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ISF member hurt in blockade programme

By Correspondent
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HAFLONG, May 3 � One Simon Hmar, aged 25 and a member of the Indigenous Students� Forum (ISF), sustained bullet injuries on Friday night when a group of the Forum members was taking part in an agitation programme near Boromuolkhoi under Harangajao police station, demanding compensation for land and properties of the people following the railway gauge conversion and the four-lane highway construction works.

The ISF had earlier served an ultimatum to the authorities engaged in the BG conversion and Mahasadak projects till April 30 to settle the issue and called for a strike against the construction activities from May 1.

The injured youth was brought to the Haflong Civil Hospital on Saturday morning and his condition is stated to be stable. The police have started investigation as to find out who fired at the agitators.

Meanwhile, Dima Hasao Deputy Commissioner Juri Phukan rushed to the hospital to enquire about the health condition of Simon and assured that the district administration would bear all the expenses for the treatment of the injured youth.

Later on Saturday, she convened an urgent meeting with the ISF members, Railways and NHAI authority, army officials, revenue officials, and the police administration at her office conference hall.

Attending the meeting, David Keivoum, president, ISF sought time-bound assurance from both the Railways and the NHAI to clear all the pending compensation to the affected people by making proper assessment of the damage caused due to the BG conversion works and the East-West Corridor project in Dima Hasao. He also demanded a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the injured youth, besides a job according to his qualification.

Speaking in the meeting, Dima Hasao SP GV Shiva Prasad disclosed that the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has informed him that at about 12 midnight when a goods train was passing through Boromuolkhoi, there was heavy stone pelting which hit the driver and also damaged some portion of the engine. Following this, the on duty RPF personnel opened fire in their self-defence.

Siim Taro, ADC and the nominated officer for the assessment of the damage due to BG conversion works and the East-West Corridor project, alleged that both the Railways and the NHAI were found to be non-cooperative on many occasions and appealed them to cooperate with the district administration to sort out this long pending demand of the affected people of the area.

After the representatives of the Railways and the NHAI in the presence of the Deputy Commissioner assured the delegates of the ISF to mitigate their demands within two months, the ISF called off their agitation programme of blockade.

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