Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh on Wednesday assured groups representing the ethnic Bodo people – the largest of Assam’s plains tribes – that he would take charge of the talks on their demand to create a separate Bodoland, The Assam Tribune reported.
The All Bodo Students Union said Singh had responded positively to their demands, according to The Telegraph. The home minister chaired a 40-minute meeting involving the Centre, the Assam government and a joint Bodo delegation in New Delhi on Wednesday. The delegation comprised representatives of the All Bodo Students Union and the People’s Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement.
“We are happy with the latest initiative of the government,” All Bodo Students Union President Pramod Boro told The Assam Tribune. “They have assured us that they will consider the demand and hold frequent talks in future. We are hopeful that the Bodo people will be given justice and allowed to maintain their identity.”
The Bodo delegation made three demands: the creation of the state of Bodoland comprising districts on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra, Scheduled Tribes (hills) status for Bodos in Karbi Anglong, and land and political rights to Bodos living outside the Bodoland area, The Telegraph reported.
“We want a permanent solution to the Bodo problem,” Pramod Boro told The Assam Tribune. “It was a commitment of the BJP government in 2014 to resolve the problem. But four years have passed and we have not been able to come to a solution.”
According to the 2001 census, their population is just under 13 lakh and they account for more than 5% of the state’s population.