Guwahati: As many as 12 Karbi organisations have decided to boycott a seminar organised by Assam’s Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) saying that it was a ploy to defuse the growing opposition against certain clauses of the memorandum of settlement (MoS) signed by the Central government with six extremist groups of the hill district.

A seminar on “Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India, Autonomy to Autonomous Council and its headway in the perspective of Assam” is organised by the KAAC authorities at the conference hall at Arboretum-cum-Craft Centre at Matipung on November 14.

Former chief justice Ranjan Gogoi will virtually inaugurate the seminar. Justice of Gauhati High Court Soumitra Saikia, Assam’s advocate general Debajit Saikia, senior advocate of Supreme court Vijay Hansaria, and Assam government’s education advisor Dr Nani Gopal Mahanta will speak at the seminar.

On September 4, the Union government had signed a peace pact with six ultras groups – Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), United People’s Liberations Army (UPLA), Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers (KPLT-Ceasefire), Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers (KPLT- R), and Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers (KPLT-M).

“The seminar is designed not for discussion and debate but an ‘educational’ programme designed to give ‘gyan’ to the locals by the guests on the greatness of the Sixth Schedule and how the MoS signed by the six armed groups with Central and state governments will ‘empower’ and enhance’ autonomy,” former minister Holiram Terang said here on Saturday.

“It is an attempt of the KAAC to divert the attention of the Karbi people from the key issue of Autonomous State,” he said.

Majority of the indigenous organisations of Karbi Anglong have been demanding an Autonomous State comprising Karbi Anglong, West Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao under Article 244(A) of the Constitution of India.

Saying that they have received an invite for the seminar, Terang said, “All the 14 speakers, except one, are from Karbi Anglong, the main stakeholders. We are all for meaningful discussion and debate on the issue of autonomy, Sixth Schedule, and accords. But this seminar is not the one. Rather we take this seminar as a ploy to suppress the growing voice of opposition against certain clauses.”

“Moreover, the KAAC has not taken prior consent from any of the invitees whose names are printed in the invitation letter for participation in the seminar. Only telephonic information, which, too, without giving much time for preparation will be given about the seminar without any agenda or detailed programme,” the former minister said.

“This seminar is designed in such a way that the main stakeholders or those who are being governed under the Sixth Schedule and also those who will be affected by the changes proposed through the MoS will have to listen to the experts from outside but will have minimal scope to participate in the discussion and debate,” he said.

“Therefore, the aim of this seminar seems to be to subjugate the growing voices of protest against the proposed changes included in the MoS,” he added.

“Therefore, participating in such a seminar would be tantamount to surrendering the right to a proper discussion and debate and agreeing to whatever the rulers propose,” he added.

All Party Hill Leaders Conference (APHLC) president JI Kathar, Joint Action Committee for Autonomous State (JACAS) chairman Khorsing Teron, ASDC vice president Sonasing Terang, Convening Committee for Unification (CCU) vice president Robindra Rongpi, Hills Tribal League (HTL) chairman Saising Rongpi, 24+ organisation chief convenor Ratan Terang, 24+ organisation Litsong spokesperson Rongphar, Karbi Student Association (KSA) president Jemson Timung and another faction of KSA president Samson Teron are expected to boycott the seminar.

Also read: Assam: Gaurav Gogoi writes to Facebook, accuses it of spreading misinformation

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