GOALPARA, Oct 18 � The Non-Rabha Samanay Mancha (NRSM), a forum opposing the demand for Rabha Hajong Autonomous Council (RHAC) brought out a rally from DI & CC field to the Deputy Commissioner�s office here on October 16 to protest against the holding of elections to the RHAC and demanded immediate holding of panchayat polls in the district and withdrawal of the RHAC Act, and also submitted a memorandum reiteratating their demands to the Chief Minister through the Deputy Commissioner.
There was a large turnover where around 5000 people gathered in the morning hours in the DI & CC field to participate in the rally and to express their opposition to the Government�s initiative to hold elections to the RHAC without completion of the re-delimitation process and without definite boundaries after the principal secretary,WPT & BC Department issued an order for fresh re-delimitation of RHAC areas vide Memo No TAD /BC/79/2008/13 dated May 26. Slogans rented the air as the rally with long lines of protesters proceeded towards the DC's office amid adequate security arrangements in anticipation of any unlawful incidents.
In a press conference held earlier at the Goalpara Press Club, Shah Jahan Ali, president of NRSM said that the organisation wants that the Government should also look into the aspirations and demands of the non-Rabhas residing in the villages falling in the tribal sub plan areas where the tribal population is either less than 50% or totally absent and demanded a development council instead of an autonomous council in the Rabha Hajong areas however, the Government can go ahead and constitute the RHAC by including the 306 villages having majority Rabha population. He pointed out that time and again the Government�s decision of granting autonomy has failed especially in ensuring the age old peace and amity among the tribals, non-tribals and other minorities groups etc especially after creation of an autonomous council.
Meanwhile, earlier on September 26 last, the 2nd round of talks was convened at Jana Mandir, Dudhnoi by the All Rabha Students Union (ARSU), All Rabha Womens' Council AWC) and the Sixth Schedule Demand Committee (SSDC) where 32 other active organisations from the RHAC areas representing various communities to discuss issues relating to the RHAC under the presidentship of Tankeswar Rabha, president ARSU). The meeting decided that a delegations comprising members of all the organisations that took part in the conference will submit a joint memorandum demanding immediate holding of elections in the RHAC areas and in a bit to involve public in a big way, every organisation planned to hold public meetings in their respective areas under RHAC and formed representative committees for mobilising public opinion and to garner public support. Finally, a coordination committee which will be formed from these representatives will have the onus of taking the movement for demand of Sixth schedule status to the RHAC. Moreover, all the organisations demanded that all the illegal Bangladesis who have entered the State after March 25, 1971 be deported immediately.