Former KLO activists demand promised home guard jobs

Cooch Behar: Former activists of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) and KLO Link Men members demonstrated in front of the Cooch Behar District Magistrate’s Office on Tuesday, demanding jobs in the capacity of home guards.

They gathered in front of the Cooch Behar district administration office to present their memorandum following the demonstration. A memorandum was submitted to the Additional District Magistrate of the district. Their main demand is to be reintegrated into the mainstream with jobs they were promised by the state government. Tushar Kanti Roy, one of the protesters, said: “We were once KLO members and KLO Link Men. Now we are back in the mainstream. We were promised jobs as Special Home Guards. While 400 people have already been employed, 141 of us are still without jobs. We demand that these positions be filled as soon as possible.

We are worried about our livelihoods and how to support our families. The Additional District Magistrate has assured us that he will consult with higher authorities and asked us to return in seven days. If we don’t receive a positive response, we will escalate our protests.” The KLO had launched an armed struggle to form a Kamtapur State comprising districts of North Bengal and Assam. The outfit was banned in 1997.

Since then they have been constantly changing base from the jungles of Bhutan to Bangladesh and recently were hiding in the jungles of Myanmar. Later many of the militants surrendered and were offered jobs by the Bengal government thus returning to the mainstream of the society.

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