Assam Tribals protest naked in Karbi Anglong seeking protection of rights

Assam Tribals naked protest

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Streets of Diphu in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district saw a group of tribal youths march naked on Friday. The group was protesting seeking protection of their rights allegedly being usurped by non-tribals.

Assam Tribals naked protest

The protesters included youths from 24 different organisations. The group also demanded preparation of separate electoral rolls ahead of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) elections, which are due in June.

Speaking to a local news channel, a protester said that the present voter list includes the names of several non-tribals. “We have been demanding an updated voter list for years. But the government hasn’t responded,” he was quoted as saying.

According to a release issued on behalf of the organisations, they decided to stage the nude protest to show how tribals in the district have been left “politically naked” as they have been stripped-off from their rights by the non-tribals.

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The protesters also alleged that due to dilution of provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the constitution, funds for development and government jobs have been taken away by outsiders. They also highlighted alleged corruption by those in power in KAAC and the state government.

The protesters were later dispersed by the police who informed that there were nearly 30 of them marching in semi-nude state. District Commissioner Adil Khan also informed that seven of them were completely naked. Meanwhile, a case of obscenity is being lodged against them,” district commissioner Adil Khan said.

Karbi Anglong is the largest district in Assam and enjoys autonomous status under provision of the Sixth Schedule. The population of the district is nearly 1 million as per 2011 census and comprises mainly tribes like Karbis, Bodos, Dimasas, Garos etc.

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