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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Self-styled KLO chief Jeevan’s fresh pitch for new state

His close associate Kailash Koch's surrender seems to have put pressure on him as some other militants also might surrender before the state, a cop he said

Our Correspondent Siliguri Published 27.08.22, 01:44 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File photo

Jeevan Singha, the self-styled chief of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), reiterated the demand for separate statehood as he released an audio clip on Friday, two days ahead of the 73rd anniversary of an agreement that was signed for the inclusion of the then princely state of Cooch Behar in India.

“On August 28, 1949, the agreement was signed for Cooch Behar’s merger with India. However, according to the agreement, it was supposed to be conferred the status of a C category state but eventually, when the states were reorganised, its areas were included in the states of Bihar, Bengal and Assam. We want the central government to give due consideration of the agreement and provide appropriate status to the entire area that was under the former princely state,” said Singha.

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In north Bengal, a number of Rajbanshi organisations who support the demand have flagged this issue time and again.

“Instead of a state or a Union territory, Cooch Behar got reduced to a district of Bengal,” said a senior leader of Kamtapur Progressive Party (KPP), a political force that has considerable clout among the Rajbanshi population.

The KLO leader, who is suspected to be in Myanmar, has come up with a number of statements in recent months. He has always been critical of the Bengal government because of its stringent stand against any further division of Bengal while being softer at the saffron camp as a number of legislators of north Bengal had voiced the same demand. A retired police officer, who has worked in this region, said Singha appeared rattled and intended to mount pressure on the Centre.

“Kailash Koch, one of his close associates, has surrendered with his wife before the Bengal government that has recently rolled out a rehabilitation package for them. This seems to have put pressure on Jeevan Singha as there are reports that some other militants of the outfit might surrender before the state,” he said.

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