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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 July 2024

KLO appeals to President, Prime Minister for Kamtapur

Decades have passed and till date, our language (Rajbanshi or Kamtapuri) has not been recognised by Centre, says Jeevan Singha

Our Correspondent Siliguri Published 14.08.22, 12:47 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Shutterstock

Jeevan Singha, the self-styled chief of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), a banned terror outfit, has appealed to the President and the Prime Minister to meet the outfit’s longstanding demand for a state of Kamtapur.

In a new video released ahead of Independence Day by the outfit, Singha is seen making the plea in an undisclosed location with armed cadres around him.

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“The nation is celebrating its 75th year of independence. This is the time when we too want a peaceful solution to our demand,” he said.

“With folded hands, I appeal to the President and the Prime Minister to consider our demand for a separate Kamtapur state in consonance with the merger agreement. It would help in the peace, progress and prosperity of the region and its people,” said Singha.

In 1949, a merger agreement was signed between the then princely state of Cooch Behar and the Indian government, that Cooch Behar would be annexed and given the status of a C category state.

“But it got mingled with Bengal, Bihar and Assam. We want the Centre to go by the agreement. Also, decades have passed and till date, our language (Rajbanshi or Kamtapuri) has not been recognised by the Centre,” he said.

He also pointed out that a number of BJP MPs and MLAs elected from north Bengal voiced the same demand at different forums.

The KLO, which was formed in Alipurduar district of Bengal in the nineties, as a group of Rajbanshi youths resorted to armed struggle to achieve their demand, started showing interests in peace talks from December last year with the Centre and the state government of Assam.

This made Himanta Biswasarma, the chief minister of Assam, respond and welcome the outfit for talks. Recently, Singha had even named a group of five people, including some former militants of the outfit, who would act as mediators for the peace talks.

However, there exists a grey area in the proposed negotiations as so far, neither the outfit nor the Centre or the Assam government has hinted at including the Bengal government.

“There are doubts whether there would be any effective result if such talks are held without the Bengal government,” said a retired police officer of the area.

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