HAILAKANDI, Jan 21 � The 12-hour Hailakandi district bandh from 5 am today, called by District Congress Committee, passed off peacefully. The bandh was called demanding inclusion of Gautam Roy in the Tarun Gogoi-led State Ministry.
Police said 791 picketers were arrested from different parts of the district. More than 400 picketers, including 100 women, were arrested from Gautam Roy�s constituency Katlicherra. They were later released after 5 pm.
Various minority organisations of Hailakandi district, including the All Assam Madrassa Students� Association (AMSA) and Northeast India Nadwatut Tamir, extended support to the bandh. Government offices, financial institutions, educational institutions and business establishments remained closed during the bandh hours and surface communication was totally disrupted. No untoward incident has so far been reported from any part of the district, police said.
Hailakandi District Congress Committee president Ashok Duttagupta said that they will intensify their agitation and would also call an indefinite bandh from January 24 if Gautam Roy is not included in the Ministry.
The bandh supporters burnt the effigy of APCC chief Anjan Dutta in different places of the district and blocked the National Highway 154 by burning tyres at various places.
Meanwhile, all the top office-bearers of Lala and Katlicherra Mandal Congress Committee today handed over their resignation letters to the district president in protest against the sacking of Gautam Roy from the Gogoi Ministry. All the elected Panchayat representatives of 62 gaon panchayats of Hailakandi district have also threatened to resign if Roy is not included in the ministry.
It may be noted that three Gautam Roy supporters had on Tuesday tried to self immolate at Katlicherra. Police intervened and controlled the situation. Former MLA of Algapur, Rahul Roy strongly condemned the removal of Gautam Roy from the ministry and said that the development of Barak Valley will be halted due to the absence of Roy as a Minister.