Silchar: The 12-hour Assam bandh against the massacre of five Bengalis in Tinsukia today evoked a total response in Bengali dominated Barak Valley, Lumding, Lanka, Hojai, Nagaon, and Dhubri districts.
In rest of the state, including the state capital Guwahati, the impact has been between partial and nil.
Some places in Brahmaputra Valley witnessed sporadic violence in the form of vandalism of vehicles by bandh supporters and clashes with anti-bandh Assamese groups.
At Jogighopa in Bongaigaon district, some Assamese youths attacked the bandh picketers. At Samaguri and Kaliabor in Nagaon district, picketers damaged an Assam State Transport Corporation bus and a truck, respectively, for defying the bandh, at Mayong in Morigaon district they damaged an auto-rickshaw.
At Dalgaon in Darrang district, Maligaon, Pandu, and Kalapahar in Guwahati bandh supporters blocked the road in the morning leading to momentary tension. At Fancy Bazar and Pan Bazar in Guwahati where traders are mostly Bengali Muslims, most of the business establishments remained shut.
At Lumding, bandh supporters blocked the railway tracks leaving several express trains, including a Rajdhani Express stranded for the day.
In the three districts of Barak Valley, the bandh has evoked a total response unprecedented in the recent times. Commercial establishments, markets, private educational institute, and offices were shut and no vehicles were out on the streets.
Teachers and staff of government schools had a tough time commuting as the state government declined to reschedule Gunostav ~ an evaluation of educational institute by an external expert. In a large number of schools, neither the teachers nor the external expert could reach for want of vehicles.
In Silchar, both the BJP and the Congress workers held demonstrations in front of the deputy commissioner’s office in support of the bandh. This is despite the fact that the BJP led state government took a stand against the bandh.
Trains from Silchar to Karimganj, Dharmanagar, Agartala, Guwahati, etc, were either cancelled or rescheduled for the day.
In Karimganj, Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha and AIUDF MP Radheyshyam Biswas were detained by police for trying to enforce the bandh. At the deputy commissioner’s office, a woman bandh supporter suffered an injury in the head after a security personnel hit her in the head. She is hospitalised.
The bandh was called for by several Bengali organisations from Barak and Brahmaputra Valley. They include All Assam Chhatra Yuva Federation, Citizens Rights Preservation Coordination Committee, and Rashtrabadi Jukta Front. In Cachar district of Barak Valley, the district Congress also had joined in the bandh call.