Assam tribal girl wants action on attackers, on hunger strike

Tezpur (Assam), Nov 22 : Four years after she was stripped and brutally assaulted in public and forced to run for her life by hoodlums during a procession in Guwahati, tribal girl Laxmi Orang today began a three-day hunger strike here demanding punishment for her attackers.

"I am yet to receive any official intimation on the action taken against the culprits. My fast is to demand for action against the guilty," 22-year-old Laxmi told reporters at the Tezpur
Nehru Maiden, the venue of her agitation.

She had lodged a complaint after the incident at Beltola area of Guwahati on November 24, 2007. In the rally, the processionists, including her, were demanding Scheduled Tribes status for Adivasis residing in Assam and enhancement of daily wages of tea garden labourers.

The government had instituted a CBI inquiry into the charge of physical humiliation and a few persons were taken into custody.

However, Laxmi said she has not yet received any official intimation on the action taken against the culprits.

The protesters were also demanding that duty hours of tea garden labourers should commence from 9 am instead of the present 7 am and continue till 4 pm as usual.

Laxmi and her supporters further demanded rehabilitation, with compensation, for the Adivasis affected in ethnic violence and now sheltered in Kokrajhar rehabilitation centres for years.