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Trucks stranded in blockade

- AKRSU chief wants Dispur to shift offices from ‘Kamtapur area’

Dhubri/Kokrajhar, July 2: A 300-hour economic blockade called by All Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union (AKRSU) paralysed traffic movement on National Highways 31 and 31(C) in the lower Assam districts today.

The blockade, which began this morning in support of AKRSU’s demand for creation of a separate Kamtapur state and Scheduled Tribes (ST) status to the Rajbongshi community, left hundreds of trucks stranded on both sides of Chagolia Assam-Bengal inter-state checkgate in Dhubri today.

The blockade at Bhaibazar near Chagolia was led by AKRSU president Biswajit Roy. Speaking at the blockade site, Roy said Assam government should shift its offices from “Kamtapur state”, adding that Dispur has no right to run its administration from Kamtapur. “If the government is willing to shift the offices from Kamtapur then it is alright but if it does not do so, we will be compelled to put up signboards of Kamtapur and lock up all the Assam government offices in the next phase of our agitation.”

AKRSU general secretary Pradip Ray and womens’ wing’s leaders, Purabi Roy and Binita Roy, led the blockade at Simultapu near Srirampur inter-state checkgate in Kokrajhar district.

Ray said the student body has been demanding the inclusion of Koch Rajbongshis in the list of ST and creation of separate Kamtapur since long but the government had not responded. Truckers have expressed their resentment over the 300-hour blockade which will keep them stranded for over 12 days from today.

Bhupender Singh, a trucker carrying hardware goods to Tezpur, said several truck drivers like him were not aware of the blockade and came to know only when they reached Chagolia late last night. “We are at the receiving end and do not know what do. We will request police to provide us security to cross the blockade area,” Singh said.

Bharat Kerkar, another trucker, said nearly 35 truckers stranded at Chagolia are carrying perishable goods like potatoes, onions and fruits, which will be completely damaged if they are not transported on time.

The students’ union has threatened to launch a more aggressive movement for ST status and creation of Kamtapur state in near future if the government failed to concede to its long-pending demands. “We will continue with the agitation till our demands are met,” Roy said.