Kokrajhar, March 2: The All Bodo Students Union (Absu) and the Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF) organised two separate mass gatherings in Kokrajhar in support of their demand for Bodoland today.
Absu organised its gathering on a paddy field near UN Brahma Academy, while the BPF rally was held at the secretariat ground, Bodofa Nwgwr. The distance between the two venues is nearly 500 metres.
The BPF leadership accused the students’ body of holding the meeting on the same date as theirs.
Absu, however, made it clear that its meeting has nothing do with the BPF’s as the union has been organising meetings on March 2, as it was on this day in 1987 that the first movement for a separate state was launched by Upendra Nath Brahma, the then president of Absu.
Addressing a huge gathering, Absu president Pramod Boro slammed the Centre of ignoring the legitimate demands of the Bodos and other indigenous people. “The Centre had created three new states in 2000 and now Telangana in 2014, why not Bodoland?” There must be a comprehensive policy.”
He said the creation of a full-fledged state was necessary, as “autonomy with amended arrangement and limited mandate” could not fulfil the aspirations and mitigate the grievances of the Bodo people.
“We believe the creation of Bodoland by a pragmatic and comprehensive policy is the only way to provide justice to millions of Bodo tribals,” Boro said.
He demanded reconstitution of the State Reorganisation Commission and creation of Bodoland to solve the decades-long Bodo problem for sustainable peace and prosperity in the region.
The union also rejected the one-man expert committee headed by former Union home secretary G.K. Pillai to study and examine the demand for a separate state of Bodoland. “There is no justification in forming an expert committee to study the feasibilityof forming a new state,” he said.
Absu warned the Centre not to undermine the Bodoland movement by ignoring its democratic approach.
Speaking at the secretariat ground rally, BTC chief and BPF president Hagrama Mohilary said with the formation of an expert committee, “the process of creating Bodoland is in the right direction. Everybody should support this”.
He slammed the students’ union and its allied organisations for rejecting the expert committee terming it as “unfortunate” and trying gain political mileage out of it.
“We do not want discussions for discussions sake. We want a permanent solution to the issue. But Absu does not want it to be solved. They want to keep the issue alive. Even non-Bodo organisations are supporting the committee.”