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Inspired by Telangana, massive protests in Kokrajhar for a new state

Discussion in 'International Relations' started by layman, Aug 2, 2013.

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  1. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Kokrajhar: The renewed agitation in Assam for a separate Bodoland state spurred by the announcement of Telangana has crippled train services in the region and left the entire northeast cut off from the rest of the country.

    Trains to the northeast have been stalled due to protests on train tracks by thousands of people after the All Bodo Students Union called a 12-hour 'rail roko' (stop trains) in Kokrajhar in Assam, the headquarters of the Bodoland Territorial Council and the only entry point for trains to the northeast.

    Not a single train has been able to enter the north east from the rest of the country. The Brahmaputra Mail from Delhi to Assam's capital Guwahati was one of the many trains forced to stop midway.

    Since early this morning, students and other protesters have been squatting on the tracks at the Kokrajhar railway station. They say this is just the beginning of a series of protests - a public rally and a 60-hour bandh have been planned for next week.

    Since the UPA government announced on Wednesday the creation of Telangana, India's 29th state carved out of Andhra Pradesh, student bodies in Assam have stepped up their demand for a separate state comprising the Bodo tribe dominated areas of Assam.

    Over the last three days, mobs in Assam's Karbi Anglong district have repeatedly clashed with the police and destroyed government property , also torching as many as 10 vehicles. One person was killed in police firing, leading to an indefinite curfew has been imposed in the area.

    After decades of insurgency over demands for Bodoland, four Assam districts including Kokrajhar and Karbi Anglong were placed under an autonomous territorial council 10 years ago. But now these people say a council is not enough.

    Pramod Bodo, the president of the All Bodo Students Union, says while the creation of Telangana is justified, he cannot understand why the government cannot give Bodoland, a demand for decades.
    "Let Manmohan Singh come here and live for 10 days and see what the council has done for us," said Mr Bodo.

    Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde appealed for peaceful agitations, and people at Kokrajhar say while they are in favour of it, they want more action from the government.
     
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