AAPSU sponsored 'Black Day' call evokes full response

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Itanagar, Feb 20 (UNI) Life in Arunachal Pradesh came to a halt today following 12-hour All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union(AAPSU)' -sponsored bandh call protesting the government's failure to rescue 39 youths allegedly kidnapped by NSCN(K) militants from Tirap district early last month.

The Black Day' was total as all government offices, educational institutions, banks, business establishments and other private offices remained closed, following state government holiday on the occasion of 22nd Statehood Day.

Vehicular traffic remained off the roads, except those of ministers, MLAs, police, magistrates and other police and civil officials, who went to Indira Gandhi Park here to attend the Statehood Day celebration. Defying the bandh call, a large turnout of public was also seen in the celebration.

The bandh, which began at 0600 hours, was largely peaceful barring a few stray incidents of stone pelting and burning of tyres by AAPSU activists, police said. The AAPSU had decided to launch a series of agitations after the ten-day ultimatum to the state government, which expired on Saturday last. The apex students' body of the state would launch its next phase of agitation as a 24-hour statewide bandh on February 29 and would further continue its agitation until its demands were met.

Lamenting over the failure of the central and state governments in controlling the worsening situation in Tirap and Changlang districts of the state, AAPSU president Kanu Bagang said that of late the two districts of Tirap and Changlang have turned into a hotbed of extortion, kidnapping and terrorist activities.

''The situation in these districts is nothing new to the government, which had failed miserably to ensure safety of the people,'' he said in order to justify the phasewise agitation.

The agitation aimed at reminding the state and central governments their responsibility and constitutional responsibilities of providing safety and security to the citizens of the state, he said.

As part of its agitation, the AAPSU would also observe social boycott against the sale of Nagaland goods in the state, including ban on the movement of all modes of transport, Bagang added.

UNI UPB LL RD 1421

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