Demand for Separate State Spurs Violence in Assam

Shoot-at-sight order at railway track

The UPA government decision to create the Telangana state has brought more agitation and violence in Assam as different ethnic groups started to demand for four separate states.

Violence continued in Karbi Anglong district on the fourth day as protesters of different organizations, who demanded a separate Karbi state set ablaze several government offices, congress offices at different parts of the hill district on Saturday.

The agitation was more violent on July 31 at Diphu town and spread to different parts of the district, in which protesters set ablaze at least 60 government offices, public property, several vehicles, MP, MLA’s, KAAC Executive Members house and vandalized several government offices and a railway track.

The district administration had imposed indefinite curfew in the district on July 31 and called army to control the situation.

Protesters had set ablaze four offices of DRDA, Irrigation at Dokmoka, Diphu on Saturday.

Karbi Anglong district SP Mugdha Jyoti Mahanta said the situation is under control at Diphu town and the district administration has relaxed curfew for eight hours on Saturaday.

“Security forces had apprehended at least 11 protesters including two top leaders of Karbi Students Union (KSA) from different parts of the district so far,” Mahanta said.

At least two people were killed and 50 others including 11 security personnel injured in clash between police and protesters during the violent situation in the district.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary secretary of Home department of the state government Etua Munda and Asam police IGP (Law and order) SN Singh had visited the trouble torn district on Friday and discussed with top security officials to control the situation.

Two state government ministers will visit to the district on Saturday.

Also, all Bodo Students Union (ABSU) and several Bodo organizations including All Bodo Womens Federation, Bodo Sahitya Sabha, NDFB(P), People’s Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement, Bodoland People’s Progressive Front had observed 12-hour rail blockade on August 2.

ABSU has called a 60-hour strike from August 5 and United Democratic Front with several Bodo organizations have also called 1500-hour strike to demand separate state for the ethnic tribes.

NDFB(P) and People’s Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement have joitly called a 100-hour national highway blockade from August 13.

Apart from Bodo organizations, the Hills State Democratic Party (HSDP) also called a 100-hour strike from August 5 to demand separate hill state.

In addition, All Koch Rajbongshi Students Union (AKRSU) and several organizations of Koch Rajbongshi community have demanded a separate Kamatapur state and the organizations also took agitation programmes.

“If the Union government failed to resolve the issue of separate Kamatapur state, their agitation will continue,” AKRSU president Biswajit Roy said.

The state Home Department on Friday issued a shoot-at-sight order at railway tracks in Karbi Anglong district.

Meanwhile, the authorities of Northeast Frontier Railway had cancelled at least 11 major rails and changed schedule of 15 rails.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday said he will not support to divide Assam again.

Hemanta Kumar Nath is a correspondent in Assam, India, who reports on local news in Assam, the north east Indian state.