GUWAHATI: After West Bengal, it is now Assam’s turn to pacify a restive Bodo population. Fifty five Bodo organisations, have come together under a platform called “Peoples’ Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement” (PJACBM) to mount pressure on the Central government through a series of protest programmes to achieve their goal of a separate state called Bodoland.
Come August 28, Bodo women will enforce a ten-hour blockade on national highways at various places in the state. This will be followed by a 12-hour “Assam bandh” on September 12. The movement is expected to intensify on October 1, when 20,000 Bodos will launch an indefinite hunger strike. The PJACBM leader Promod Bodo said the Bodos are being compelled to take the war path.
“Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had committed to us, orally as well as in writing, that if they get voted to power, they will solve the problems of the Bodos. They grabbed power and three years have rolled by without a solution,” Promod Bodo, who is also the president of All Bodo Students’ Union, told the New Indian Express.
The Bodos demand that a separate state be created by slicing off tribal belts and blocks falling between Sadiya in Upper Assam and Sankosh in Lower Assam on the north bank of the Brahmaputra.
“Historically, the areas, which fall under the envisaged Bodoland, were Bodo-dominated. Then, migration (of people belonging to other communities) started in 1951. Assam is no longer a secure state for ethnic minorities,” Pramod Bodo alleged.