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Move to confer ST (Hills) status on Bodos in Karbi Anglong opposed

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GUWAHATI: The central committee of the Karbi Students’ Association (KSA) has opposed the Centre’s decision to expedite the process of granting Scheduled Tribe (Hills) status to Bodo people living in Karbi Anglong and other hill areas of Assam.

In a statement issued on Monday, KSA president Samson Teron said that while the association hoped the third Bodo peace accord would address the long pending grievances of the Bodo people, it would continue to oppose the contentious issue under Clause 8 of the accord inked leaders of Bodo Liberation Tiger (BLT) on February 10, 2003.

Clause 8 of the 2003 Bodo accord had granted ST (Hills) status to Bodos living in Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao district.

“The Centre has in the reincorporated the contentious issue under clause 8 of the Bodo accord, which was signed between the officials of the ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), state home department and leaders of Bodo Liberation Tiger (BLT) on February 10, 2003. Implementation of clause 8 will pose a serious threat to the existing scheduled tribes (Hills) of the state,” Teron said.

The association said that the Bodos are the most advanced among the tribes of Assam and hence are placed in ST (Plains) category in the ST lists. “However, the Karbis, Dimasas, Hmars, Kukis, etc, were placed in ST (Hills) category. We therefore appeal to the Centre to review the situation and scrap clause 8 of BLT accord at the earliest to maintain harmony,” he said.

The KSA president warned of a strong democratic movement in the days to come if the central government failed to respond to its appeal.

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