12-hour bandh called by Bajrang Dal disrupts normal life

The Assam government has requested the Army to intensify counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in the violence-hit Kokrajhar, Chirang, Bongaingaon and Dhubri districts.

State Home Secretary G.D. Tripathi told The Hindu on Monday that since the Army was called out on July 25 in the four districts, the troops were primarily carrying out flag marches and area domination.

Now the State government has requested the troops to go after the armed cadres of some militant outfits and other miscreants suspected to be involved in the violence and apprehend them, he added. A 12-hour Assam bandh called by the Bajrang Dal to protest the ongoing violence and demand the arrest of All-India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) president Badruddin Ajmal, disrupted normal life on Monday.

Police arrested several Bajrang Dal activists in different parts of the State. Another 12-hour bandh has been called on Tuesday by 31 different outfits, including the All Assam Minority Students Union (AAMSU), Aboro Surakha Samiti, Sanmilita Jangosthiya Sangram Samiti, All Bodoland Minority Students Union (ABMSU) and United Reservation Movement Council (URMCA) under a banner organisation called the United Movement for People’s Rights, to protest the alleged failure of the State government to rehabilitate relief camp inmates and to prevent violence.

Meanwhile, tension continued in Chirang district as thousands defied curfew and staged a blockade on the track at the Bijni railway station to protest the killing of five relief camp inmates by miscreants on Saturday.

The protesters demanded immediate arrest of the killers, dissolution of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and arrest of the tribal council’s chief Hagrama Mahiary and deputy chief Khampa Borgoyari.