Sunday, November 25, 2007

BPPF-R demands judicial inquiry into job card anomalies, lathicharge incident

KOKRAJHAR, Nov 24: The Rabiram Narzary-led Bodoland People’s Progressive Front (BPPF-R) has demanded that a judicial inquiry be instituted to look into gross anomalies in issuance of job cards under the NREGA and police lathicharge and shelling of tear gas shells on innocent villagers at Kachugaon development block on November 19 last besides asking the Government to take action against those police personnel who were involved in the lathicharge and blank firing incident. The party has also asked demanded for strict and exemplary punishment for those officers and staff members, including VCDC and TCLCC leaders, involved in, what it termed, the racket behind the issuing of job cards under the NREGA.The BPPF-R brought out a huge public rally in Kokrajhar on Friday against massive irregularities under the NREGA in Kachugaon development block and denouncing the lathicharge incident at Gossaigaon . The party also submitted memoranda, addressed to Union Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Asom Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Ajai Singh, through the Gossaigaon SDO(C) demanding an inquiry into the Kachugaon incident and anomalies in job card distribution. A copy of the memorandum was also forwarded to Asom Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.Speaking to mediapersons, BPPF-R general secretary Hemendra Nath Brahma said nearly 1,000 people had assembled before the office of the Kachugaon development block on November 19 demanding job cards under the NREGA. The crowd became violent when its demands were ignored by the authority. The police, in order to bring the situation under control, resorted to a lathicharge, fired tear gas shells and also fired in the air. Five persons were injured in the incident, Brahma said, adding that the authority of Kachugaon development block has deliberately refrained from issuing family job cards to applicants. He also alleged that job cards have been misused by authorities of the block development office and that money has been illegally withdrawn in the name of providing wages to the labourers.He also demanded of the State Government to pay adequate compensation to the victims of the police lathicharge.BPPF-R vice-president Kumud Rajan Basumatary also demanded that BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary, who is the chairman of BTC DRDA unit, should resign from his post for failing to contain massive irregularities in distribution of job cards under the NREGA.He also warned that his party will resort to another round of vigorous agitation in the future if the government failed to take any action in this regard at the earliest.

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