* Plea for slapping fine on bandh callers
GUWAHATI, Sept 4: ‘Slap a fine of Rs 5 crore each on chiefs of organizations calling bandhs and use the money for the development of the State – plain and simple’. This is what a public interest litigation (PIL) has pleaded with the Gauhati High Court.
As many as three organizations of Karbi Anglong – the ASDC, KSU and the KNCA – have called a 24-hour bandh in the hill district from Tuesday. It is Axomiya Yuva Manch (AYM) that filed the PIL in the High Court on Monday as an immediate reaction to the bandh called by the three organizations. The PIL says that bandhs leave nothing – education, development, economy etc – unaffected.
This is not the only PIL against bandhs in Assam filed in the High Court. There were such PILs filed in the High Court earlier as well. Even the High Court is on record seeking details from Dispur as to how the latter is going to act against organizations calling bandhs. Dispur has already submitted its modality to the High Court meant for taking action against bandhs. The modality, however, has failed to impress the court which has already asked Dispur to form a task force for that matter. The High Court has said that the task force can delve deep into the problem of bandh and come out with measures to curb it.
This is not all. There is a standing order from the Supreme Court of India against bandhs. The irony is that despite an SC order, organizations continue to call bandh as the State government continues to be soft against them.
The ground reality in the State is that bandhs are frequent – at the State level, district level, subdivision level. What is even more surprising is the unpredictable nature of road blockades in the State. A road in the State may be blocked by protesters at any moment and anywhere, leading to damage of vehicles and other property. Dispur’s mild approach has so far failed to tackle the menace. Taking all such losses being incurred by the government and the public as well, any right-thinking person will say that slapping fines on organizations’ chiefs for calling bandhs and road blockade is a right demand if the people of the State are to keep their heads above water.