Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, Biswajit Daimary, on Tuesday dashed off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking solution to several issues of the tribal people of Assam and Northeast so that they remain protected in the region.
The issues included Bodo-Kacharis’ inclusion in ST (Hills) list in the hill areas under the jurisdiction of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council and NC Hills Autonomous Council and implementation of the Clause 6 of Assam Accord.
In the letter, Daimary, a senior leader of the Bodoland People’s Party (BPF), a partner of the BJP-led coalition Government in Assam, Daimary stated that “there was a long-standing demand for the inclusion of Bodo in the ST list in Karbi Anglong and NC Hills Autonomous District Councils. This was also committed in the Bodo Accord which was signed on February 10, 2003 by the Government of India, Government of Assam and the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT).”
He also stated, “The Karbi people are also demanding for the inclusion of Karbi in the list of ST in plain areas of Assam (outside the Autonomous District Council areas).”
The Rajya Sabha MP through his letter reminded Prime Minister Modi that both the issues had received good response from him when he visited Kokrajhar in January, 2016, where he had declared in front of lakhs of people that the issues would be resolved by taking a decision in the Cabinet and passing the necessary legislation in Parliament.
Thereafter, the Cabinet, under the PM’s initiative, had taken a decision and a Bill, “The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2016” was introduced in Parliament. “However, the Bill is still pending in Lok Sabha till date,” stated Daimary.
Daimary urged the PM to look into the issue so that the Bill for inclusion of Bodo-Kachari and Karbi in the ST list is passed in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament.
Besides, Daimary also urged the PM to take steps for implementation of the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
Stating that there was a commitment from the Central Government in Clause 6 of the Assam Accord signed in 1985 for the constitutional protection of the indigenous Assamese people of Assam. “However, this has not been implemented/executed since the last thirty years,” stated daimary.
Daimary stated “the indigenous people of Assam like Axomiya (Assamese), Bodo, Karbi, Dimasa, Mising, Lalung, Rabha, Sonowal, etc. are very simple and honest people having their own unique culture, language, food habits and behaviour which need to be protected and preserved”.
In his letter to the PM, Daimary also stated, “The Government of India needs to provide them (indigenous Assamese people) constitutional protection so that their unique and distinct culture, language, food habits and behaviour are protected. Otherwise, they are in danger of losing their culture and identity in view of the present system of our country. This protection can happen only under your initiative.”
Through his letter, the Rajya Sabha MP also urged the PM to resolve various issues of the tribal people of Manipur, namely the Nagas and the Zomis/Kukis, who have been struggling for the protection of their language, culture, identity, land and for their socio-economic development for the last so many years.
Besides, Daimary also informed the PM that “the indigenous people of Tripura have been marginalized and reduced to minority in their own land. Now, their very survival as a people is at stake. As a result, they have been demanding a separate State within their own State.” He added, “Also, they have been demanding for the inclusion of Kokborok language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution on the lines of inclusion of Manipuri language (their language was included after merger with the Union of India).”
Saying that the indigenous/tribal people of Northeast India have full faith and confidence in him, Daimary requested Modi to look into all the issues so that those are resolved at the earliest, in a time-bound manner and in the interests of the tribal/indigenous people of the Northeast.