Journalists' Forum Assam has appealed to the people of northeast India to defy the militants' diktat and celebrate the forthcoming 63rd Republic Day (of India) in a befitting manner. Reacting to the boycott call by more than ten separatist armed groups, the journalist organisation urged the people to remember the sacrifice of the martyrs of India's Freedom Movement.
"We should celebrate the Republic Day (also Independence Day) to honour hundred thousand patriots and martyrs who faced all troubles to make India independent of British colonial rule," said a JFA statement issued by its president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.
It may be mentioned that at least 12 outfits including the anti-talk faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom, Coordination Committee (umbrella organisation for seven militant outfits of Manipur), Kamatapur Liberation Organisation, National Liberation Front of Tripura, Tripura Peoples' Democratic Front and Hynnewtrep National
Liberation Front had called for a general shutdown on Republic Day.
They also urged the people of the trouble-torn region to ensure the boycott of Republic Day starts from 1 am to 5.30 pm on January 26. Most of the militant outfits of northeast India have made it a habit to issue boycott call before every Republic Day and Independence Day as symbol of protest against 'New Delhi's colonial rule' in the alienated region. However, the common people have started rejecting their appeal and joining the government programmes and community celebrations on both the auspicious days.
JFA, meanwhile, has invited all journalists and patriotic citizens to participate in the R-Day celebration at Guwahati Press Club on Thursday, where the national flag will be hoisted at 11 am by a city-based senior journalist.