The All Assam Koch Rajbongshi Sanmilani staged a three hour sit-in demonstration on Monday at Lakshimdhar Bora Kshetra in Guwahati and demanded Scheduled Tribe status.
Speaking to Northeast Now, general secretary Himu Rajbongshi said, “We have been demanding ST status from 1967. But the Central Government has not taken any initiative to provide ST status to Koch Rajbongshis.”
Talking about Union Minister Jual Oram’s controversial statement on providing ST status to six communities of Assam, Himu Rajbongshi expressed strong resentment and said, “The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Central Government has failed to fulfill the promises made before 2014 Lok Sabha election and 2016 Assam Assembly election.”
Vice-president in-charge of All Assam Koch Rajbongshi Sanmilani, Sunil Kumar Barman questioned the Government, “Why do we have to struggle for our identity?” ST status is our legal demand, said Barman.
Further the protestors demanded the Government to provide ST status before 2019 Lok-Sabha election.
Both the leaders also announced the Sanmilani’s decision to launch a strong protest if the government fails to provide the ST status.
Himu Rajbongshi said, “We are going to stage a protest at Jantar Mantar demanding ST status soon.”
The leaders informed that the date to stage protest at national capital has not been decided yet.
The protestors shouted slogans like ‘BJP Government Hai Hai’, ‘BJP Government Go back’, ‘BJP Government Liar’, ‘No ST No Rest’ etc. during the demonstration.
The protestors also demanded a special package of Rs 200 crores for the development of literary, cultural and socio-economic aspects of the Koch-Rajbomgshis.
The protestors also demanded constitutional recognition of the Rajbongshi language.
The Women wing and Youth wing of the Sanmilanai also joined the protest programme.
The protestors also submitted a memorandum, which is addressed to Prime Minster Narendra Modi, to the Kamrup (M) Deputy Commissioner.