GUWAHATI, Sept 10: The Bharat bandh, called by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on Monday, affected life in Guwahati, along with rest of the State. Apart from a few sporadic incidents, Guwahati witnessed the arrest of Congress leaders and cadres who made an attempt to penetrate the barricades in front of Janata Bhawan.
The bandh was total in the most of the districts in the State. The situation was tense in front of Janata Bhawan when the leaders and cadres of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) took out a procession from the Manabendra Sarma complex at Dispur to Janata Bhawan. The Congressmen, including party’s Assam in-charge Harish Rawat and APCC president Ripun Bora, made an attempt the penetrate the barricades put up in front of Janata Bhawan by the police. There was a scuffle between the Congress cadres and the police before the latter arrested the former and took to the Bashistha police station at Khanapara. However, the protestors opted to block the National Highway at Khanapara, leading to traffic jam.
Elsewhere in the city, there were reports of stone pelting at Adabari and burning of tyres in the Narangi area. While all private buses and vehicles were off the roads, business establishments kept their shutters down in the city, including Fancy Bazar, Lakhtakia, Paltan Bazar, Panbazar, Ganeshguri, etc. There were skeleton bus services by the few ASTC buses. Long-distance buses were also off the roads. The bus terminus at Adabari wore a deserted look. All petrol depots in the city were also closed.
Meanwhile, the APCC claimed that the bandh was total. The party thanked the people of the State for, what it said, their spontaneous support to the bandh. The BJP Assam Pradesh, on the other, said that the bandh was a failure. In a statement issued to the media, the party’s general secretary Dilip Saikia said: “The people of the State defied the bandh call. The rise in prices is much less during the BJP rule than what it was during the Congress regime. The Centre is going to take steps to lower fuel prices.”
Saikia blamed the Congress for its opposition to bring fuels under GST.