Telangana echoes in Assam hills, lends support to Bodos

In a show of unity, the Telengana joint action committee and the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on Tuesday publicly lent their support to the movement of tribal Bodos in Assam for the creation of a separate state. Spearheading demands for the creation of smaller states, 22 groups nationwide decided to come under one platform to give fillip to their movements.

The two Andhra Pradesh groups asserted that their movements were based on similar lines, and hence their support to one another. “The Bodos’ demand is legitimate because they, like the people in Telengana, have been deprived of their rights over the years,” Jaya Vindhyala, president of PUCL, said on the sidelines of the rally organised by All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) for the creation of a separate state. The Bodos have been demanding a separate state for long by slicing out parts of Assam.

“The BSP, NCP, JD (U) and JD (S) have all endorsed the creation of smaller states. We don’t understand why the government is silent,” Vindhyala said. She added their visit to Assam was to unite their movements.

“We will soon form a federation of the groups demanding smaller states. Our national agenda will be to defeat the UPA and NDA,” Prof Gali Vinod Kumar, convenor of Telengana JAC, said.

“There are growing demands everywhere for the creation of smaller states. But the UPA as well as NDA instead of addressing them are playing games,” Kumar alleged.

He warned that if the government fails to address the demands by the winter session of Parliament, they will intensify their agitation. Kumar said the groups demanding smaller states have also kept open the option of foraying into electoral politics by 2014 to realise their demands.

The ABSU threatened indefinite blockades on three national highways and railway routes if the “central government continues deceiving us”. The Bodos are demanding a 50-50 division of Assam.