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Karbis seek separate state

- Congress, Opposition meet Shambhu Singh with demand

Nagaon, Feb. 6: Shambhu Singh was greeted with a demand for a separate state for Assam’s Karbi community in Diphu today.

The Congress, Opposition HSDP and the Joint Action Committee for Autonomous State moved Singh, joint secretary, Northeast, ministry of home affairs, separately demanding Hemprek Kanthim, the separate state for Karbis.

Singh reached Karbi Anglong district headquarters Diphu at 4pm, an hour after the scheduled time and went directly to Diphu circuit house.

Representatives of the two autonomous councils of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao led jointly by chief executive members Debojeet Thaosen and Tuliram Ranghang placed the separate state issue under Article 3 of the Constitution.

It followed the visit of HSDP leadership who submitted a two-page memorandum demanding steps for early implementation of the memorandum of settlement (MoS).

Other than Hemprek Kanthim, the Congress today placed before Singh some critical issues and demanded immediate implementation of these for the greater interest of the indigenous people living in the two hill districts of Assam.

These include direct funding from New Delhi to the local Sixth Schedule bodies, formation of separate public service commission for the council areas, creation of a separate IGP post for the two hill districts, special vocational and technical training institutions in Karbi Anglong and special financial package for the two hill districts.

“We are requesting Singh to take maximum care for fulfilling the long-pending statehood demand for the people of the two hill districts. We hope a special financial package and other significant matters could be easily implemented by the government machinery if these are properly considered,” chief executive member of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council Tuliram Ranghang said to this correspondent before meeting Singh.

The Opposition HSDP submitted a memorandum to Singh demanding quick action in executing the MoS, permanent rehabilitation packages for former UPDS cadres and withdrawal of criminal cases against the cadres of the dissolved militant outfit.

“Almost two years have passed but except the release of a Rs 1.5-crore rehabilitation package we have seen no work done as promised in the MoS. We want permanent rehabilitation package and steps to withdraw cases against the cadres,” HSDP leader Kanjang Terang said.

Just a day after the announcement of Telangana on July 30, Karbi Anglong faced the worst law and order crisis as most of the organisations, representing indigenous people, launched an agitation demanding justice for the people of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao who are demanding a separate homeland.