OC suspended, hooligans bbed

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Bandh violence: Under-fire Dispur scrambles to put up tough anti-bandh law

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, July 2: Facing flak for failing to eradicate the mece of bandhs, the State government today suspended the officer-in-charge of Sopur police station and arrested a number of bandh supporters who resorted to vandalism on the highway on Wednesday.

Twenty six organizations, including the Tiwa Students Union, Karbi Students Union and All Bodo Students Union had called a 24-hour bandh beginning yesterday over the Tiwa Autonomous Council election controversy. The bandh supporters had resorted to rampant violence, torching a truck, assaulting commuters and smashing their vehicles on the highway at Sopur.

Sopur OC Sanjib Kumar Das has been placed under suspension due to "negligence and dereliction" of duty, a police spokesman said. An FIR has been lodged by police and investigation is on to identify the persons who resorted to violence, DCP (East) Hemanta Das said.

Arrests were also made in Morigaon and gaon.

Meanwhile, Commissioner & Secretary (Home) LS Changsan said "strict instructions" have been issued to police to ensure protection of public property and safety of people during such bandh calls.

"We have asked police to take stern action against bandh supporters who resorted to vandalism," she said.

Changsan said the proposed anti-bandh law is in the fil stages. "We are yet to receive views from two departments. The bill is likely to be placed before the next cabinet after which it will be tabled in the Assembly. It will be a strict law," she said.

She also informed that the Central government had sought views from all the states for its proposed Damage to Public Property Act. "We have suggested to the Central government that in the event of any loss to public property, the organizations calling such bandhs should be held accountable and the compensation recovered from them," the official added.

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