Protests in Assam over inclusion of 60 villages in Bodoland region

by IANS |

Guwahati, Jan 30 (IANS) Protests broke out in Gohpur in Assam's Sonitpur district on Monday over the state government's decision to include 60 villages in the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).

The protesters came out on to the streets and violence was resported. They burnt tires on the highway to express displeasure against the state government's decision.

While visiting Bodoland area on Sunday, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the government decided to include villages, which have at least 80 per cent Bodo population, in the BTR.

However, the protesters claimed that the decision has not been made looking into the demography of the villages carefully as many villages have a quite high non-Bodo population.

"We have been surprised to see that in many villages the non-Bodo population is higher than Bodo people," one of the protesters said.

They also criticised the role of MLA from Gohpur Utpal Bora for being a mute spectator in this issue.

Meanwhile, the Bodo leaders have welcomed the state government's decision.

Bodoland Territorial Council Chief Promod Boro said: "It is a matter of immense joy and celebration as Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has announced a major decision towards the implementation of the clause of Bodo peace accord. It will help to create a permanent peaceful environment in the region."

Asked about the protests, Sarma said: "There is nothing to protest and we had a detailed discussion with various stakeholders before taking this decision to include 60 villages in the BTR."

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