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Absu resolution keeps ‘Bodoland’ alive

But union ‘suspends’ movement indefinitely
Outgoing Absu president Pramod Boro being felicitated at the convention at Tamulpur on Thursday
Outgoing Absu president Pramod Boro being felicitated at the convention at Tamulpur on Thursday
Picture by UB Photos

Shajid Khan And Rinoy Basumatary   |   Udalguri   |   Published 13.02.20, 08:11 PM

The All Bodo Students’ Union (Absu) has not given up on its demand for a separate Bodoland state despite claims by the ruling BJP governments at the Centre and in Assam after the signing of the Bodo Accord on January 27.

This became clear from one of the seven resolutions adopted by the Absu at its two-day special convention that concluded at Gwjwn Fwthar in Tamulpur in Baksa district on Thursday.

The resolution, which says that the Absu has resolved to “suspend” all forms of democratic protests for a separate Bodoland statehood for an indefinite period, shows that the statehood demand is very much alive and is in sharp contrast to the content of the accord which categorically says that the pact is a “final and comprehensive solution, keeping intact the territorial integrity of Assam”.

Assam cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was present at the signing of the accord in Delhi had also said “...all doubts regarding further division of the state have been put to rest and hopes and aspirations of the Bodos given due respect.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also said, “After signing this agreement, there is no demand left.”

The resolutions adopted by Absu at the convention are:

  • Absu conveyed gratitude to the governments of India and Assam for the historic Bodo Peace Accord.
  • It resolved to appeal to both the governments to implement every clause of the accord as early as possible in a time-bound manner for the social, economical and political growth and development of the Bodos and other communities residing in Assam.
  • It resolved to indefinitely suspend all forms of Bodoland movement and other activities of agitations and focus on social uplift.
  • It resolved to urge the government to immediately implement Clause 9.2 of the BTR Accord, which clearly mentions to provide rehabilitation to all NDFB members.
  • It resolved to urge both the governments for the sake of the Bodo Peace Accord, to immediately implement Clause 9.4, which states that criminal cases against all members of NDFB factions, heinous and non-heinous, would be withdrawn as early as possible through procedures established by law.
  • It resolved to appeal to the Centre to take up immediate steps to bring home all the members of the NDFB and some civilians from the custody of foreign countries and take initiative to withdraw their cases registered in foreign lands.
  • It resolved to relieve Pramod Boro from the post of president and induct one of its vice-presidents, Dipen Boro, as its president till the next conference to be held in January 2021. Another vice-president, Romeo P. Narzary, and secretary Mantu Baro, were also released from the organisation. Jayanta Basumatary and Sunilal Basumatary were made vice-presidents till the next conference.

The movement for a separate state, or Bodoland as the Absu named it, was launched by the student union in 1987. It has since gone through different phases with the governments at the Centre and in Assam initiating corresponding measures to deal with the Bodos’ issues. The Bodo Autonomous Council (1993) and the Bodo Territorial Council (2003) and lately the BTR Accord have been the result.

Absu vice-president Dipen Boro, who took over as the group’s president from Promod Boro, told The Telegraph, “After the Bodo pact, we are hopeful that there will be ever-lasting peace in the region. We will work to bridge trust-deficit among other communities, excluding Bodos.”

He said Absu had high regard for Assamese language and, excluding the districts of Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang and Udalguri, Bodo would be the associate language.

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