New Delhi : Amidst strong opposition by several groups, the head of an expert committee set up by government to examine the demand for Bodoland on Tuesday postponed his visit to Assam due to ill health and the non-availability of a helicopter.

Joint Secretary (North-East) in the Ministry of Home

Affairs, Shambhu Singh, said that the chopper in which GK Pillai, the panel chief, was supposed to travel to Kokrajhar from Guwahati had developed a snag, leading to his inability to carry out the trip.

Singh also said that Home Ministry had arranged for a special plane to take Pillai, a former Union Home Secretary, to Bagdogra while a helicopter was to have taken him on his

onward journey to Kokrajhar.

“But due to ill health, Pillai could not travel and the tour has been postponed. A new date will be fixed at the earliest,” he said. Singh dismissed the suggestion that Pillai’s visit had been postponed due to opposition from several organisations, including the All Bodo Students’ Union, and calls by them for the boycott of the one-man expert committee.The one-man expert committee headed by Pillai was set up last month to study and examine the demand for a separate Bodoland to be carved out of Assam.

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