| Locals protest Adilur Rahman’s killing at Fancy Bazar in Guwahati on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Nov. 14: Dispur and the two factions of the NDFB today became targets of protests from Sootea to Guwahati over the killing of tea garden owner Adilur Rahman yesterday.
The protesters, which also include tea bodies, gave 24 hours to the government to bring the culprits involved in the killing of Mahalakshmi and Tezalpatti tea estates owner Adilur Rahman to book.
Rahman was killed when suspected NDFB militants attacked him at Harisinga in Sonitpur district.
Several hundred protesters blocked National Highway 52 at three places — Dholaibil, Sootea and Biswanath Chariali — in Sonitpur district while also observing a 12-hour districtwide strike today.
The protesters, including various groups like the AJYCP’s Sonitpur district committee, AASU’s Jamuguri Anchalik, All Adivasi Students’ Association, All Adivasi Tribal Students’ Association and Biswanath Pub Bhorali Muslim Jana Kalyan, shouted slogans against the two factions of the NDFB and the government for its abject failure to provide security to the people.
The district secretary of AJYCP, Pankaj Saikia, said the NDFB had indulged in atrocities for several years and the business community had borne the brunt on the north bank of the Brahmaputra.
Saikia said the government needed to ensure that cadres of the ceasefire-bound faction of the NDFB were confined to their designated camps. He also said the administration should close down Nagda bazar, which was illegal and run by these cadres.
The highway blockade was lifted after Sootea MLA and small tea grower Padma Hazarika requested the protesters to disperse.
He said the government had failed to protect the people and extortions by militant groups must be stopped immediately.
The Assam Tea Planters Association (ATPA), the oldest body of ethnic planters in the state, today appealed to the government to bring the culprits to book to instil a feeling of security among planters.
A statement released by the ATPA said exemplary punishment to the culprits involved in the killing of Rahman would ensure a feeling of security among the tea planters and the executives in the state.
“Such incidents create a sense of fear and insecurity among the tea planters and executives and this would have a big impact on the industry,” an official of the ATPA told The Telegraph today.
Lakhtokia, the business hub in Guwahati, witnessed a spontaneous strike and protests against the killing of Rahman, who was the resident of Lakhtokia and owner of Hotel Dynasty.
A large number of people from different walks of life and communities reached Hotel Dynasty to pay homage to Rahman.
“Rahman sahab was a person who also helped those in need. His death is a great loss for the state like Assam, which needs industrial development. He was a successful entrepreneur and his killing may send a negative impression to prospective investors,” Nakib Saikia of Lakhtokia Welfare Society said.
Veteran minority leader and president of Assam unit of Samajbadi Party Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury said the killing of Rahman was indicative of the fact the ruling Congress government had failed to maintain law and order.
The AASU also condem-ned the killing of Rahman.