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Row over tribal status in Assam

Bongaigaon, July 12: The Koch-Rajbongshi groups have expressed displeasure over tribal organisations that have been opposing inclusion of six ethnic communities in the tribal list.

Yesterday, United Tribal Organisation, Assam (UTOA), a common platform of STs of plains and hills, had sought total immunity for their existing constitutional safeguards if six indigenous communities — Matak, Moran, Chutia, Koch Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom and Tea tribe — are accorded ST status.

Troilokya Ray, the general secretary of the All Koch-Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU) of Hiteswar Barman faction, alleged that the BPF is playing a role behind the tribal organisation so that the six communities, including the Koch Rajbongshis, would be deprived of their rights to get tribal status.

“Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary is leading the tribal communities against the six communities who are seeking inclusion in tribal list,” Ray alleged.

The ideology of the BPF is to harm the non-Bodo communities as the party was formed by a former rebel group that believed in violence, he alleged.

Ray said the party would not tolerate welfare of non-Bodo communities and that is why it was defeated in the Lok Sabha polls by the people of BTAD.

If the BPF leaders continue their negative role against the Koch Rajbongshi community, the party would lose the coming BTC election next year, Ray warned.

He also slammed Swami Agnivesh, who was seen supporting the demand of the tribal groups in Delhi going against the six indigenous communities of Assam.

“Swami Agnivesh, a Congress agent who was exposed during Anna Hazare’s agitation, should refrain from participating in the demonstration of tribal groups against other communities; otherwise he would be taught a good lesson in future for his dual character,” Ray warned.

Biswajit Ray, who leads a faction of AKRSU as president, came down heavily on the BPF leaders — who promised to support the cause of the Koch Rajbongshis during a meeting which was held last year in Kokrajhar — for their role against Koch Rajbongshis and other five indigenous communities.


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