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Draft Bill against bandhs, strikes almost ready


GUWAHATI, Sept 25 - The home and political department is all set to place the legislative draft proposal of �The Assam Prevention of Unconstitutional Bandh Bill� in the next Cabinet meeting of the State government for its approval, as per which calling or participating in bandhs or strikes may invite imprisonment or fine or both.

The draft Bill aimed at preventing loss of human life and property, besides huge revenue loss caused to the State exchequer, has provisions for punitive action against those calling bandhs, strikes or blockades.

Official sources told The Assam Tribune that consultations with all the line departments are over and the draft Bill in most likelihood will be placed in the next Cabinet meeting.

�Apart from imposition of fine, the violator would also be responsible for any kind of losses caused or damage inflicted on public and private property,� sources pointed out.

Once the Cabinet approves the draft Bill, it would be tabled before the State Assembly in the next session for approval to make the anti-bandh law a reality in Assam.

Principal Secretary, Home and Political, LS Changsan told this reporter that the draft Bill may be placed in the next Cabinet meeting for its approval.

�The department has worked meticulously on the draft. It is a very important Bill directly related to security of human life and property, besides the loss caused to the State revenue. Bandh will be unconstitutional as per the proposed law,� Changsan said.

The Gauhati High Court had already declared bandhs as illegal and asked the Assam government to take stern action against those declaring bandhs, although there has hardly been any let up in the trend even after that.

The draft Bill, according to sources, has also provisions for penalising government employees if they abstain from duty during any such bandh call.

RS Joshi, former chairman of the FINER, who has been raising his voice against bandh culture, said the bandhs or any kind of strike do not send the right signal outside and an deterrent law is a must.

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