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Bodos Oppose Move To Disinvest, Privatise Bongaigaon Projects


The proposed move to disinvest Bongaigaon refinery and petrochemical limited (BRPL) and privatise Bongaigaon thermal power station (BTPS) has been opposed by a major section of Bodos currently demanding a separate state for the plains tribes of Assam.

The two units are located in the area claimed by the Bodo groups, and were set up in land earmarked for tribals.

It is alleged that the proposed move would adversely affect the livelihood of Bodos..

In a memorandum to Union minister for petroleum Janeswar Mishra, the Bodoland state movement council (BSMC) has said the units had been set up after dispossessing the tribals of their land and evacuating them to other areas.

We can never tolerate any dubious and dangerous private industrialist...who may resort to damage the potentialities for setting up various downstream industrial projects and industries within Bodoland area or divert the cost of the local peoples larger interest, BSMC chief S K Bwiswmuthiary, said.

He wanted the govermment not to go ahead with the proposal to sell 50 per cent of BRPL shares to private parties, and also sought the immediate cancellation of the move to hand over naptha produced in Numaligarh refinery to Reliance industries ltd.

In a separate memorandum to Union power minister Y K Alagh, the BSMC chief who recently attended the tripartite talks on the Bodo issue, condemned the reported move to lease out BTPS to an American company, and said any such move would be opposed strongly.

Meanwhile, in the first ever strike on foreign soil, Bodo ultras attacked a police station in Bhutan killing four policemen and looting a huge amount of arms and ammunition on Saturday, official reports said in Guwahati yesterday.

About 35 armed bodo militants sneaked into the neighbouring country and shot dead three non-commissioned officers (nco) and a Bhutan police constable and injured two others while they were on morning physical training, the report said. The incident occurred near Nanglang police station in the countrys Samdrup Zankhar district, 60 km north of Pathsala sub-division of Assams Nalbari district.

First Published: Mon, September 29 1997. 00:00 IST