The South Asian Times

18 January 2019 11:06 AM

Bandh, blockade affects normal life in Assam

Guwahati, Oct 28: Normal life was affected in almost all districts of Assam Monday following a 12-hour shutdown called by the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and four of its affiliated organizations.

A separate blockade was also called by several non-Bodo organisations here in support of their demands.

The AGP and Asom Yuva Parishad, Asom Mahila Parishad, Asom Krishak Parishad and Shram Parishad called for a 12-hour shutdown from 5 a.m. protesting against the failure of the Congress government in checking price rise of essential commodities, preventing atrocities on women and maintaining law and order across the state.

Vehicular traffic remained off the road in most of the districts during these hours while business establishments also remained closed during the day. Schools, educational institutes and government offices were, however, remained open in most of the places.

There was, however, no impact on trains and flights. A spokesman of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) said that most of the inbound and outgoing trains maintained their regular schedule.

An official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) airport near Guwahati also said that flight services remained unaffected.

Police said there were incidents of stone pelting in vehicles plying on the roads in some areas of the state during the bandh and supporters tried to block roads at some locations by burning tyres.

Assam Yuva Parishad president Sunil Rajkonwar said that over 100 of the picketers belonging to the AGP and the other organizations were detained by the police in Guwahati, Jorhat, Dhubri, Morigaon and other places.

"The government has failed in all aspects and failed to fulfil the aspirations of the people of the state. The police today detained over 100 peaceful picketers of our organization in various places. We condemn this attitude of the government, which is aimed at suppressing democratic voice of the people," he said.

Meanwhile, Anaboro Suraksha Samiti -- a conglomeration of several non-Bodo organizations -- also held blockades in Guwahati demanding exclusion of non-Bodo villages from the Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts (BTAD), where the administration is run by an autonomous Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).

Hundreds of members and supporters of these organizations blocked the highway at Jalukbari and Amingaon shouting slogans in favour of their demands. They also expressed opposition to any further division of Assam into separate states as raised by certain communities recently.

The situation went beyond control at two places, leading to police firing tear gas shells and carrying out baton charges injuring several protestors. Police also detained 12 leaders and over 300 protestors of these organizations to control the situation.

Senior Superintendent of Police (City) A.P. Tiwari, however, said that the Anaboro Suraksha Samiti had earlier applied for permission to hold a blockade at Jalukbari to raise their protest over several issues. Their application was rejected by the administration on various grounds.

"However, the organization went ahead with the agitation forcing us to apply minimum force to control the situation," he said adding that the situation was brought under control later in the day.

Update: 28 Oct, 2013