12 Hour Assam Bandh Called by All Tai Ahom Students’ Union Paralyzes Normal Life Across the State

Assam Bandh


Kokrajhar, July 23: The 12-hour Assam bandh called by ATASU and supported by AKRSU and six communities to demand inclusion of their communities in the ST list, passed off peacefully with mixed response in Kokrajhar on Monday. In Kokrajhar, government offices functioned normally and all private vehicles were seen plying on the road while shops and other business establishments remained closed during the bandh. Trucks on the national highway passed with police escort. No untoward incident was reported in the district.

DEMOW: The Assam bandh called on Monday by the Janagosthiyo Aikya Manch, a forum of six ethnic communities, in protest against the Centre’s delay in granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the six ethnic communities of Assam, was successful in Demow.

All shops and banks remained closed and normal life was paralyzed. In the morning, the All Tai Ahom Students’ Union (ATASU), Demow Regional Committee activists burnt tyres on the NH-37 road in Gajali near Demow and shouted various against the Central and State governments. On the other hand, in Bokota near Demow, the different regional committees of ATASU burnt tyres and shouted various slogans against the Central and State governments. However, no untoward incident took place during the bandh in Demow. Though the Janagosthiyo Aikya Manch had called for a 48-hour bandh earlier, keeping in mind the inconvenience faced by people, the bandh period was reduced to 12 hours.
JORHAT: The bandh was total in both the districts of Jorhat and Majuli as all big and small vehicles remained off the road. Bandh supporters forced businessmen to close down the shutters of their shops and even burnt tyres on roads. They shouted slogans against the Sarbananda Sonowal government and said that they would not rest until all the six communities get ST status. They also warned the government that it should be ready to face the consequences in the 2019 election if their demand was not fulfilled. Moreover, ferry services to and from Majuli and the two ghats in Neematighat were called off on Monday morning while small and big passenger vehicles from Neematighat to Jorhat also remained off the road. Attendance in government offices, including the Deputy Commissioner’s office, was thin due to non-availability of public transport vehicles.

JOYSAGAR: In protest against the Union government’s delay in granting ST status to the six ethnic communities of Assam, the All Tai Ahom Students’ Union (ATASU) had called Assam bandh on Monday. Normal life was paralyzed due to the bandh in Sivasagar district. Business establishments, schools and colleges remained closed. Attendance in government offices was thin and vehicles remained off the road. ATASU sources revealed that the organization had reduced the bandh period from 24 hours to 12 hours. Organizations of other ethnic communities like Koch Rajbongshi, Chutia, Muttock, tea tribes and Moran also supported today’s bandh. No untoward incident has been reported till filing of this report.

Dibrugarh: The bandh called by six communities seeking ST status brought the normal life to a complete halt in Dibrugarh on Monday. Leading institutions including public sector banks and Head Post Office remained closed under the impact of the strike. Reports came in from many other areas of Upper Assam including Naharkatia, Dhola, Sivasagar and Moran about the acute effectiveness of the bandh. As per sources, earlier in the day, several cases of skirmishes surfaced at various areas in the town. Incidents like burning of tyres were also reported. Apart from that, no casualties were reported till the filing of this report.

TANGLA: The Assam bandh disrupted normal life across Udalguri district on Monday. Business establishments, government and private offices, markets and shops remained closed. The bandh evoked total response in the major townships of the district, including Kalaigaon, Tangla, Dimakuchi, Mazbat, Khoirabari, Rowta, Harisinga Mazbat, Panery, Udalguri and Rowta. Vehicles, except those belonging to security personnel and on emergency services, remained off the roads. The six communities of Assam have for long been demanding ST status. The six communities believe that if they are accorded ST status, they can benefit from the advantages of reservation in education and government employment.

GOLAGHAT: The Assam bandh called by All Tai Ahom Students’ Union (ATASU) on Monday paralyzed normal life in Golaghat district. ATASU district committee activists burnt tyres at various locations of the district and demanded ST status for the six ethnic communities of Assam. During the bandh, buses and other vehicles remained off the road and streets wore a deserted look. Government offices, banks, schools, colleges along with other institutions almost remained closed. Adequate security arrangements had been made and there was no report of any kind of violence.

DIGBOI: Normal life was affected in and around Digboi after the volunteers of Tai Ahom, Koch Rajbongshi, Adivasi, Chutiya, Moran and Muttock communities expressed their resentment by torching tyres and shouting anti-BJP government slogans across the streets in Digboi. However, no incidents of violence were reported. The oil township wore a deserted look with educational institutions and business establishments remaining closed while vehicles were off the road, except for few private two-wheelers.

According to Milan Buragohain, the State general secretary of All Assam Tai Ahom Students’ Union, Kiren Rijiju allegedly gave a cold response to a special delegation which had gone to Delhi recently following non-receipt of modalities by the Centre on the issue of granting ST status to the six communities of Assam. Contrary to their expectations, the delegation was not adequately responded by the ministry on the issue.