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Parishad demands security

Guwahati, Jan. 29: The All Assam Bhojpuri Parishad today demanded adequate security for over 20 lakh Bhojpuri-speaking people living in the state besides formation of a development council.

“Nearly 10 people, mostly Hindi-speaking, have been killed by militants in different parts of the state since January 17. But till date no visible or positive step has been taken by Dispur for our protection,” Parshuram Dubey, president of the Parishad, said during a demonstration here this afternoon.

The Parishad had last year submitted a 13-point charter of demands to chief minister Tarun Gogoi on the various problems faced by the community. “But to our dismay, none of them have been fulfilled so far. It is unfortunate because people from our community were living here prior to Independence and yet we are soft targets for militant groups. The indifference of the government has offended us,” Dubey said.

The Parishad submitted a memorandum to the chief minister today demanding an end to intimidation, extortion and killing of Bhojpuri-speaking people by militants, stern steps to curb subversive activities, formation of a development council for the community and land pattas to those who have lived in Assam for at least 10 years.

There are 18 development councils in Assam, constituted for the all-round development of communities like Muttocks, Morans, Sooteas, Saraniya Kacharis, Tai-Ahoms, Adivasis, Bishnupriya Manipuris, Gorkhas, Maimals, Koch-Rajbongshis, Moriyas, Nath-Jogis, Mech-Kacharis, Meiteis, Man Tais, Sema Nagas, general caste and hill tribes of Barak valley.

“We also demand a CBI probe into police atrocities on farmers in the name of eviction at Naharkatiya earlier this month, that killed one person and injured four others. The perpetrators of the violence must be brought to book at the earliest,” he said.

According to the 2011 census, 31,169,272 people live in Assam.

The Parishad has demanded reservation of a seat for Bhojpuri-speaking people of Assam in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha and publication of HSLC question papers in Hindi along with Assamese and English.

It threatened to stage a series of agitation, including gherao of the chief minister’s residence, railway and national highway blockades and protests across the state, if its demands are not met within a week.