The tripartite agreement was in presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Image credit: Twitter

The students’ bodies of the hills districts of Assam have sharply reacted against the Centre’s assurance of granting ST (Hills) status to the Bodos living in the Hills areas of the state.

The Bodo Peace Accord 2020, which was signed on Monday, has assured to grant the Scheduled Tribe (Hills) status to the Bodos living in the Hills areas in Assam.

The Karbi Students’ Association (KSA) and the Dimasa Students’ Union (DSU) have decided to oppose the move of the government as the decision will ‘infringe upon the rights’ enjoyed by the Karbis and Dimasas of the two hills districts.

DSU general secretary Pramith Sengyung said the organization will continue to oppose the decision to grant ST Hills status to the Bodos living in the hills.

“We have been opposing the move to grant ST (H) status to the Bodos. They are from the plains and they are enjoying the status of ST. If the Bodos of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao are granted ST (H) status, it will infringe upon the rights enjoyed by the Karbi and Dimasa tribes of Assam, who are the schedule tribes of the Hills,” Sengyung said.

“We are not against the Bodos. We appreciate the signing of the Bodo Accord but at the same time the government must also ensure that granting some benefits to one community does not affect the other ones,” he said.

The president of Karbi Students’ Asociation (KSA), Simeon Rongphar said that the KSU is going to oppose the move.

“We have given several memoranda to the state and central government in the past in this regard. How can they grant this to the Bodos living in the Hills. The Bodos are enjoying ST (Planis) status. How can there be two status for one community?” Rongphar said.

“We have nothing against the Bodos. But the Bodos in Karbi Anglong are not indigenous. Most of them came here after 1940s. This will also impact the status enjoyed by the Karbis,” he said.

He further said they have also asked the chief executive Mmember of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) not to give the ‘No Objection’ certificate in this regard.