Parts of Assam have witnessed sporadic protests for the last couple of days, with several people belonging to non-Bodo communities protesting against the recent decision of the state government to include 60 villages in the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).
Yesterday, people burnt tyres on streets against the inclusion of Gohpur in the BTR. The protesters blocked the National Highway, and raised slogan against the decision.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, during the Republic Day celebrations, said the government had decided to include villages which have at least 80 percent Bodo population in the BTR.
"There can be no hindrance as far as inclusion of Bodo villages in BTR is concerned. If Bodo villages get included in BTR, then there is nothing to oppose," Ms Sarma said.
Protests started in several parts of the state soon after the big announcement, demanding the withdrawal of the decision.
"We are against this decision. We don't want to be included in the BTR. How can the government take such a decision which is against the will of the people. We demand the withdrawal of the decision. If they don't do it, we will intensify our protest," said an agitated protester.
Altogether, 60 villages in Dhekiajuli, Behali, Sootea, Gohpur, and Biswanath, with 80 per cent or more Bodo population, will be included in the BTR.
It is part of the state government's commitment to implement the Tripartite Bodo Accord signed in January 2020 for permanent peace in the Bodoland region.
On January 28, a 12-hour Sonitpur bandh was called by two students' organisations in protest against the Assam government's decision.