Tura, Sep 29: Continuing their demand for a separate autonomous Council in Assam, Garos of Kamrup and Goalpara district of Assam today held a meeting and rally to highlight the step-motherly treatment of the tribe by the Assam government as well as the negligence shown to them.
The meeting was held today at the village of Bakrapur near Damra under Goalpara district and saw the presence of a huge number of NGO leaders as well as the local population of Garos who came together to continue their demand for a separate Council for themselves.
“We (Garos) are one of the indigenous tribes of Assam living in different places since time immemorial. Yet today we are the most neglected by the government,” said NGO leader of AAYF, Crossbell Marak.
The meeting questioned as to how despite getting tribal status much earlier than other tribes, they were still denied an Autonomous Council (AC).
“We have been struggling for the same type of AC already granted to the other tribal brethren of Assam. Our AC can be created by excluding all the Garo villages from Goalpara and Kamrup district from the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council,” the leaders added.
The rally and meeting today was attended by all Garo bodies including the GACJMC, GNU, GNC, AAYF, ASYFI, GWF and GNU Youth Wing.
“When we took up the matter with the previous Assam government, under the leadership of Tarun Gogoi, we were repeatedly assured of a Garo Autonomous Council. He also assured us of the same in his Budget speech in Assam Assembly session on August 11th 2014 and continued his assurances in all his public speeches thereafter,” added AAYF president, Crossbell Marak.
The delegation was also assured on the same subject by the present CM, Sarbananda Sonowal on Mar 1, 2017. However ever since the assurance, the CM has not been available, despite several attempts to meet him.
“We feel very strongly about our demand as we have our own identity, custom, language and traditions which are different from other tribes. What sin have we done to the Assam government? Why can’t the Assam government create Garo Autonomous Council,” asked the leaders present?
Meanwhile the meeting today also felicitated the 17 people from the tribe who were arrested by the Assam police over their call for a transportation bandh call, a few days ago.
“We will stand by our demand for an AC and if the Assam government does not respond, we will take stronger steps of protest in the coming days,” added the leaders.