A deserted road in Kokrajhar on Friday. Telegraph picture
Kokrajhar, July 2: Deserted roads, interrupted business and hassled passengers signalled a successful bandh that shut down the Bodo belt for 12 hours from 5 this morning.
Called by the United Democratic People’s Front to demand elections to the village council development committee, territorial council-level co-ordination committee and town committees, a CBI inquiry into the multi-crore rupee scams in the state and roll back of oil prices, the strike was declared a “total” one.
The two Opposition parties in the BTC Assembly — UDPF and Bodoland People’s Progressive Front — have been demanding polls to the village council development committee and territorial council level co-ordination committee.
“Unless early election is not held, corruption will continue and people will be deprived of the facilities,” one said. BPPF members had also met Assam Governor J.B. Patnaik to pressure Dispur into holding the elections.
BPPF president and BTC member from Parbhatjhora, Rabiram Narzary, said a huge amount of money is siphoned off to criminals through the village council, depriving the common people.
All four BTC administered districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri, bowed to the bandh call.
No untoward incidents were reported.
Business establishments like banks, markets and shops were closed, as were school, colleges, and private organisations.
Traffic was thin in all districts and even National Highway 31 saw little movement of vehicles.
Train services were, however, not affected. But trouble began once the passengers disembarked. There was no transport to take them home.
Emergency services like health, water, milk supply were exempted from the purview of the bandh.
Ostensibly, the bandh was a success, though a few voices were raised against this mode of protest.
Like M. Brahma, a Grade III government employee, waited for the bandh to end, worried that his pregnant wife may need medical help.
“It’s a mockery of the law. Despite the high court banning bandhs, it is continuing and the administration is doing nothing about it,” said a teacher of Gauhati University’sKokrajhar campus.