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AKRSU arson continues

Kokrajhar, March 21: Supporters of the strike called by All Koch Rajbongshi Students Union (AKRSU) torched two more vehicles here in the last 24 hours, increasing the tally to four.

Strike supporters had torched a coal-laden truck and a Mahindra Bolero yesterday.

Some supporters torched a truck at Rainadabri Molundubi under Kokrajhar police around 10 this morning. The truck (AS 17-8595) was on its way to Dhubri from Kokrajhar after unloading cement bags. The driver, Suraj Pashi, was also physically assaulted.

Pashi said around 10 to 15 people armed with sticks blocked the road to stop the vehicle and then set it on fire.

Police have arrested two persons in this connection.

Last evening, suspected strike supporters set a Scooty (AS 16-B 5882) on fire at Chandrapara, around 7km from here, though no was injured. The owner was riding towards Banargaon from Kokrajhar.

The Hiteswar Barman faction of the union had called a 36-hour strike from 5 last evening, while yesterday’s strike had been called by the Biswajit Rai fraction of AKRSU.

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 union said the board had shown disrespect to the Rajbongshis by trying to distort their history.

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.

Hiteswar Barman said the union would be forced to call another 48-hour strike from March 25 if the board did not apologise for the mistakes. Barman also asked Rajbongshi leaders in the Bodoland Peoples front (BPF) to leave the party within seven days “on moral grounds”.

The BTC administration has announced a re-examination on April 7.

Officials in the council said they had decided to re-conduct the examination, adding that the council authorities would set the question paper on its own this time.

Yesterday, the strike was total in Rajbongshi dominated areas, though there was little response in other parts of BTAD.

Road communication, however, was affected.

S.C. Deka, officer-in-charge of Kokrajhar police station, said nine persons had been arrested from various places for arson during the strike period.


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