GUWAHATI: Guwahati: Slamming the BJP for failing to fulfil its commitment on the demand for the creation of separate “Bodoland”
state, the All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) and several other Bodo organisations, including a faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) in peace mode, will organize a series of protest programmes beginning on August 30.
On that day, the ABSU and other Bodo organisations will block national highways for five hours demanding the protection of culture, land and language of the Bodos.
“We demand political rights for the Bodos. The Centre should come up with a policy decision for time-bound solution of the Bodo issue,” ABSU president Pramod Boro told reporters in Guwahati on Thursday.
He claimed that most groups in the Northeast had historical perspectives to have a self-determined administrative region in the form of a state under the Union of India to protect and safeguard ethnic identities. The Bodos are the largest plains tribe in the Northeast.
“Ahead of Assembly polls, we lent our support to the BJP for its promise that it will vigorously pursue the problems of the Bodos. When we met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, he committed that BJP will address the problems. We had asked him to include the issues of the Bodos in the manifesto but none of them was included. We have been meeting Singh and his deputy Kiren Rijiju but they are doing nothing,” Boro lamented.
He said respecting the Centre’s call to shun violence and sit across the table, several insurgent groups, including that of the Bodos, shunned the path of violence by signing ceasefire agreements but only to be ignored in due course.
“We don’t favour violence to achieve our goal. We want to achieve it through peaceful means. The Parliament has provisions for the creation of smaller states. We want the government to hear the voices of the Bodo people,” Boro insisted.
He was critical of the Centre’s frequent assertion about zero tolerance on militant activities.
“The Centre talks of zero tolerance. Does it apply to only one militant outfit or all of them? The government will achieve nothing by going hard at them. If it wants to improve the situation, it must keep the doors open for all groups,” Boro said without naming the Sangbijit faction of NDFB, which carried out a series of violent acts in recent years.