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After clashes,Assam is hit by bandhs

Business establishments and educational institutions remained closed in much of Assam

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Guwahati |
August 28, 2012 12:39:00 am

While a 12-hour bandh called by the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad disrupted normal life across Assam,the disturbed districts,except Kokrajhar,remained relatively incident-free on Monday.

The bandh was called to protest against the violence,apart from demanding the arrest of AUDF leader and Lok Sabha member Badruddin Ajmal for allegedly inciting violence,updating the National Register of Citizens and detecting Bangladeshi infiltrators. While no untoward incident was reported from three of the four violence-hit districts,fresh violence broke out in Kokrajhar late in the evening. Business establishments and educational institutions remained closed in much of Assam.

Attendance in government offices remained low as public transport was off the roads. There was however no disruption of rail and air services. Dozens of bandh supporters were arrested by the police but later released. The Gauhati High Court had earlier declared bandhs illegal in Assam and the Northeastern states,with instructions to states to ensure such bandhs do not curtail the basic rights of the common people.

Meanwhile,Assam is heading for another bandh Tuesday with the United Movement for People’s Rights,an umbrella body of 30 organisations including the All Assam Minority Students’ Union,Jamiat-Ulema Hind and Abodo Suraksha Samiti,calling a 12-hour bandh to protest against alleged failure of the government to stop violence.

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In Chirang,where five persons were hacked to death Saturday,the All Bodoland Minority Students’ Union blocked the railway track and highway,demanding,among other things,dissolution of the Bodoland Territorial Council and arrest of Bodo People’s Front chairman Hagrama Mohilary. A BPF delegation led by Mohilary left for Delhi to press the Centre for the release of its legislator Pradip Kumar Brahma,who was arrested last week on charges of inciting violence.

The Assam government,meanwhile,asked the Army to intensify counter-terrorism operations in riot-hit Kokrajhar and Dhubri districts.

Assam Home Secretary G D Tripathi told The Indian Express the Army was called out on July 25 primarily to gave the people a sense of security. “Now the government has requested the Army to go all out against armed groups suspected to have been involved in some incidents of violence and killings,” he added. The Army has also been de-requisitioned from Chirang and Bongaigaon districts and told to concentrate on Kokrajhar and Dhubri.

Several Muslim organisations,including the Assam United Democratic Front of Badruddin Ajmal,have alleged that armed miscreants are involved in the violence but the police have not been able to arrest any so far.

Fresh violence in Kokrajhar,3 injured

A group of armed assailants swooped on Pakritol village in Kokrajhar district Monday night,fired indiscriminately on residents and set at least 10 houses on fire,the police said in Guwahati. At least three villagers were injured in the firing. ENS

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