DERGAON, June 19 � The Assam Tea Tribes Students� Association has demanded the immediate withdrawal of the eco-sensitive zone from the Kaziranga National Park (KNP). The student body also demanded the cancellation of the additional areas of the KNP, which include the second, third and fifth additions.
A rally was organised in this regard by the Golaghat district committee of the ATTSA with the support of the Bokakhat and Kaziranga units of the association. More than 500 student activists came to Kohora Chariali from the Hatikhuli TE along the NH-37.
After holding a protest meeting, the ATTSA members submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the Circle Officer of Bokakhat, Bipul Das. In the memorandum, they demanded the immediate withdrawal of the eco-sensitive zone, second, third and fifth addition areas. They also demanded land pattas for the indigenous people residing in the areas.
The ATTSA leaders said that the additional areas were declared without any discussions with the villagers. The Kohora Market Committee also supported the programme and downed the shutters of business establishments during the programme.
When contacted, the honorary wildlife warden of Bokakhat, Uttam Saikia said that the people must decide first whether they want Kaziranga or not. �We are ready to give up our agricultural land for the four-lane highway, so why can we not sacrifice for Kaziranga?� he countered.
Senior journalist Swapan Nath said that the people must realise why an eco-sensitive zone is necessary.