposing the inclusion of these villages as this would create more trouble in the future but the state government has turned a deaf ear to the demands, he added.

Talking to The Telegraph, Ali said with the several amendments made since the formation of Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council, including one in 2001, which empowered the council to include the tribal belt, tribal sub-plan villages in the council area irrespective of population pattern.

Ali alleged that another amendment was made in 2005, which again empowered the council to include all the contiguous villages in the council area.

The forum also submitted a memorandum to chief minister Tarun Gogoi, governor J.B. Patnaik and state water resource minister Rajib Lochan Pegu urging them to take immediate steps to exclude the non-Rabha villages from the list of villages being prepared by the government.