Absu sit-in for Bodo solution

Kokrajhar, Nov. 9: The All Bodo Students Union (Absu) staged a three-hour sit-in at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi while a 36-hour Assam bandh called by several organisations from the Bodo belt affected normal life here today.

The organisations want immediate resolution of the long-pending problems of the Bodos, including creation of a separate state of Bodoland.

The Absu submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Union home secretary R.K. Singh.

The student union is demanding a permanent solution to the Bodoland issue; protection of tribal land under the Assam Land Revenue Act, 1886 (amended in 1947) and the Sixth Schedule; implementation of Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006; upgrade of National Register of Citizens (NRC), detection and deportation of foreigners staying illegally in the state, and sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border.

In a statement, Absu president Promod Boro said the union would intensify its agitation if its demands were not met.

The Assam bandh was called by the Peoples' Joint Action Committee for Boroland Movement, a conglomeration of Bodo and non-Bodo organisations, from 5 this morning. The committee wants the Centre to expedite talks with the NDFB (Progressive) and solve the Bodoland issue during the winter session of Parliament. It also threatened to intensify the Bodoland movement.

Business establishments remained closed during the bandh and public vehicles remained off the road. Educational institutions and offices remained open, but attendance was thin. Essential services like electricity, media, medical services, milk supply and social functions like wedding, have been exempted during the bandh.