BY Debananda Medak
GUWAHATI: The Gana Suraksha Party, All BTC Minority Students ’ Union and other non-Bodo socio-cultural organisations of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) on Monday expressed concern over the Assam Governor’s recently formed five-member ‘Commission’ appointed for alteration of the area of Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).
On Monday, in pursuance of Clause 3.1 of the Memorandum of Settlement signed on January 27, 2020 by the Centre, government of Assam, All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), the Governor of Assam constituted a Commission under paragraph 14 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India for alteration of the area of BTAD.
The members of the Commission included – PP Verma, IAS (Retd) as Chairman, Administrator, BTC as Member, ABSU Vice president Jayanta Basumatary as member, Red Cross, Udalguri Convener, Dalim Bayan as Member and Joint Secretary to the government of Assam (Home & Political Department) as Secretary.
Expressing his concern over the members included in the Commission, Kokrajhar MP and Gana Suraksha Party Chief Naba Kumar Sarania said, “The appointed Commission will not serve the purpose of the non-Bodos residing in the BTC. The members included in the Commission are all loyal to the state government of Assam. It does not represent the true representatives of the non-Bodos residing in BTC.”
Sarania said that out of the total 3082 villages of the BTC, there are more than one thousand villages where the presence of Bodo residents is equal to none. “Earlier, around 960 villages moved the Gauhati High Court for the exclusion of the non-Bodo villages from the BTC following which the Court directed the Chief Secretary to the Assam state government to form a commission to examine the appeal,” the MP said.
All BTC Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU) president Ashraful Islam said, “The Assam government has constituted a biased Commission. The present Commission has failed to include representatives from the non-Bodo communities residing in BTC. A fair exclusion-inclusion of villages in the BTC will remain a distant dream.”
However, ABSU vice president Jayanta Basumatary, who is a member of the Commission, said, “The Committee has been formed by the Assam government following the principles of the BTR Accord. It will serve the purpose of the Accord in letter and spirit. Inclusion of representatives from each communities residing in the BTC is not possible.”