GUWAHATI, June 25 � The 12-hour Assam bandh called by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), in protest against the arrest of its leader Akhil Gogoi, disrupted normal life in the State today but was by and large peaceful.
Gogoi was arrested in connection with a protest at Dispur on Wednesday that turned violent resulting in the death of three persons in police firing and large-scale destruction of public and private properties by the agitators.
In the city, most of the shops and business establishments remained closed during the bandh that started at 5 am. Many vehicles � mostly private ones � however, plied on the roads while the ASTC too maintained a skeletal service of its city buses. A few city buses and trekkers run by private operators were also seen.
Today being the fourth Saturday, all State government offices remained closed. Central government offices too did not function as it was a Saturday.
Meanwhile, the KMSS, in a statement, thanked the people and various organizations for participating in the bandh �spontaneously� and making it a �success.� It also said that it always stood for non-violent struggle, and would carry forward its fight against injustice in a more vigorous manner.
It criticized the efforts of �miscreants� as well as the �police� to �disrupt� the bandh at some places.
The KMSS will undertake a �jail-bharo� programmed on June 27 as part of its ongoing agitation.
Our Correspondents add:
SIVASAGAR: The KMSS-sponsored bandh paralysed normal life in Sivasagar district today. Educational institutions barring those where examinations were held, were closed. There was no report of any untoward incidents till the time of filing this report.
In a pre-emptive measure, Sivasagar police booked six persons who tried
to protest the arrest of KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi yesterday. Works in the vital installations of ONGC and GAIL, however, continued �as usual by men in shift duties.
JORHAT: The bandh was total and peaceful in the whole of Jorhat district. Government offices and business establishments in the town remained closed during the bandh hoursand roads wore a deserted look. Likewise at Teok and Titabor too, the bandh was total and passed off peacefully.
Meanwhile, protesting against the arrest of Akhil Gogoi and demanding his unconditional release within 6 pm today, Priyada Gogoi, the aged mother of Akhil Gogoi, along with the villagers of five neighbouring villages have been conducting a 12- hour hunger strike at his birthplace at Lukhurakhon Gaon, Chelenghat here today. The programme started at 6 am and was supposed to come to an end at 6 pm. The protesters have been thinking about carrying out vigorous protest programmes like blocking the railway tracks and �thana gherao� unless the KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi was freed within 6 pm today.
The villagers also lit earthen lamps at naamghars praying for immediate release of Akhil Gogoi.
On the other hand, protesters burnt the effigy of the Government of Assam in front of police and paramilitary forces deployed there to prevent any untoward incident.
DIBRUGARH: The bandh passed off peacefully in the district where barring a few private vehicles, all modes of vehicular traffic kept off the roads. Business establishments responded to the bandh call totally. Police forces were deployed heavily to prevent any untoward incident in the entire district. School exams were, however, unaffected by the bandh.
NALBARI: The bandh evoked mixed response in Nalbari district and passed off peacefully. Though most business establishments remained closed at Nalbari town, it was partial at Barbhag and Mukalmua, Chamata and Ghograpar areas. The ongoing examinations in schools were held as per schedule. Plying of vehicles was thin on the roads.
Activists of Nalbari district Youth Congress burnt effigies of Akhil Gogoi at Nalbari Bata Chowk around 2 pm and shouted slogans against him.
TEZPUR: The bandh paralysed normal life in Sonitpur district. In major towns such as Dhekiajuli, Tezpur, Rangapara, Biswanath Chariali and Gohpur all business establishments and financial institutions remained closed. All modes of public transport went off the road. However, the half-yearly exams were held without any disturbance in the schools.
NAGAON: The bandh was total and affected normal life in the district. Almost all vehicles kept off the road barring a few private ones. Banks and other Central government establishments remained closed as did business establishments.
NSUI and Youth Congress activists burnt the effigy of Akhil Gogoi and tried to force the business houses to open but failed.
No bandh was observed in Hojai but it was total in Lanka, Nilbagan, Dabaka and other areas. Three KMSS activists� Abdul Jalil, Nurul Haque and Abdul Majid� were arrested in Nilbagan when they were holding a street-corner meeting.
DERGAON: The 12-hour bandh was total and passed of peacefully at Dergaon today. Business establishments remain closed along with banks and other offices while State government offices were closed due to fourth Saturday. No public transport vehicle was seen plying on the NH-37 and the PHCG road. All main roads wore a deserted look during the bandh. No untoward incident was reported during the day.
RAHA: The 12-hour bandh was widely felt across the town of Raha. Vehicles, both private and public, remained off�the road.� Normal life was hit as offices, shops and other business enterprises remained closed and schools and colleges did not function. Almost all the offices, including nationalized banks, post offices and other Central and the State government offices, remained closed.
The bandh supporters had exempted�all the schools of the locality where half-yearly exams were going on. No untoward incident was reported till the filing of this report.
BONGAIGAON: Today�s bandh was total and peaceful in Bongaigaon and Chirang districts, with the local people extending full support to the bandh. Shops, banks, markets, offices, educational institutions, etc., were closed. The National Highway wore a deserted look during the bandh.
DHEKIAJULI: The bandh was total and peaceful in Dhekiajuli area. All business establishments, banks, post offices, etc., were closed and except for a few private vehicles, the roads looked empty. School exams were conducted as per schedule.
MARGHERITA: The KMSS-called bandh affected normal life throughout Margherita Subdivision from Digboi to Jagun. Shops and business establishments had their shutters down at Digboi, Margherita, Ledo and other townships. Banks and other financial institutions were also closed. Public buses were off the roads.
At Digboi, the refinery, however, continued with its normal production. At Margherita also, the NECF office ran with its day�s schedule as usual; the mines too continued with their usual production. There were no reports of any untoward incident from any part of the subdivision.
BISWANATH CHARIALI: The bandh was total in Biswanath Chariali with all business establishments, banks, government offices, etc., remaining closed. However, the half-yearly exams of the schools were held peacefully. According to police, no untoward incident took place in the subdivision.