Kokrajhar, March 20: The 12-hour BTAD strike, called today by the Biswajit Ray faction of the All Koch Rajbongshi Students Union saw partial success in non-Rajbongshi areas though two vehicles were torched in Kokrajhar district.
The strike was called in protest against alleged anomalies in question papers in a test conducted on Sunday by the Central Selection Board (CSB), BTC, to recruit irrigation section assistants in the council administration.
The Hiteswar Barman fraction of the union also called a 36-hour strike from 5 this evening and asked Rajbongshi leaders in the Bodoland Peoples front (BPF) to leave the party within seven days “on moral ground”.
Talking to reporters here today, Barman said the board had shown disrespect to the Rajbongshis by trying to distort their history. He said the union would be forced to call another 48-hour strike from March 25 if the board did not apologise for the mistakes.
The trouble started when anomalies were detected in question numbers 16 and 17 of the test paper. “There were questions like Boro King Haoria Mech or Haridas Mandal established his kingdom by the side of a river at Shiknajhar and Mech King Narnarayan and Silarai worshipped Bura Bathou Mahadev. This was totally uncalled for,” the union said.
The union accused the board of trying to wipe out the history of the Koch kingdom. “It is the board’s political conspiracy to destroy Koch Rajbongshi history,” it said.
The BTC administration has announced a reexamination on April 7.
Officials in the council said it had decided to re-conduct the examination for recruitment of section assistants in the BTC irrigation department on April 7 owing to objections regarding some questions. It said the council authority would set the question paper on its own this time.
During the strike today, a coal-laden truck (AS-16 C 1451) was set on fire at Kholobari under Serfanguri police station in Kokrajhar district around 3.30am. Suspected strike supporters lobbed a petrol bomb at the vehicle, which was coming from Guwahati. The truck driver, Salem Uddin, however, escaped with minor injuries.
In another incident, activists of the union torched a Mahindra Bolero at Putiagaon under Salakati police in the district around noon. Sources said the vehicle, which belonged to the Salakati office of National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, was on its way to the project site from here when it was torched. The driver, Monoj Srivastav, was also beaten up and sustained injuries.
Though the strike was total in Rajbongshi dominated areas, there was little response to it in other parts of BTAD. Road communication, however, was affected.