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Assam bandh hits normal life in State

By The Assam Tribune

GUWAHATI, July 23 - The 12-hour Assam bandh called by the six communities in protest against the Central Government�s recent backtracking on the Scheduled Tribe issue affected normal life in the State. Reports filed by are correspondents are as under:

In Udalguri: Along with other parts of the State, the 12-hour Assam bandh called by the six communities demanding ST status was total and passed off peacefully, our Correspondent adds.

During the bandh hours, no vehicular traffic was seen plying over NH-15 in Rowta, Orang, Tangla and Kalaigaon. Only light vehicles were seen plying in between Udalguri and Bhairabkunda, besides Udal-guri and Rowta. Business enterprises and markets downed their shutters during the bandh hours. No untoward incident was reported during the bandh.

In Jorhat, Golaghat, Sivasagar & Charaideo: Normal life was completely paralysed today in the Upper Assam districts of Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar and Chariadeo today following the 12-hour Assam bandh call given by All Tai Ahom Students� Union (ATASU) and supported by five other tribal organisations from 5 am.

The bandh call was given to protest against the alleged dilly-dallying of the Centre in granting ST status to six indigenous tribes of the State.

Official sources said that business establishments, educational institutions, banks and commercial houses remained closed, while vehicular traffic kept off the roads, except a few private vehicles. Government offices witnessed almost nil attendance.

Activists blocked National Highway-37, the lifeline of Upper Assam in many places by burning tyres, sources stated.

The protesters with anti-Government posters and placards in their hands shouted slogans against the Narendra Modi-led Government at the Centre and also against the Sarbananda Sonowal-led Government.

Huge contingents of police and para-military forces were deployed at most of the places to tackle any untoward incident, sources said.

No major untoward incident was reported till 5 pm, a senior police official in Jorhat said. He added that a protester was detained in Jorhat after he reportedly threw a stone at a shop in the Old Balibat area of the city.

In Kokrajhar: The Assam bandh called by the Soi Janagosthiyo Aikya Manch in protest against the alleged betrayal by the Central and State governments in conferring ST status affected normal life in entire Kokrajhar district today, our Correspondent adds.

All shops and business establishments, besides financial institutions remained closed during the bandh. Vehicles were off the road. No untoward incident was reported till the time of filing this report.

In Dibrugarh: The Assam bandh called by the six communities (Soi Jonogustiyo Aikya Mancha) in protest against failure of the Central Government to accord them Scheduled Tribe status, passed off peacefully in the district, our Staff Correspondent adds.

The shutdown call evoked total response in the region as all commercial establishments, public conveyances, financial and educational institutions were paralysed.

Significantly, the bandh which was initially imposed for 48-hours from 5 am today, was restricted to 12-hours only.

Picketers were reportedly seen on the streets trying to obstruct movement of vehicles by burning tyres at several places like Lahoal, Dikom, Chabua, Borborooah, Duliajan and in the city here. The communities that called the bandh included Moran, Muttock, Koch Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom, Chutia and the Adivasi tea tribes. These communities have been demanding that the Government enlist them as Scheduled Tribes.

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