Guwahati, Aug 5: Normal life was paralysed in lower Assam and Karbi Anglong today with violence and disruption of train services, marking the beginning of bandhs by different organizations, demanding a separate Bodoland.
A 48-hour bandh by All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) and another 1500-hour Assam strike, the longest so far in the region by United Democratic Peoples Front, began during the day to press for the demand.
ABSU had initially called a 60-hour bandh, but reduced its duration in view of the coming Eid-ul-Fitr. Train and road traffic was paralysed in lower Assam as bandh supporters squatted on railway tracks at Bijni and at several places on NH 31, official sources said.
North East Frontier Railway cancelled 11 trains plying within the state, while most major long distance trains including Rajdhani Express, Saraighat Express, Kamrup Express and Brahmaputra Mail are running behind schedule, a NF Railway spokesman said.
Incidents of damaging vehicles, burning of tyres and throwing of stones were reported from Bongaigaon, Chirang, Goalpara and Sonitpur. All schools, colleges, markets, business and commercial establishments remained closed in response to the bandh call, the sources said.
The situation in trouble-torn Karbi Anglong was tense due to sporadic incidents of arson reported though curfew was relaxed for six hours from 8 AM. The sources said agitators attempted to set ablaze a forest range office at Manja, but were stopped by the security forces.
Four persons have been arrested in this connection. An all-party delegation from the district, including Congress MLAs and MPs, left for New Delhi during the day to ask Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to grant a separate Karbi Anglong state along the lines of Telangana.