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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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More trouble in Rabha areas

Dhubri, Jan. 30: The Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council area continues to be on the boil since the announcement of rural polls last month and there seems to be no let-up in the unrest and violence.

Police had to fire in the air and lathicharge hundreds of activists of Rabha Hasong Joint Movement Forum who were trying to block tracks at Nadiapara under Boko police station in Kamrup district today.

The 72-hour rail blockade called by the forum, which will end tomorrow morning, will be followed by another programme of civil disobedience from February 4, which will continue till the panchayat polls end on February 12.

Speaking about the agitation programme, All Rabha Students’ Union president, Tonkeswar Rabha said in a bid to stop all electioneering work, they would not allow any government employee to carry out poll duties.

“Besides appealing to employees to refrain from panchayat election work, we will also prevent them from doing any work during the period of the agitation,” Rabha said.

He also said that apart from appealing and preventing the employees in the council area from being engaged in poll work, they would undertake other forms of civil disobedience, which would be finalised in the meeting of the forum on February 2 at Dudhnoi.

Police sources in Goalpara said Dispur was making arrangements to shore up security in the area in view of the forum’s continued agitation for the past several days, which has thrown life out of gear.

“The people of Garo hills in Meghalaya, who have to traverse through stretches that fall under the council area to go to Guwahati or even Shillong, have been badly hit,” Andrew C. Marak, a trader of Paikan area, said.

“We are looking into all aspects and are in touch with Dispur regarding security requirements,” a senior police official in Goalpara said.

Goalpara additional superintendent of police Sushanta Biswa Sarma said the police were prepared to conduct the polls in a peaceful and orderly manner. “For conducting panchayat poll, forces have been already deployed in the district and additional forces will reach soon. We will again review the security situation and the present force strength before requisitioning additional forces,” he said.