The Kamtapur State Demand Committee — a common forum of Rajbanshi outfits based in north Bengal and lower Assam — will organise a public meeting in Jalpaiguri district next month to remind the Centre of their longstanding statehood demand.
On Friday, representatives of the committee with 28 constituent organisations announced their plan of action.
“Jibon Singha (the self-styled chief of Kamtapur Liberation Organisation) reached Assam around 10 months ago as the Assam government and the Centre wanted peace talks. No such talk has begun with him. So we decided to launch a movement that starts with a public meeting at Maynaguri (in Jalpaiguri) on November 19. Our plans will be announced at the meeting,” said Tapati Mallick, a committee joint convener.
Nikhil Roy, another joint convener, said: "Along with a state, we want the inclusion of Kamtapuri (Rajbanshi) language in the VIIIth schedule of the Indian Constitution. How the Centre can sit silently even after Jibon Singha, responding to its call, came to Assam?”
In north Bengal and in some parts of lower Assam, many political parties and outfits have been demanding Kamtapur or Greater Cooch Behar state for decades.
“If the Centre doesn’t do anything, we will resort to rallies, protests, road and rail blockades across the region,” said Amit Roy, another committee leader.