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Koch student body demands ST status

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Aug 9 - The All Assam Koch Students� Union has demanded Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Koch people of the State before the ensuing Assembly elections of the State.

In a statement here, the student body said that the Koch should be mentioned only as the Koch. They should not be treated as the Koch-Rajbongshis, who have converted themselves into Hindus. It is a fact that the Koch-Rajbongshis, of the undivided Goalpara district, were accorded the ST status in 1996 through an ordinance.

This deprived the Koch people living in other parts of the State of the ST status and the leaders of the Koch-Rajbongshis maintained calculated silence over the issue, the student union alleged.

Therefore, for the benefit of all the Koch groups � the Harigaia, Wanag, Tintikia, Chapra, Margan, Satparia, Koch Mandai, Banai, Sankar and other groups, who are living in other parts of the State, the Government of India should enlist the Koch community in the ST list and they should not be mistaken as the Koch-Rajbongshis in this respect, said the student body.

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