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No ‘Peace Deal’ with KLO before R-Day: Assam CM ‘Unaware’ of Separate Kamatapur Demand

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CM met Amit Shah to discuss the progress of the demand of granting ST status to six ethnic communities including the Koch Rajbongshi
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Assam By-polls: CM Sarma Readies To Follow ECI Directions; APCC
CM Samra during a party meeting | file

Guwahati: The expected peace agreement between the Centre, state and militant outfit Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) before the ensuing Republic Day celebration did not seem to be happening soon.

The chief minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, following his meeting with the union home minister Amit Shah in Delhi on Thursday, said that there was no hurry for the signing of the peace agreement. He also refuted reports of a possible separate Kamatapur state following the peace deal.

Sarma said, “The big news is that Jiban Singha, self-styled chief of KLO, has returned to the mainstream. Peace parleys don’t happen keeping a target like Republic Day celebrations. Let him rest for a few days before the official procedure starts.”

Singha who already reached India two days back from an undisclosed location in Myanmar reportedly has been taken to New Delhi straightly after he surrendered before the security forces. As per a video clip and message from the outfit supremo recently, he claimed that he has decided to return to the mainstream following the Centre’s assurance of discussion of a separate Kamatapur state and constitutional safeguard for the Koch Rajbongshi community living across Assam and West Bengal.

However, Sarma denied any such development. He said, “I am not aware of such development. I am following the news and it’s only been reported in Assam media and nowhere else including West Bengal.”

On the other hand, the chief minister said that he met the union home minister Amit Shah to discuss the progress of the demand of granting scheduled tribe (ST) status to six ethnic communities including the Koch Rajbongshi, the community KLO fighting for.  

The six communities of Assam who have been demanding ST status for a long time were Adivasi (referred to as tea tribes), Chutia, Koch-Rajbongshi, Matak, Moran and Tai-Ahom.

“We have discussed the progress of the matter of granting ST status to the six communities of Assam,” Sarma informed.

KLO chief Jiban Singha formed the outfit in 1995. Its demands include a separate state with parts of Cooch Behar, Malda, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Jalpaiguri districts of West Bengal, as well as four districts of Assam — Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara — Kishanganj in Bihar and Jhapa district in Nepal.

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