Statehood sought for Assam’s Barak Valley

Student outfit says NRC, Citizenship Bill divided linguistic groups

Published - October 31, 2018 12:22 am IST - GUWAHATI

A students’ organisation has advocated statehood for southern Assam’s Barak Valley because of a “sharp division” between linguistic groups created by the National Register of Citizens and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Barak Valley comprising three districts — Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj — is Bengali-dominated. The relationship between the people of this valley and the Assamese-dominated Brahmaputra Valley has been ambivalent.

“Organisations such as All Assam Students’ Union, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and pro-talks ULFA are making lives of Bengalis hell over the Citizenship Bill and NRC. It would be better if Barak Valley breaks away from Assam,” Pradip Dutta Roy, advocate and founder-president of the All Cachar Karimganj Hailakandi Students’ Association, said in Silchar on Tuesday.

He also said that the Assam beyond Barak Valley should be divided into three parts — Bodoland, NC Hills-Karbi Anglong and Kamatapur — to ensure peace.

“We don’t want to hurt the Assamese people. They can live in peace all alone,” Mr. Dutta Roy said, lamenting that CM Sarbananda Sonowal’s dream of unity between Barak and Brahmaputra valleys “will remain a dream”.

AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said a few people have been driven by a divisive agenda to derail the NRC process.

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