| AKRSU president Biswajit Ray addresses the rally in Bongaigaon on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Bongaigaon, Oct. 30: The movement for Kamtapur took a new turn today with Biswajit Ray, president of one faction of the All Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU), shunning support for “Bodoland” and saying he won’t share any land with the Bodos.
The declaration made by Ray during a public rally at Bongaigaon Industrial Training Institute field here today coincided with the 24-hour statewide strike called by the rival AKRSU faction led by Hiteswar Barman to protest yesterday’s police action at Basugaon in Chirang district.
Ray, who has been under doctor’s observation in Guwahati, came by a train this morning to join the rally. He had been attacked in Bongaigaon on September 27.
He said he had held a meeting with BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary to win his support in favour of Kamtapur but this was misunderstood by his rival and led to the attack.
Ray hinted the rival group had allegedly perpetrated the attack backed by a local politician. “They plotted to kill me but I was saved by the blessings of the people and God. I am still finding it difficult to raise my right hand. But I am still bold enough to continue this movement,” he said.
The proposed Kamtapur state includes six Bengal districts and 13 Assam districts. Out of the 13 Assam districts, all four BTAD districts — Udalguri, Baksa, Kokrajhar and Chirang — fall under Kamtapur, a potential area of conflict.
Ray said they would demand Scheduled Tribe status for Koch Rajbongshis who have been residing in Bengal, besides discussing pending issues during the November 7 tripartite talks. Criticising the Centre, Ray said senior Union ministers dismissed the possibility of creating new states but still invited them for talks on the statehood issue.
“We would not compromise at any cost the issues concerning the community,” Ray said, warning their next movement would be more vigorous, if the talks fail.
AKRSU vice-president Bikramjit Chaudhury, while highlighting how the government evinced interest in talking to armed groups, said, “If that is the case, then the 70 lakh Koch Rajbongshis would never hesitate to go the jungles with 7,000 guns for the cause of their community.”
David Horo, general secretary of the All Adivasi Students’ Association of Assam, said Adivasis, Koch Rajbongshis, Nepalis and people of other minority groups have been losing their lives in BTAD since 1990.
Rezaul Karim Sarkar, general secretary of All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU), criticised the Koch Rajbongshi MLAs and MPs for not pushing issues concerning their community.
On the other hand, supporters of the Barman faction torched a Tata Magic van (AS- 17B 1619) at Manipur under Bilasipara sub-division in Dhubri district today. They also threw stones at trucks passing through NH31 between Salkocha and Chapor in Dhubri district. Traffic remained largely off the roads.