N-E insurgents call for R-Day strike
The 16-hour general strike, called by six separatist groups, is scheduled to begin at 1.00 am on January 26.india Updated: Jan 19, 2007 12:27 IST
Six separatist groups in India's northeastern states have called for a 16-hour general strike on January 26 to protest against planned Republic Day celebrations, said a rebel statement on Friday.
The United Liberation Front of Asom, the Kamotapur Liberation Organisation, the Tripura People's Democratic Front and the Manipur People's Liberation Front - an umbrella organisation of three separatist groups in Manipur - have called for the stir in Assam, Manipur and Tripura.
The statement said: "Today, the world has come to know that India's Republic Day is the day India's constitution was imposed on the people of this region so as to legalise their colonial occupation.
"We have reiterated time and again that the destiny of the region lies only in interdependent unity and coexistence with sovereign independence and, therefore, this constitution should be rejected."
The 16-hour general strike is scheduled to begin at 1.00 am on January 26.
Militants in the insurgency-hit northeast have been boycotting India's Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations for years to protest against New Delhi's rule over the vast region rich in oil, tea and timber.
In the run-up to the events, rebels have struck at vital installations, including crude oil pipelines, trains and road and rail bridges, besides targeting federal soldiers.
Assam has been rocked by a wave of violence, killing at least 76 people this month alone. More than 30 rebel armies operate in the northeastern states, their demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy and the right to self-determination.
More than 50,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in the northeast since India's independence in 1947.