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Assam hit by bandhs; Asdc, bodos demand states
Correspondent DIPHU DEC 15:
Published on 16 Dec. 2009 1:09 AM IST
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Normal life remained affected in Karbi Anglong and NC Hills and parts of Assam for the second day following the 60-hour bandh called by the Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC) demanding an autonomous state comprising of Karbi Anglong and NC Hills and another 40-hour bandh called by different Bodo organisations in the six Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District Councils of lower Assam. Earlier, on Monday a 12-hour strike was called by the CPI (ML) and its Leftist allies like the ASDC (P), KSA and KNCA in support of the demand for an autonomous state. The CPI (ML) called the strike and flayed that the sitting MP from Karbi Anglong and NC Hills was playing with the sentiments of the people of the two hill districts, by maintaining a stoic silence on the floor of the parliament. The Leftist bodies have jointly submitted a memorandum to the union home minister, P.C. Chidambaram demanding creation of an autonomous state for Karbi Anglong and NC Hills as per Article 244 (A) of the Constitution of India. They further urged Chidambaram to direct Assam Government to adopt a resolution in the state assembly for creation of autonomous state for Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills like the case of Telangana. The bandh brought both the districts to a standstill, which began simultaneously at 5 am, Tuesday. United Peoples’ Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) also extended imoral support to the ongoing strikes. Amidst the 60-hour strike, another 24-hour bandh will commence from Wednesday under the sponsorship of several organizations like the Karbi Students’ Association, Central executive Committee, KAASDCOM, KARSA and KRA. The organizations have urged the Centre to re-organize Assam and create an autonomous state for Karbi Anglong and NC Hills under the ready made provision of Article 244 (A) of the Indian Constitution. The KSA, KAASDCOM, KARSA and KRA have jointly decided to launch a series of agitations to pressurize both the union and state governments for implementation of the Article 244 (A). Party workers will also simultaneously organize a hunger strike in New Delhi on December 16. The string of strikes from Monday has completely crippled Karbi Anglong, starting from educational institutions to Government offices and business establishments. Even the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council Secretariat, currently ruled by the Congress is not functioning. Only the office of the deputy commissioner was operating. Violence during NC Hills bandh The 36-hour strike in NC Hills called by a cluster of Dimasa apex bodies like the All Dimasa Students’ Union, DRDC, DPC, DKH etc demanding a separate Dimaraji statehood from Tuesday turned violent as the police and para-military forces allegedly assaulted a large number of volunteers who were trying to enforce the strike call in different places of the three districts of Barak valley. According to a joint statement issued by the All Dimasa Students’ Union and the Dimasa Peoples’ Council, two women picketers were beaten by security forces while 10 persons received injuries at Dholai, Silchar-Mizoram road. Police also took into custody more than 100 demonstrators and fired 100 rounds of bullets to disperse the aggrieved volunteers. In the Silchar–Shillong road, more than 1000 picketers blocked the highway. Also along national highway No- 54 connecting Silchar and Haflong, more than 100 demonstrators were picked up by police. The situation was further aggravated when some persons armed with sharp weapons tried to chase away the volunteers. The two Dimasa bodies have urged the people of NC Hills to maintain calm during the period of strike which has been backed by more than 50 organizations of various tribes and communities proactive in projected Dimaraji area. The ADSU and DPC also reacted sharply to the statement made by the publicity secretary of Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front, that its frontal leaders have claimed that the entire present Diphu Subdivision was a part of the erstwhile Dimasa Kingdom. “The demand of Dimaraji is fully justified as we are demanding the land that belongs to us and not an inch of soil which belongs to other,” the statement added.

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