BONGAIGAON, Feb 24 - A local apolitical group, Abibhakta Bongaigaon Zila Unnayan Xatirtha Mancha, has called upon the AASU leaders to declare their fresh stand on the revival of the Ashok Paper Mill.
The Mancha, which was formed in 2014 by former members-activists of various indigenous groups to speak out on vital issues of the region, has taken all efforts to raise the demand for reopening the Mill.
The paper mill was set up in October, 1970, on 2,500 bighas of land at Jogighopa in Bongaigaon district spending Rs 31 crore. It had the capacity to produce 100 tonnes of pulp and 90 tonnes of paper daily. A total of 1,700 workers were engaged in the Mill which was shut down in 1983 due to the alleged wrong policies of the State and Union Governments.
Addressing a press conference at the Greater Bongaigaon Press Club here, Arjun Barman, president of the Mancha, said that the Gauhati High Court had asked the State Government to submit the opinions and grievances of the AASU, who was one of the signatories of the Assam Accord, on the revival of the mill in 2014.
But the students� group did not furnish its opinion on the issue before the court through the State Government, said Barman.
Taking advantage of the student group�s weak role on the revival of the mill, the State Government had put forward its decision to set up jute and coconut-based industries instead of its restoration which the Mancha opposes, said Barman.
�We would continue our demand to reopen the Mill and ready to face any consequences. Also we hope the BJP Government would look into our demand before the coming Assembly polls," said Tapan Das, adviser of the Mancha.