Guwahati: Opposing the demand to carve out Barak Valley from Assam, the banned militant organisation ULFA (Independent) on Sunday asked the Bengali-speaking population in the state to clarify their position on the issue within 60 days.
The group issued a warning that the entire Bengali-speaking population in the state would be held accountable for any (future) “untoward incident” if the Bengalis failed to make their positions on the matter clear within 60 days.
The Chief Convenor of the Barak Democratic Front (BDF), an organisation centred in the Barak Valley, was criticised by Rumel Asom, a member of ULFA-I’s publicity wing, for rallying support for the creation of a new state in the Barak Valley.
An e-mail statement from the outlawed group said: “Various communities in Assam have been living in harmony and in unity. But Pradip Dutta Roy has been trying to create a division among people by raising the demand for separating Barak Valley. He has no right and his forefathers have no contribution to the protection of the Barak Valley from Partition. We will, in no circumstances, allow division of Assam.”
In southern Assam’s Barak Valley, which includes the districts of Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi, Bengali-speaking Hindus and Muslims are in the majority.
Of 126 Assembly seats, 13 lie in the Barak Valley region.
Many residents of the three districts claim that as most elected officials come from the Assamese-dominated Brahmaputra Valley, the region has been ignored.
The demand for a separate state is the result of this unhappiness.
Even as Bengalis comprise about 30 per cent of Assam’s population (3.2 crore), they are under-represented in the Brahmaputra Valley.
The ULFA (Independent) vehemently opposes the demand for splitting apart the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley from Assam as a separate state.