| AAMSU activists protest in New Delhi on Wednesday. Picture by Prem Singh |
New Delhi, June 18: The All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (AAMSU) today sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to dissolve the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) administration and review the Bodo Accord.
In a memorandum to the Prime Minister, the AAMSU demanded that the administration of the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD), including law and order, be handed over to the army. It had sought an appointment with Modi last Saturday, but are yet to be granted one.
Immediate dissolution of the BTC administration, headed by chief executive member Hagrama Mohilary, is the first of the eight demands stated in the memorandum.
Making a case against Mohilary, the students’ union claimed that after the Bodo Accord in 2003, surrendered militants had not surrendered their weapons because of “favours” shown by him.
The AAMSU alleged a conspiracy to drive out non-Bodos, particularly Muslims, from the BTAD in a bid to create a Bodo-majority area, and blamed Mohilary for the situation. They demanded arrest of Mohilary and MLA Pramila Rani Brahma.
Protesting at Jantar Mantar here, AAMSU members shouted slogans against Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi. Its vice-president Monower Hussain said the students’ union did not trust either faction of the Congress in Assam. He said Gogoi and Mohilary were together in the government and should resign but the students did not trust the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led faction either. “They have also not spoken a word after the violence,” Hussain said.
The AAMSU demand comes at a time when the NDFB (Progressive), which is in peace talks with the government, has called for expediting the process. Bodo groups are impatient for a Bodoland state.
However, the All Bodo Students Union (Absu), a pro-Bodoland students’ group, had trained its guns at Mohilary in a memorandum to the Election Commission in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls. Absu-supported candidate U.G. Brahma was then pitted against Mohilary-led Bodoland People’s Front candidate, Chandan Brahma. Both U.G. Brahma and Chandan Brahma lost, ceding space to wild card entry Naba Kumar Sarania, former Ulfa commander. The consolidation of non-Bodo votes in the four districts of BTAD ensured Sarania’s win.
The AAMSU cited census figures to argue that Bodo groups were conspiring because Bodos were in a minority in the four districts. The average Bodo population in the BTAD is a third of the total 31.55 lakh people.
They sought a fresh review of the Bodo Accord by taking into consideration the interests of all the communities living in the BTAD.
This is the first time since the new government took over that the turmoil in the BTAD has spilled over to the national capital. The 2014 Lok Sabha result in which a non-Bodo candidate won the Kokrajhar seat seems to have accentuated the fault line between the Bodos and the non-Bodos.
The BTC official website declares its mission to be development of economy, education, infrastructure, and communities in the area and to preserve land rights, linguistic aspirations and socio-culture and ethnic identity of the Bodos. But over a hundred people were killed in ethnic clashes in BTAD in 2012 and earlier this year. Minorities were at the receiving end in the riots, seen as a reprisal for voting out Bodo candidates in the general election.