Gogoi warns agitators against rail, road blockades

Guwahati, Sep 13 (IANS) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Friday asked various groups of agitators in the state to withdraw road and rail blockades immediately, warning them that the government would be compelled to take "appropriate steps otherwise".

He said that the government cannot remain a passive spectator to the series of road and rail blockades which have caused great inconvenience to people and hit development.

"We cannot allow the situation to deteriorate further. The rail and road blockades caused great miseries and hardships to the people and affected the economy. Such agitations are detrimental to the state's march towards the path of development and we cannot allow this to continue," he said.

Road and rail blockades have been the most popular modes of public protest in Assam, and the state had been witnessing a series of such protests, particularly after the central government's decision to create a separate Telengana state.

While the Bodos and the Koch Rajbongshis have been demanding creation of separate Bodoland and Kamatapur state respectively in the lines of Telengana, the Karbis and Dimasas have also stepped up agitation in Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts demanding a separate autonomous state including both the hill districts.

The Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts - Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri, the Karbio Anglong and Dima Hasao districts and several other districts of lower Assam have witnessed over a dozens of rail and road (National Highways) blockades since July.

Although the agitations were temporarily stopped following discussions between the central government and the agitating groups, the agitators have threatened to launch fresh agitations as, according to some of them, the talks are not going in right direction.

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