Bokajan (Karbi-Anglong District, Assam) - Tribals in Assam's Karbi Anglong District are demanding special status and land rights.
A massive rally was organised under the banner of ‘All Adivasi (Tribals) Students’ Association of Assam (AASAA)’ at Bokajan town of Karbi-Anglong district in Assam.
The district is very close to Nagaland.
The protest was triggered by the recent killing of a farmer, Sanjay Bhumji, by armed miscreants during a firing incident on June 3.
The incident had created a sense of insecurity among tribals and made them conscious about their land rights and status issues.
The farmer was killed and several other persons were injured at Naginijaan area near Mariani in the Karbi-Anglong district along the Assam-Nagaland border.
The tribals in the region claimed that the militants from Nagaland had been indulging in acts of violence in the border district of Karbi-Anglong and were also involved in illegal land grabbing.
Interacting with the reporter, AASAA President in Karbi-Anglong District Committee (KADC), Anil Toppo, demanded land rights, special recognition and a development council for the tribals.
The tribals are demanding the creation of an Adivasi Development Council within the six schedule areas of Karbi-Anglong in Assam, besides permanent land patta (rights).
For the past two weeks, the situation along the Assam-Nagaland boundary under Mariani police station has been tense, following the kidnapping of two labourers from Nagaland of Naginijan tea estate in May.
The border near Jorhat and Mokokchung in Assam has been on the boil for the past two decades. Both the States have been periodically accusing each other of violating the agreement.
While Assam claims that its neighbour has encroached upon its land, Nagaland accuses Assam of setting up police outposts in several "disputed areas."
The people continue to live under uncertainty and insecurity due to the periodic clashes.
Myriad violent insurgencies have beset India's remote northeast region, consisting of seven small states, for decades and thousands of people have been killed there since independence in 1947.
Some conflicts are campaigns for autonomy - for an entire state, a district or a tribal homeland- while others are clashes between numerous indigenous tribes, often over access to land.