Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Assam government declares bandhs illegal

Assam government declares bandhs illegal
Clean Media Correspondent

GUWAHATI, Aug 29 (CMC) With the Centre worried over some organisations trying to stoke social tension by calling bandhs in Assam where continuing violence has claimed 88 lives, the state government today officially declared all shutdowns as illegal. 

Ninety per cent of violence in the state was due to frequent bandh calls which have also crippled the economy, government spokesman and senior minister Nilomoni Sen Deka told reporters here after the decision against bandhs was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. 

"I appeal to civil societies and NGOs not to call bandhs which disrupt public life," he said. 

Meanwhile, the army, assisting the civil administration in violence-hit districts, would be used for seizing illegal arms. 

"The army is out and is helping us. It has been given full powers to seize illegal arms and ammunition and I believe we will get results very soon," Gogoi said. 

The army has been put in action in Chirang and Bongaigaon districts and would soon conduct similar operations in the other districts, he said. 

The army, engaged in counter-insurgency operations in the state, was requisitioned by the state government from July 25 to assist the civil administration in quelling violence in lower Assam. 

Tension prevailed in the affected districts following widespread violence in different parts of the state during yesterday's bandh called by the All Assam Minority Students' Union with security forces maintaining a strict vigil, official sources said. 

Night curfew was continuing in Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts, they said. 

Indefinite curfew was also clamped in Tezpur in Sonitpur district from 5 pm following assault of a local journalist.

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