Karbi Anglong stir turns violent, fresh agitations planned for Bodoland, Gorkhaland
Guwahati/Darjeeling: As Telangana statehood creates ripple effect, the demand for a separate Karbi Anglong state in Assam turned violent on Wednesday and three outfits chalked out agitation plans for separate states of Bodoland, Kamatapur and Gorkhaland in the eastern region.
With the Congress and UPA giving its nod for carving out Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and BSP supremo Mayawati renewed her demand for further splitting the country's most populous state into four parts.
She has proposed splitting UP into Purvanchal, Bundelkhand, Awadh Pradesh and Pashchimanchal. The hill state of Uttarakhand was carved out of UP in 2000.
GJM general secretary Roshan Giri announced indefinite bandh in Darjeeling Hills from Saturday to press for a separate Gorkhaland state but West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee firmly ruled out division of the state.
"If there can be a Telangana state then why not a Gorkhaland? We are demanding that out 107 year-old legitimate demand (of a separate state) be fulfilled," GJM general secretary and spokesman Roshan Giri told newsmen after a party core committee meeting in Darjeeling. The three-day GJM bandh ended today.
Mamata on her part said, "Darjeeling is part and parcel of West Bengal.
"There is no question of division of West Bengal. We are united, we will be united and we will be together," Banerjee told a press conference in Kolkata.
Demanding that a separate Karbi Anglong be carved out of Assam along the lines of Telangana, agitators belonging to several organisations gheraoed the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council in Diphu and locked its main gate, official sources said.
They threw stones at the houses of Congress MP Birensing Ingti, MLA Bidyasing Engleng, Council's chief executive member Joyram Engleng and its executive member Tuliram Ronghang and damaged their property.
The agitators, who belonged to Karbi Students Association, Karbi Riso Adorba and other organisations, even broke the gate of Engleng's residence and damaged the cars parked in the compound, the sources said.
This prompted the police to fire several rounds in the air near the house but no injury to any person was reported.
At Ronghang's residence, tractors and cars parked there were set ablaze by the agitators, the sources said.
The leaders of the various organisations said the demand was made as far back as in 1951 and have threatened to continue their stir if no action was immediately taken by the Centre.
Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) chief and Bodoland Peoples Front(BPF) president Hagrama Mohilary said BPF would organise a mass rally in Kokrajhar on August 4 to put pressure on the government on Bodoland.
All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) announced a series of agitational programmes from tomorrow in protest against the Centre’s alleged discrimination against Bodos and its failure to fulfill the genuine aspirations of the indigenous people.
It has called a 12-hour railway blockade on August 2 followed by a 60-hour Assam bandh from 5 am on August 5 and a 1,000-hour economic blockade if the situation compels, its president Promode Boro said.
ABSU and the Peoples Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement (a conglomerate of 55 organisations) have been raising the statehood demand for many years.
All Koch Rajbongshi Students Union (Biswajit Roy faction) has called a 36-hour Assam from 5 am tomorrow to press for a separate Kamtapur state carved out of Assam and West Bengal.
If the demand was not conceded the union has threatened a fast-unto-death after August 15.
In the north, a Congress MP batted for the formation of Poorvanchal to be carved out of eastern UP.
Jagdambika Pal, MP from Domariyaganj in eastern UP, said he would approach Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to demand creation of Poorvanchal. Union Minister Ajit Singh's RLD is pushing hard for creating Harit Pradesh from western UP, his home turf.
"The Telengana statehood is an inspiration for us," said Ajit Singh's son and Lok Sabha MP Jayant Chaudhary.
BJP vice president Uma Bharti said Centre should form a States Reorganisation Commission to look into demands for new states and give top priority to carving out Bundelkhand.
With fresh demands being made for carving a separate state of Vidarbha out of Maharashtra, Union Minister and NCP leader Praful Patel said, "if the people of Vidarbha want a separate state NCP will be supportive of it."
Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar said his party is supportive of creating smaller states.
"Increase in the number of smaller states will not be a problem, it will only help in better governance," Nitish said.