| BNC leaders meet the protesters on Friday. Picture by Preetam B. Choudhury |
Kokrajhar, Aug. 23: Leaders from Bodo National Conference (BNC) today visited the activists of All Bodo Students Union (Absu) and other groups on indefinite hunger strike here from yesterday to demand “Bodoland” and expressed solidarity with their cause.
BTC deputy chief Kampa Borgoyary, the chief convener of BNC, and two other conveners, Anjali Daimari and Biseshwar Basumatary, among others, visited the Kokrajhar Government Higher Secondary and Multipurpose School, where the activists are fasting since 8am yesterday. Borgoyary also handed over a letter of invitation to Absu and NDFB (P) to fix a time for discussions to launch the statehood movement more vigorously.
The BNC leadership also held an executive meeting today to discuss various issues, including the demand for Bodoland and chalk out strategies for future action. Later, Daimari told reporters that the conference has decided to hold talks with various pressure groups on a united movement for Bodoland.
She said they would wait for the government to announce a date for tripartite talks till the end of this month and decide on the next course of action. Absu president Pramod Boro demanded a formal invite from the Centre for tripartite talks on the Bodoland issue and announced more agitation programmes — a 24-hour National Highway blockade on August 28 and a 24-hour railway blockade on September 10.
On the other hand, the health of some activists, including Pramod Boro and Absu public relations secretary Bhudhiram Basumatary deteriorated owing to dehydration around 3.35 this afternoon and they were administered saline. Doctors from Rupnath Brahma civil hospital here attended to the protesters and checked their blood pressure. Dr S. Boro said they had asked those on fast to drink water and glucose but they refused.
Working president and general secretary of Hill State Demand Party, Chandra Kanta Terang and Robindra Rongpi, president of Bodo Samaj, Rajendra Brahma, Sahitya Akademi awardees Harinarayan Khakhlary and Mangal Singh Hazowary, NDFB-P general secretary Gobinda Basumatari, among others, also visited the venue and lent support to the agitators.