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Demand for talks on creation of Bodo Kochari Autonomous Council

By ANN Service

JONAI, July 7 - Reiterating its demand for creation of Bodo Kochari Autonomous Council out of the BTAD, United Bodo Peoples� Organisation (UBPO) has demanded the State government to hold talks on the issue.

Members of various ethnic Bodo organisations under the banner of UBPO staged a sit-in-demonstration in front of the Jonai SDO�s office recently and submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the SDO (C), demanding talks with the UBPO leaders on the autonomy issue.

According to UBPO, there was a Cabinet decision during the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress rule on creation of �Bodo Kochari Autonomous Council� out of the existing Bodo Territorial Area Districts (BTAD). But the process was left incomplete due to the Assembly election in the State and change of State government.

Talking to mediapersons, Dhemaji district UBPO president and secretary, Suren Basumatary and Manuranjan Basumatary respectively, said that they earlier placed their nine-point charter of demands before national BJP leaders, who assured them to solve their problem if they came to power. But, the BJP leaders did not keep their promise and are resorting to delay tactics in creation of the Bodo Kochari Autonomous Council, they alleged.

�We have been demanding that the Sarbananda Sonowal-led State government expedite the process for granting the Bodo Kachari Autonomous Council with satellite area provision. The government assured us to hold talks with the delegates of UBPO and Bodoland Peoples� Front (BPF), but it has shown utter negligence on this important issue now,� the UBPO leaders alleged.

The memorandum submitted by UBPO also includes demand to formulate a policy to protect land rights of indigenous Bodo Kocharis, creation of a separate Directorate for Bodo medium education, creation of Bodo Regiment (in the line of Naga Regiment) in the Indian Army and proper rehabilitation of the surrendered BLT and NDFB ultras.

According to UBPO, nearly 10 lakh Bodo Kacharis are residing outside the jurisdiction of BTAD spread across 20 districts of Assam including Kamrup, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts. Dhemaji district in north-Assam has around 70,000 Bodo Kochari population.

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