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‘Economic blockade’ against Arunachal by Assam groups

Tarun Gogoi impressed upon Nabam Tuki to apprehend those involved in Wednesday’s killings.

Guwahati |
February 1, 2014 1:57:44 am

Two days after 10 people were gunned down by miscreants from Arunachal Pradesh inside the Behali reserved forest in Sonitpur district of Assam, several student groups of Assam Friday launched an “economic blockade” against the other state to press for arrest of the culprits.

Meanwhile, the Assam government reviewed the situation arising out of the killings on Wednesday and instructed the police and security forces to increase their presence in villages close to the inter-state boundary in Sonitpur district.  “Top officials including the additional DGP (Border) and IGP (Law & Order) reviewed the situation in Tezpur on Friday along with conservator of forest and North Assam commissioner, so that steps could be taken to allay apprehensions in the minds of the villages located close to the inter-state boundary,” said Sonitpur Deputy Commissioner Lalit Gogoi.

He said that additional forces were also sent to villages close to the inter-state boundary to instill a sense of confidence. “We have also increased the surveillance in the border areas,” Gogoi added. Hundreds of trucks carrying essential commodities and other items to Arunachal Pradesh were stranded in Sonitpur, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Tinsukia district on Friday, while a 12-hour bandh affected normal life in Sonitpur district. Protesters belonging to the AASU, AJYCP, Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association and other groups also blocked the Tezpur-Bomdila-Tawang road for several hours. While Arunachal Pradesh is connected to the rest of the country with roads passing through Assam, NH-15 and NH-715 along the north and south bank of the Brahmaputra are virtual lifelines for the land-locked state that shares international boundary with China on the north.

Most district towns of the state are also connected by roads that pass through different districts of Assam. The chief ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on the other hand had a telephonic discussion on the situation. During their conversation, Tarun Gogoi impressed upon Nabam Tuki to apprehend those involved in Wednesday’s killings.

Miscreants armed with guns numbering more than 100 had attacked and killed the 10 Assam villagers at Chaoldhowa inside Behali reserved forest, Assam Home Secretary G D Tripathi had said on Thursday. Arunachal Pradesh, however, has maintained that the incident occurred in a forest area near Sango village under Tarasso circle in Papum Pare district.  Chief Minister Tuki also described the place where the incident occurred as a “disputed area” and directed officials to ensure every possible step to defuse the tension in the area.

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