The Udalguri chapter of All Adivasi Students Association of Assam (AASAA) staged a human chain protest on Tuesday along the Udalguri-Tamulpur road in Paneri of Assam’s Udalguri district.
The demonstration was against the government not paying heed to their demand for Scheduled Tribe status for the Adivasi community.
Hundreds of protestors holding placards formed a human chain and reverberated the air with high pitched slogans.
Nearly 600 Adivasi tea garden workers from neighbouring tea estates like Bamunjuli, Paneri, Hattigarh, Orangajuli, Majuli gathered to form the human chain along the road without interrupting the traffic for two hours from 11 am.
“It was a symbol to show the government that we all are united and nothing can break us, in pressing the government for our constitutional rights and most importantly, we are peaceful,” said Laxman Porja, an organizer.
“Our brothers and sisters in other states are recognized as Schedule Tribe, whereas we have been deprived of the ST status since Independence, how can there be two separate identities of a community in a country,” questioned a protestor, Durpoti Lohar.
“We are not demanding Adivasi land, we are demanding ST status for the Adivasis living in Assam for years.” said president of Udalguri chapter of AASAA, Robin Goala.
“The previous governments have betrayed us and we have great hopes in the present government who should try to understand our democratic language,” he added.
“Our generations have immensely contributed to the econmoic growth of the nation by working in tea gardens for minimum wages, but despite this our voices are being neglected by the succesive government,” rued vice-president of Udalguri chapter of AASAA, Khagen Tanti.