Protest in Assam district leaves thousands stranded

Guwahati, Jan 26 : Protests continued in Assam's Dima Hasao district as two of the nine persons injured in Thursday's police firing died on Friday.

A mob also stopped a train, leaving thousands of people stranded.

The Silchar-Guwahati passenger train was stopped at the New Haflong railway station.

The agitating organisations called for a 48-hour bandh in Dima Hasao starting Friday after nine persons were injured on Thursday as a mob clashed with the police over an alleged Central government move to set up a satellite council for the Nagas in the district.

Hundreds of people also blocked the tracks at Manderdisa railway station and New Haflong railway station, affecting the movement of trains in the hill stretch which is the lifeline of the people of Barak Valley.

Assam Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay said the situation was under control.

"However, the curfew that had been imposed yesterday (Thursday) continues in Maibong and other adjoining areas.

Two of the persons, who were injured in police firing, lost their lives today," the DGP said.

Chief Public Relations Officer of Northeast Frontier Railway Pranav Jyoti Sharma said the Railways was waiting for security clearance from the state government to bring back the stranded passengers from New Haflong.

"On Thursday, close to 3,000 passengers were stranded in Maibong after the locals blocked the tracks.

They were sent to their destinations late on Thursday," said Sharma.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has ordered a probe into the Thursday incident by Additional Chief Secretary V.B.


He has also asked Excise Minister Parimal Suklabaidya and Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta to visit the district on Saturday.

Dima Hasao has been witnessing protests since the last few days after rumours spread that part of the hill district will have a satellite council for the Nagas under the peace talks between the Central government and the NSCN-IM.

The NSCN-IM has been demanding the unification of the "land of the Nagas" -- by slicing off Naga-inhabited areas of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur to form a Greater Nagaland.

Several social organisations have in the recent past demonstrated, saying that while they were not against Greater Nagaland they are against inclusion of Dima Hasao in it and also the establishment of a satellite council in the district.



Source: IANS