Vehicles attacked during bandh called by AKRASU in Assam


GUWAHATI, July 9: Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from some places during the 24-hour “Assam bandh” which was called by All Assam Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRASU) and backed by Mahila Samitee and Chilarai Sena on Monday.
The bandh was called in support of the demands for the creation of separate “Kamatapur” state and inclusion of the Koch-Rajbongshi community in the list of Scheduled Tribes.
According to reports reaching here, a number of vehicles were damaged in stone-pelting by the bandh volunteers in lower Assam as well as Bodoland Territorial Areas District.
The protestors swarmed in large numbers early in the morning and blocked the roads by burning tyres in Goalpara, Dhubri, Barpeta, Bongaigaon and Baksa districts. Commercial vehicles, which were seen plying on the roads, were damaged by the protestors.
The AKRASU said the bandh was called as successive state and central governments hoodwinked the community. It warned that if the government failed to fulfil the “genuine demands”, the community would be compelled to take up weapons for protection.
“The Koch-Rajbongshis are a deprived lot. We have been fighting for several decades to secure ST status for the community and Kamatapur state. Sadly, the government has turned a blind eye to our legitimate demands,” an AKRASU spokesman told TNIE.
The Koch-Rajbongshis envisage a Kamatapur state by slicing off parts of lower Assam and West Bengal. The community has a sizeable population in lower Assam districts and north Bengal. (TNIE)