1,500 hours of Assam shutdown for new states

Guwahati, Aug 5 (IANS) Assam is likely to witness several hundred hours of shutdown in the coming days as several organisations demanding separate states Monday called for 1,500 hours of 'bandh'.

The All Bodo Students Union's (ABSU) 48-hour Assam strike and the United Democratic Peoples Front's (UDPF) 1,500 hours of shutdown started Monday.

The All Koch Rajbongshi Students Union (AKRSU), which seeks a separate Kamatapur state, called for a 36-hour Assam strike. This too began Monday.

The banned Karbi Peoples Liberation Tigers (KPLT) has called for 300 hours of 'bandh' demanding a separate state for Karbi Anglong district on the lines of Telengana.

The shutdowns have already made life difficult for people, particularly tourists.

"Train movement through the Rangia-Bijni-New Bongaigaon section was affected till afternoon. The services resumed later," said a railway spokesman, adding that 13 short distance trains have been cancelled.

"Passenger trains, which were running in the affected sections, have been given adequate security," said the spokesperson.

It is feared that the shutdowns will affect the entire northeast region along with Assam as supply of food and other essential products will be hit.

Goods carriers will be stopped when they enter Assam, leading to shortages.

Police reported violence during the protest Monday in many places. Demonstrators hurled stones at vehicles in Sonitpur, Dhubri and Bilasipara areas.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Bodo legislators, MPs and members of the Bodoland Territorial Council left for New Delhi to meet the UPA government leaders to press their demand for a separate state.

A delegation of the Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao autonomous councils is camping in Delhi to meet the central government leaders to press for more autonomy in the two hill districts.

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