Civil society vents anger against frequent blasts and violence

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Guwahati, Nov 04 (UNI) For the first time the common masses have found their voice against the frequent blasts and violence in the form of unprecedented spontaneous protests following the devastating serial blasts that jolted Assam on October 30.

Expressing their craving for peace, numerous candle light and silent processions were taken out by the civil society in several parts of the state. Most of them were unorganised, but people from all walks of life took part in these protests.

''This is the final call. If the civil society does not wake up now, it will never,'' former Mayor of Guwahati Balen Bharali said.

He, however, feared that public memory was short and people may forget the devastation soon and get on with their lives.

Prayer meetings for the blast victims and other rituals were being observed in each of the blast sites.

Meanwhile, politicians were becoming the popular target of anger and they were now afraid to venture out freely.

''We do not want any politician to come here. There should not be any politics on the ashes of the blast victims. We have endured enough of that but not anymore,'' senior lawyer Nekibur Zaman said, as even the lawyers booed BJP leader L K Advani during his visit to Assam the day after the blasts.

However, while Mr Advani, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had already visited the blast sites, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi toured the sites much later and that too after imposing curfew.

''We have seen enough of these politicians. They are only interested in protecting their vote bank. None of them can actually do anything to stop the jehadis,'' Paremshwar Baishya, whose shop was destroyed in the blast, said.

Meanwhile, there are reports of outpouring of help to the victims. Some doctors offered free services, while others offered monetary aid and medicines as the civil society has so far shown rare unity in this hour of crisis.

''We must not stop short at only condemning the vioelnce in strongest terms. The civil society must do much more than that,'' Dr Noni Gopal Mahanta, a professor of Guwahati University, said.

Even the Chief Minister admitted that the anger was spontaneous.

''I can understand their anger. I can understand their pain. But that does not mean that the people should attack government property,'' he said.

Immediately after the blasts, people attacked government property and damaged at least four fire tenders for delay in arrival.

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