MORIGAON, Jan 17 - The All Tiwa Students� Union (ATSU) along with three other Tiwa organisations namely � All Tiwa Women�s Association, Autonomy Demand Struggling Forum and Tiwa Cultural Society have renewed their demand for more autonomy to the Tiwas of central Assam under the provisions of the VIth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
More than 400 people under the banner of the ATSU staged a sit-in strike programme in front of the Deputy Commissioner�s office at Morigaon recently raising the 6th Schedule autonomy to Tiwas and five other demands before the Government. In a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister, Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal which was submitted at Deputy Commissioner, Morigaon office, the ATSU said that Tiwas and other tribal people of Nagaon, Morigaon, Kamrup and Karbi Anglong districts have been struggling for creation of Tiwa Autonomous Council by carving out the tribal-dominated areas of central Assam under the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of Indian Constitution since 1967.
In 1995, an Accord was signed between the then Chief Minister, Assam Hiteswar Saikia and Autonomous Lalung District Demand Committee creating Tiwa Autonomous Council having no powers of Sixth Schedule. As such, the present Tiwa Autonomous Council has failed to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the tribal people of central Assam, the memorandum added. It is worthwhile to mention here that the Tarun Gogoi-led Assam Government had initiated a process to include Tiwas, Rabhas and Mising Autonomous Councils under the provision of the VIth Schedule in 2002 by forming a Ministerial Sub Committee under the chairmanship of Dr Bhumidhar Barman, the then Revenue Minister of Assam. But the Sub Committee did not submit its complete formal report to the Central Government, the memorandum alleged. So the ATSU has urged the BJP-led State Government to take bold steps to approve the proposal of the State Government for inclusion of the Tiwa Autonomous Council under the VIth Schedule of the Constitution.
The memorandum also demanded the Government to create a Tiwa Regional Council in Karbi Anglong district immediately. Justifying the demand, the ATSU said in the memorandum that the Tiwa Kingdom was divided into many administrative units and in 1952, Karbi Anglong (the then Mikir Hills) Autonomous District Council was created and the Tiwa-inhabited areas � �Amri� and Duar-Amla� mouzas were included in Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council and the Tiwas were deprived from getting their due socio-economical development and also political rights, the memorandum said. So, the ATSU has demanded that a Tiwa Regional Autonomous Council be set up in Karbi Anglong.
The Tiwa Autonomous Council was formed with a two-layer system of autonomy. One is the apex council and the other is the village council. This system was created only with the motto to bring the administration to the doorsteps of the common people for the all-round development of the Tiwas. But, though elections to the apex council of the Tiwa Autonomous Council was held twice in 2010 and 2015, the election to the village councils have not been held till today, said the memorandum. So, the ATSU has urged the Government to hold elections of the village councils of Tiwa Autonomous Council under the provisions of TAC Act, 1995.