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Bodoland Liberation Tiger woos non-tribals

February 15, 2003 18:49 IST

Leaders of the Bodoland Liberation Tiger are meeting the non-tribal population of the proposed Bodoland Territorial Council in order to dispel their apprehensions that they will be discriminated against.

On February 10 the BLT had signed an accord with the Centre and the Assam government, paving the way for the creation of the BTC.

"There is enough protection for the non-Bodo population in the accord. So there is no reason why there should be any fears among them. But given the tension among the people, we have deputed our vice-chairman to hold meetings with different organisations and people to remove the apprehensions," BLT chairman Hagrama Basumatary said in Kokrajhar, 250km from Guwahati, on Saturday.

The BLT chairman was speaking on the sidelines of the annual conference of the All Bodo Students Union, an organisation at the forefront of the Bodo agitation for a separate state.

The BLT's initiative came a day after five Bodo youth were hacked to death in a district that falls outside the BTC jurisdiction.

Several areas in the lower Assam district were tense after an anti-BTC accord group called SJSS called for a 36-hour bandh that ended Saturday morning.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who had come to inaugurate the conference, also assured the Bodo leadership that he would take the initiative in defusing the tension.

G Vinayak in Kokrajhar