'Give constitutional rights to indigenous people'
Indigenous people at a press conference held at Rajshahi Public Library auditorium yesterday demanded constitutional recognition to the indigenous people.
At the press conference organised by the committee comprising 15 indigenous organisations to celebrate 153rd anniversary of Santal revolution day also raised a 14-point demand.
The demands include a separate land commission for indigenous peoples, formation of a separate ministry for the plain land indigenous people, introduce the indigenous children' mother tongue as the medium of their primary education, ensure indigenous people's quota in higher education and government service, establish indigenous education, culture and research centre in indigenous area, distribute 'khas' land among the indigenous people, recognition of indigenous freedom fighters, ensure indigenous representative in local and national election and ensure indigenous participation in Special Affairs Division.
Santal revolution day celebration central committee Secretary General Hopna Kisku, who read out a written statement on the occasion, announced a four-day Santal revolution day programme at Naogaon, Dinajpur, Chapainawabganj and Rajshahi.
The programmes include discussion, colourful rally, placing of wreath at the graves of Santal heroes, archery and drama depicting the life and culture of indigenous people.
The first day programme will start at Naogaon tomorrow.
The committee will also award 'Sidhu-Kanu Award' after the names of two brothers, Sidhu and Kanu, who spearheaded the Santal Hul (revolution).
The committee urged all the indigenous people of northern region to hold the programmes unitedly and peacefully.
The indigenous leaders urged the government to implement the demands of the indigenous people.
Indigenous leader Everest Hemrom, Bangapal Sarder, Sudev Malo, Noresh Orao, Bengamin Hasda and Jogendra Nath Saran also addressed the press conference.