Karbi Anglong Situation Shambling Back to Normalcy

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The situation in Karbi Anglong seems to be shambling back to normalcy after a week-long incidence of public unrest, although the dreaded 300 hour Karbi Anglong strike has throttled normal life to a considerable extent.

Y.L. Korno, vice president of Assam Pradesh congress committee today denounced all opposition parties for holding the congress party responsible for the unprecedented violence in Karbi Anglong.

“Congress has always advocated for peace and development. Peace and political stability is essential for all round development of this place, I appeal to every section of people to maintain concord and tranquility,” Korno said in the press conference at Diphu circuit house today.

In Bokajan town, normal life has remained unaffected with business and government institutions functioning as usual, and schools and financial establishments functioning normally. In the vast rural area of the subdivision, normalcy has not returned, surface transport is off the road and people prefer to remain indoors. Shops and business establishments remained open in Howraghat, Bakulia and Manja. Few shops remained open in Diphu from 8.00 PM to 5.00 PM during the period of curfew relaxation in spite of the KPLT-forced strike.

Mugdhajyoti Mahanta expressed doubt about the authenticity of the strike call given by KPLT, and he expressed serious doubt whether the ultra organization really called for any strike. An exodus of patients from Diphu civil hospital continued for the second day today, and a large number of indoor patients admitted from rural areas deserted the hospital.

The 300 hour strike has ravaged normal life in Hamren subdivision in western part of the district in spite of the curfew in Donkamukam. In Baithalangso Township, most business, financial, and educational establishments remained closed; after the discharge of hostility maximum government office controlled by Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council have remained closed in all parts of the district. This observable fact has occurred since the first day of political disturbance, the nucleus of KAAC administration, the Secretariat has been under lock and key since 31th July, even the elected Councillors have not turned up to make the slightest effort to reopen the all important directorial set up.

Maximum train running in between Lumding-Dibrugarh section is shuttling but with varying schedule; public and private transport is completely off the road, including the KAAC transport buses whose passenger buses were burnt down by pro-state activists on the first day of the violence. Limited private vehicles and goods trucks destined for Nagaland and Manipur are being escorted by Assam police to and from Nagaland border to Golaghat district of Assam.

High officials of Prasarbharati and All India Radio today visited the site of the charred remains of the Diphu AIR station to assess the damage. The officials did not have any assurance regarding damage repairing or re-commissioning of the station.

According to reports received from Delhi from a reliable source, delegation of the elected members of the two autonomous councils today called on the Prime Minister and apprised him about the state of affairs of the two district and placed their demand for statehood before the premier who assured them of initiating appropriate step in this direction. He also assured them that the Home department’s view will be sought in this matter without any delay. The delegation will meet with the congress chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Union Home Minister and Rahul Gandhi in Delhi.

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.