On Tuesday, the All Koch-Rajbongshi Students' Union (AKRSU) staged a protest in Guwahati, demanding for a separate state of Kamatapur. They also submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister through the Chief Minister of the State during their demonstration. Their main demand is the re-creation of the historical Kamatapur State which would comprise of 15 districts of Assam and 6 districts of West Bengal on the basis of the merger agreement on August 28, 1949. The AKRSU also demanded Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Koch-Rajbongshi community in Assam.
The Rajbongshi community also known as Rangpuri or Rajbanshi is an ethnic group inhabiting parts of Assam, Meghalaya, northern West Bengal, and some pockets on the eastern parts of Nepal, Bihar, Bhutan, and northern Bangladesh.
On Tuesday, Assam had also celebrated the Siu-Ka-Pha Divas, popularly known as Asom Divas. Addressing a gathering, the Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has urged people to follow the ideals of Swargadeo Chaolung Siu-Ka-Pha, the first Ahom king in medieval Assam, to build a stronger state. Sonowal had also said that the founder of the Ahom kingdom had laid the foundation for a robust and vibrant Assam through his policy of amity, unity, and harmony. On the other hand, protestors in Guwahati, both men and women were sitting on protest holding placards which read -- We want Justice, No ST No rest, Fulfill our demands among others. The AKSRU stated that as per the Constitution, they hold the right to have a separate state with ST (P) status as their community fulfills all criteria to regain their actual status.
"Kamrup-Kamata has its own historical identity with 15 Koch Rajbongshi-populated districts of Assam and 6 districts of West Bengal. We are protesting to protect our ethnic identity, socio-economic and cultural heritage. We need a separate homeland of our own and the status of ST (P)," AKRSU president Karmeswar Rai told ANI.
Last week the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and 30 other indigenous organizations took out a torchlight procession across Assam to protest against the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. In Guwahati, hundreds of AASU and other indigenous organizations workers, supporters took part in the processions and shouted slogans against the Central government and demanded scrapping of the Bill. The Bill which was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8 this year, aims at granting citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014.
(With Agency Inputs)