India: Strike Ravaging Diphu: Activist Students Don’t Care


Diphu July 12: The main market of Diphu town is the most important source of nourishment for nearly 100,000 people. It has remained shut down for the fourth consecutive day following a call for the closure of Diphu main market for an indefinite period given by “Voluntary Organization Coordination Committee for Joint Action” (VOCCJA) last Tuesday.

Joint conveners of the VOCCJA Samson Terang, Bidya Sing Bey and Sirchefong Rongpi informed the press through a press communique. They said that in a meeting held on Monday last, various organizations appealed to the Diphu Bazaar Committee, not to respond to the 24 hour Karbi Anglong district strike called by “Bokajan District Demand Committee.” The Bazaar Committee did not act on their appeal.

“A few organizations are encouraging communalization of the issue” VOCCJA conveners alleged in the press release. The newly constituted assembly of organizations also demanded the release of innocent youths arrested in connection with the murder of Jhanker Saikia. It may be mentioned here that the strike call given by “Bokajan District Demand Committee” did not affect Hamren town on 9th July, where life was normal.

The Karbi Students Association, Karbi Students and Youth Council, Karbi Unemployed Youth Association, Revolutionary Youth’s Association, All India Students Association, National Students Union Of India, All India Karbi National Assembly and a few other organizations called for a shutdown ( Bandh) of Diphu main market for an indefinite period, demanding the arrest of Kishor Choudhari for his alleged provocative speech before media.

In areas like Rongkhelang, Lurulangso, locality near State bank of India and in settlements around the town, vendors are selling vegetables and perishable items providing some relief to the town residents, but the artificial crisis has already surfaced bringing a grinding halt to all developmental activities in absence of essential commodities including hardware, food material, electronics etc.

Neither the district administration nor the Chamber of Commerce has succeeded in tackling the unusual situation. Political parties including the ruling congress are maintaining their distance from issues raised after the death of Jhankar Saikia.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.