Assam statehood agitations to get fresh momentum after I-Day

Guwahati, Aug 13 (IANS) The statehood movements initiated by various communities in Assam are likely to gain momentum after Independence Day - the deadline set by most of the organizations for a decision on their demands.

While the All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU), who had been initiating a movement for separate Bodoland state, had set a deadline of Tuesday, the Joint Action Committee for Autonomous State (JACAS) - seeking separate state status for the Karbi Anglong district - had requested the state government to take a decision in this regard by Aug 14.

Similarly, the All Koch Rajbongshi Students' Union (AKRSU), who are demanding a separate Kamatapur state, had said that they would wait till Aug 15.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who had been camping in New Delhi for last two days, had already met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had in turn suggested him to meet Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde. Gogoi, however, could not meet Shinde as he is out of New Delhi.

Assam had witnessed severe protests including bandh and blockades in the last few weeks, called by several organizations, demanding mainly three separate states - Bodoland, Kamatapur and Karbi Anglong.

Gogoi had met the representatives of all the agitating organizations and assured that he would facilitate the tripartite talks between the prime minister, the state government and the agitating organization to discuss the issue of separate states.

The protesters withdrew their agitation following the assurances and set separate deadlines to the state government to organize the tripartite talks.

"We are going to continue with our peaceful agitation for separate state. Separate state is our justified demand and we are going to achieve it," said ABSU president Promod Boro.

He said that the central committee of the ABSU will meet soon to discuss the next phase of agitation.

Similarly, the AKRSU had also said that it would restart its agitation from Aug 28 if their demands are not met with.

The JACAS had also said that it has been monitoring all the developments closely.

Meanwhile, Gogoi met union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and said that Chidambaram assured him that the central government is open for discussion on the demands of separate states demanded by the Bodos, the Karbis and the Koch Rajbongshi communities.

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