Bodos stage hunger strike, warn of economic blockade

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Kokrajhar, March 10 (IANS) The Bodos — the biggest tribal community in Assam — on Friday staged an indefinite hunger strike here as part of their agitation to demand a new state.

The hunger strike is led by the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU), National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Progressive) and the People Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement (PJACBM).

The community has said that if their issue continues to remain unresolved despite the hunger strike, then the groups will be compelled to declare hours of road and rail blockades starting next month.

The Bodo bodies have also warned of economic blockades on the lines of the Manipur economic blockade.

As part of the agitation, over 2,000 people participated in the hunger strike in Kokrajhar and other parts of the Bodo Territorial Area Districts (BTAD), which also includes Chirang, Baksha and Udalguri.

The organisations said they will hold the protest in several other parts of the country as well.

“The problem would not get resolved till the central government creates Bodoland – – a promise made by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections to seek the Bodos’ support,” Pramod Bodo, ABSU president, told IANS.

They have appealed to the government to immediately solve the political issue of Bodoland.

“We appeal to the government to immediately come forward with a pragmatic policy decision on the Bodoland issue and political rights of the Bodos in Assam, through the appropriate political level talks in the presence of the Home Minister of India,” said Bodo.

Assam Police said that they had taken all measures to keep the agitation under control.

Director General of Assam Police, Mukesh Sahay told IANS: “Things are under control. We have taken every measure across the state to ensure that the community does not turn violent as part of the agitation.”

Earlier, the ABSU delegation met Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal over the Bodo issue.

–IANS

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