Will Telangana effect put northeast on the boil?

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Bangalore, July 31: The UPA government's decision to form Telangana in south India has given fresh impetus to similar movements in the northeast besides northern West Bengal.

While the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has already started a 72-hour strike in the Darjeeling hills, the All Bodo Students Union (Absu) has threatened to begin an agitation on August 2 against New Delhi's alleged discrimination against the Bodo people.

Meanwhile, one faction of All Koch Rajbongshi Students Union (AKRSU) has called a 36-hour strike in Assam starting on 5 am on Thursday demanding a separate Kamtapur state out of West Bengal and Assam.


A demand for a separate state encompassing Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts was also making the rounds also there was no agitation planned yet.

The Absu, although welcomed New Delhi's move to concede Telangana, expressed discontent over the latter's reluctance to carve out a Bodoland state in the northeast. Its protest will start with a 12-hour railway blockade and it will be followed by a 60-hour Assam strike between August 5-7. It has also planned to start a 1,000-hour economic blockade after the Eid celebrations. It will be the first strike called by Absu in several years.

The Absu alleged that whenever its leaders took up the matter with New Delhi, the latter always ignored it. It said three states were created in 2000 (Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh) but the demand for Bodoland was ignored.

Absu chief Promode Boro said they were not demanding change in the nation's boundary but just a redrawing of internal territories under constitutional provisions.

Sources said leaders of Peoples Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement and the NDFB (Progressive) will meet their Absu counterparts on Wednesday to plan a united movement demanding Bodoland.

The AKRSU also welcomed the Telangana move and sought the creation of Kamtapur state. Its leadership has set August 2 as the deadline for the government and will go on strikes and fast-unto-death programme.

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