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Autonomous council for TE communities demanded
Staff Correspondent
 DIBRUGARH, Sept 11 - Barely a week after Assam’s most backward communities of the plantations were bypassed by the State government in the creation of three autonomous councils for three ethnic groups, leading plantation-based organisations and trade unions forged an association cutting across differences and political affiliations in demanding an autonomous council for the greater community of tea plantations.

 At a meeting held at Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) on Wednesday, former Union Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar underlined the importance of unity for allround uplift of the tea garden communities. The meeting was presided over by former Minister Prithibi Majhi.

Leaders who attended the meeting included Israel Nanda, Raju Sahu, Atuwa Munda, Shiva Tanti, Boldev Teli, Rupesh Goalla, Manoj Dhanowar, Nabin Keot, Rabi Barla, Lobin Karmakar, Rajesh Ekka, Durgavati Sona and a few representatives from the All Adivasi Students’ Association of Assam and Santal Students’ Union, a release stated.

The meeting, while welcoming the creation of three autonomous councils for Moran, Mottock and Koch Rajbongshi communities, said that the communities residing in the tea gardens also deserve an autonomous council as they are socio-economically and educationally backward.

Following a lengthy discussion among the leaders, the meeting resolved to mount pressure on the government for the creation of an autonomous council for the communities in tea gardens.

Accordingly, the meeting, in a bid to carry forward the demand, formed a convening committee under the banner of Tea Tribes Adivasi Autonomous Council Demand Committee, Assam.

The meeting resolved that the State government must consider creating a separate autonomous council for the tea garden population.

Among other issues, the meeting also urged the BJP-led State government to fulfill its last poll promise of Rs 351 daily wage to the tea garden workers.

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