HC raps Assam govt on strikes

Guwahati, Jan. 10: Gauhati High Court today expressed unhappiness over the steps taken by Dispur to address the problems faced by citizens during strikes.

The court also issued a notice to Manipur chief secretary D.S. Poonia on the issue of strikes and problems faced by people there.

The bench of Chief Justice A.K. Goel and Justice N. Kotiswar Singh, during the hearing of a PIL filed by Arun Pa-thak, a resident here, observed that though Dispur had constituted a task force to tackle the issue, no tangible steps have been taken after more than a month had passed.

"The state government counsel said a task force has been constituted to suggest a suitable police/legislation. The issue, affecting the day-to-day life of the citizens, cannot be taken leisurely. In order to make such a policy, the task force has to be headed by one of the highest authorities and must work on day-to-day basis in the light of such policies of other states facing similar problems. No tangible steps are shown to have been taken by the task force even though more than one month has passed," the bench said.

The court also said, "The advocate general had made a statement in this court that the matter was receiving attention of the state for brining out an appropriate legislation, more than four months have passed since then but nothing tangible is in sight."

Pathak filed the PIL in August following the Bajrang Dal strike and sought action against organisations calling strikes. Counsels of the petitioner ' Bhaskar Dev Konwar and Rajeeb Kalita ' today drew the court's attention to similar problems in Manipur, following which the Chief Justice said similar steps were also required for the state.

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