Tinsukia killings: 12-hr bandh affects normal life in some Assam districts

The shutdown, which began at 5 am, mostly affected life in Barak Valley, which is predominantly inhabited by Bengali-speaking people, and parts of the Brahmaputra Valley, officials said.

Published: 03rd November 2018 02:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd November 2018 08:23 PM   |  A+A-

All Assam Bengali Youth Students Federation has called for a 12-hour shutdown in Tinsukia (Photo | ANI/Twitter)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Protestors squatted on railway tracks to block trains, attacked vehicles, jostled with the police and chanted slogans demanding action against the perpetrators of Thursday’s killings of five people in Upper Assam’s Sadiya during a 12-hour “Assam bandh” on Saturday.

The bandh, called by the All Assam Bengali Youth Students’ Federation and several other Bengali organisations as a mark of protest against the killings, paralysed normal life in several parts of the state. In Guwahati, it, however, had no effect. Initially, the bandh was called for 24 hours but later reduced to 12 hours.

The police detained scores of picketers, including an MLA and an MP, across the state. The protestors burnt tyres on the streets, took out processions and forced the closure of shops and business establishments. In some places, they picked up quarrels with groups of people opposed to the bandh.

In Central Assam’s Nagaon district, three women were injured when the protestors attacked two government-run buses with stones and bricks. 

In one incident at Amoni, a woman was injured when the bus she was travelling in, came under attack from stone-pelting protestors. The woman sustained injuries from broken window panes. In the other incident at neighbouring Samaguri, two women were injured when the bandh supporters carried out a similar attack.

In Lower Assam’s Barpeta, the protestors attacked a bus, carrying a marriage party, with stones. In Kokrajhar, also in Lower Assam, the bandh supporters attacked a bus, carrying a football team, with stones leaving some players injured.

In the railway township of Lumding in Central Assam, the bandh supporters squatted on railways tracks, thereby disrupting train services for a brief period. They were dispersed by the police.

Meanwhile, fresh FIRs were filed against around half a dozen Bengali leaders, including BJP MLA Shiladitya Dev, at some places for their recent “inflammatory” comments. 

The police on Friday had arrested two leaders of the pro-talks faction of the insurgent group United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) alleging their “inflammatory” comments had led to the carnage. However, various Assamese organisations slammed the state government for the action. They asked as to why action was not taken against the Bengali leaders.

Five people, all Bengalis, were killed when masked gunmen swooped down on a village and fired a barrage of shots on Thursday. The police had suspected the hand of the Paresh Baruah faction of ULFA in the incident. However, the outfit has washed its hands of the incident.

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