Tezpur (Assam), Jan 27 (PTI) A stretch on the national highway connecting Assam’s Sonitpur district with Arunachal Pradesh was on Friday blocked for a brief period by people to protest against the inclusion of some villages in the Bodoland Territorial Region.
The blockade on NH-211 was made between Bhalukpong and Balipara in the district for around an hour, disrupting traffic movement, a senior police officer said.
Hundreds of people belonging to non-Bodo communities gathered outside the office of the Chariduar revenue circle officer and gheraoed it, he said.
They demanded that there be no inclusion of non-Bodo majority areas in the BTR.
The agitators protested against the announcement made by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during his Republic Day speech the previous day.
Sarma had announced the inclusion of Bodo-majority villages of Dhekiajuli, Sootea, Biswanath, Behali and Gohpur legislative assembly constituencies (LACs) in the BTR, fulfilling a longstanding demand of the community.
The decision was welcomed by the Bodos, while confusion prevailed among the people belonging to other communities as they were not aware of which villages would be transferred to the BTR.
Sootea MLA Padma Hazarika rushed to the spot and explained to the protestors that the decision was taken only for villages with over 80 per cent Bodo population.
He clarified that villages that do not have a majority of the Bodo population are not being transferred to the BTR.
On receiving the assurance from the legislator, the protestors dispersed peacefully from the area, the police officer said. PTI COR SSG BDC BDC