STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Siliguri, 6 January
Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), banned for years, has called a two-day 24-hour bandh in the Kampatur region that includes north Bengal and parts of Assam on 12 and 13 January, protesting against the persecution allegedly perpetrated by the two state governments against the innocent Koch-Rajbanshi people.
In a press release issued on behalf of KLO in the name of its general secretary, Kailash Koch, it is said that police have recently arrested close relatives of a deputy commander in chief of the outfit and several others on trumped-up charges. The release also warned of stern action against the Bengali refugees (Indian people) if the state governments of Assam and West Bengal do not stop the persecution of the innocent Koch-Rajbanshi people. The release further said the ‘colonial’ government has been suppressing and exploiting the people, demanding Kamtapur state since August 1949 ~ the month the Raja of the erstwhile Cooch Behar State ceded the State to India under the Instrument of Accession.
Asked for comment on the bandh and the threat, Kamtapur People&’s Party president, Atul Roy said he would not comment. “However, we do not support the terror as strategy adopted by KLO to advance the cause. Ours is a party that keeps demanding the state and recognition of the Kamtapuri language in a democratic way,” he added.
Inspector general of police, north Bengal, Jawed Shamin said they would ensure fool-proof security to preempt any subversion during the two-day bandh.