Will the Karbis get an ‘Autonomous State’? Amit Shah ‘reminded’ of old Promises
GUWAHATI: Pitching in favour of his party and seeking the people of Assam to vote for the BJP government once again, union home minister Amit Shah seemed to revisit his old ‘promises’ which he had made before the 2016 state polls.
While reiterating the promises of making Assam ‘flood and infiltrator free’ once again, Shah said that the BJP led government would make the hill districts of the state as one of the top districts of the country within a year.
He was attending a public rally at Dengaon in Karbi Anglong on Thursday, two days after over 1000 of five Karbi militant groups laid down their arms before the state government.
“I have received a long memorandum from the groups. I want to assure that you (people living in the hill districts) don’t need to demand your rights, we are committed to your betterment. Give us one more chance and we will make the three hill districts of Assam the best districts in terms of growth and prosperity,” Shah said in his speech.
He, however, did not mention the demand for an autonomous state raised by the surrendered militants and several other Karbi groups.
Last week, declaring ‘Unilateral Ceasefire’ prior to laying down of arms, the ultras submitted a memorandum to Shah demanding an autonomous state for the Karbi tribal community. They claimed that it is only the ‘viable’ solution towards a harmonious coexistence between the hill tribes and the plain people. The memorandum also called for social justice for Karbis with other tribes in the plain districts of the state and sought measures to preserve and develop Karbi language, custom and culture.
The Joint Action Committee for Autonomous State (JACAS) has also advocated the surrendered outfit members’ demand and asked union home minister Amit Shah to respond to the demands of self-determination of autonomous statehood.
Khorsing Teron, chairman of JACAS, reminded Shah that the latter had promised of creating an Autonomous State within the State of Assam as provided under Article 244-A of the Constitution in 2008.
Teron added, “The JACAS, therefore, appeals home minister Amit Shah to remember his old promises and declare the creation of an Autonomous State to fulfill the BJP’s promise and to fulfill the political aspirations of the hill people to usher in lasting peace and positive ‘Parivartan’ in the hill areas of Assam.”
The home minister said, “I welcome them (the ultras) for joining the mainstream. Demands of Karbi people such as setting up a law college, model Degree College and a planetarium in the district would be fulfilled within a year.”
Assam’s health, finance and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also announced that a state university and an engineering college would also be set up in Karbi Anglong.