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22 Apr 2017

300 youths Nude protest for revision of electoral rolls

Protesters march in Diphu on Friday. Picture by UB Photos
Sarat Sarma, TT, Nagaon, April 21: More than 300 youths today marched nude to the Karbi Anglong deputy commissioner's office here demanding revision of electoral rolls for the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council election in May to prevent outsiders from casting votes.
The protesters, led by 24 social organisations, gathered near the council office at Rangnihang around 1.30pm and started marching towards the deputy commissioner's office in the heart of the town, carrying banners and shouting slogans.
"As the defective rules of 1951 are still used by the council and the state government, migrants have taken away the political power of indigenous communities granted by the Constitution. The communities, who were covered with a protective law, are now politically naked. Hence we decided to carry out this naked demonstration," a protester said.
However, they fled after a team of police and administration officials, led by assistant commissioner J. Doimary, reached the site.
Deputy commissioner Adil Khan said the protesters did not take permission for the rally. "A case has been registered against the protesters and the police have launched a search for the rallyists," he said.
He said the revision of the electoral rolls had been completed according to guidelines and there is no question of another revision. "The protesters have the right to take part in the democratic system of electing a leader and forming a council," Khan said.
The organisations later issued a press release mentioning three reasons for the protest - revision of electoral rolls before the council election to prevent outsiders from voting in the council election, measures from the government to safeguard rights of indigenous communities and an end to the corruption in the council.
"The political leaders in the KAAC (Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council) and in the state government are siphoning off all public money and many of them are living an immoral life," the release said.
A council source, however, claimed that Opposition parties are behind the nude protest to tarnish the image of the Tuliram Ranghang-led council.

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