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AASU plea for special status


Guwahati, Dec. 10: The All Assam Students Union (AASU) today demanded separate constitutional status for Assam to safeguard the interests of the indigenous people of the state who are threatened by unabated influx from Bangladesh.


Addressing the media on the occasion of Swahid Divas, which commemorates the sacrifices of 855 people during the Assam agitation, AASU leaders expressed apprehension that the number of illegal Bangladeshis would increase alarmingly if the government does not do something to safeguard the interest of the indigenous people.


“It is matter of shame that the Union government has failed to implement the Assam Accord even after nearly 25 years of its signing. The Assam-Bangladesh border has not been sealed and there is unabated influx. The Tarun Gogoi government has admitted on the floor of the Assembly that even detected illegal Bangladeshi nationals go missing and thus failed in its effort to deport them. Under these circumstances, identity and rights of indigenous people are in danger and thus it necessitates separate constitutional status for them,” AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya said.


According to Bhattacharyya, separate constitutional status must incorporate exclusive rights for the indigenous people of Assam over their land and natural resources.


He said the AASU would soon start pressurising the Centre to chalk out the model of separate constitutional status for the state by ways of agitation and generating public opinions.


“During the six-year anti-foreigners’ movement over 855 people had laid down their lives, thousands left invalid for life and hundreds tortured. Unfortunately both the Centre and the state government failed to rehabilitate the families of martyrs of a peaceful and democratic movement. The family members are now running from pillar to post for their daily meals,” Bhattacharyya said.


During the news conference, the AASU felicitated family members of three martyrs of the Assam movement.


Bhattacharyya said the AASU has decided to help the families of martyrs Girish Chandra Nath, Dharani Rai and Gohin Deka by provid- ing them various tools, including looms, to earn their livelihood.


The president and general secretary of AASU, Sankar Prasad Rai and Tapan Kumar Gogoi, demanded a special economic package to rehabilitate the family members of the martyrs of the Assam movement.


They demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s personal and sincere intervention in giving the package as well as effective implementation of the Assam Accord.


“It is a matter of grave concern that neither the Assam government nor the Centre is willing to sincerely put an end to infiltration and solve the issue once and for all. What we have seen over the years is that apart from the Congress, other political parties like the AGP and the BJP are only willing to continue politicking with the issue,” Bhattacharyya said.


Source: The Telegraph

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