NEW DELHI / KOKRAJHAR -- Several Bodo communities of Assam will go on an indefinite hunger strike starting 10 March, followed by road and rail blockades, as part of their campaign for a separate Bodoland.
The mass hunger strike, led by the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Progressive), would be organised in several parts of the Bodo Territorial Area Districts -- Chirang, Kokrajhar, Udalguri and Baksa.
"The indefinite mass hunger strike from 10 March, 2017, will be organised followed by 24 hours national highway and railway blockade in the last week of March," said a joint statement issued by ABSU (P), NDFB (S) and People Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement (PJACBM) on Thursday.
According to the statement, the Bodo groups would also organise a Jail Bharo Andolan in April, followed by non-cooperation with the Assam government in May and other action unless the government resolves the Bodoland issue within a stipulated time frame.
"Through this democratic mass revolution, the memorandums to the Prime Minister and Home Minister have been sent from 200 different places of mass gathering in the proposed Bodoland area -- from Sonkosh to Sadiya in Assam."
The ABSU said the reason behind intensifying the agitation demanding Bodoland is "because the present NDA government is trying to befool the Bodo people by alluring with economic development as an option to solution of Bodo political problem".
They said the problem would not get resolved till the central government creates Bodoland -- a promise made by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections to seek the Bodos' support.
Stating that the Bodo people are being subjected to socio-economic exploitation, suppression, oppression and political domination, the Bodo groups have said that there is a threat of total extinction to the community.
"Even after 70 years of India's independence, the state has failed to protect, preserve and safeguard the land, identity, language and culture of the Bodo people. Bodo people are very much part of the great Indian community and are loyal to the constitution of India," said ABSU President Pramod Boro.
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