Adivasi, tea tribes blockade effects life in Assam

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Guwahati, Dec 3: Vehicular traffic was affected on all national highways in Assam due to road blockades called by the adivasi and tea tribe students' associations.

No untoward incident has, however, been reported so far, after the state government issued strict instructions yesterday to DCs and SPs to ensure law and order during the blockade period.

The blockade was called by All Adivasi Students' Association of Assam(AASAA) and All Assam Tea Tribe Student's Association(AATTSA) demanding ST status for adivasis and tea tribes in the state.

An AASAA-sponsored rally in Guwahati on November 24 had turned bloody after protestors clashed with locals and the state had witnessed much tension since then.

Today's blockade had incited fears of resumption of violence as the protestors could take up force to enforce the blockade. However, the state government had made its stand firm that no protestor would be allowed to take law in their own hands, though the government will not disallow a democratic protest.

The blockade had affected administrative functioning in the tea belts and traffic in most other parts.

AASAA and AATTSA supporters were reported to have gathered in large numbers in several parts of eastern Assam and lower Assam's Kokrajhar district, predominately adivasi and tea tribe inhabitant areas.

The Bodoland districts also witnessed a 24-hour bandh today.

The bandh was called by the Bengali Youth Federation, against the setting ablaze of a marriage party bus by miscreants during a strike last week.

Meanwhile, the situation was returning to normalcy in Rangapara area of Sonitpur district, which had witnessed violence during an adivasi protest rally on November 28.

Sonitpur DC Kamal Goswami informed that the indefinite curfew in the area was relaxed by three hours today from 1400 hours and the situation was under control.

Meanwhile, another 72-hour Assam bandh called by Birsa Commando Force from tomorrow against the November 24 clashes and demanding unconditional release of adivasi leaders held that day has been called off.

Deputy commandant of the outfit, in ceasefire with the government now, informed that the bandh was called off in response to an appeal made by state Education Minister Ripun Bora.


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