| Atasu activists block NH37 in Sivasagar on Thursday. Picture by Kongkon Bora |
Dhemaji/Sivasagar, Sept. 5: A woman died for want of treatment today as 108 ambulances stayed off the roads in Dhemaji which remained paralysed on the second day of the indefinite strike called by the All Tai Ahom Students’ Union to protest the inclusion of non-Mising-dominated villages in the Mising Autonomous Council.
The students’ union also held a mass rally in Sivasagar and blocked NH37.
Rajola Banai of Bhayam Belguri village near Jalaiasuti, 40km from the district headquarters, died at St Marys Hospital in Silapathar. Her family said her life could have been saved had they got an ambulance.
The 108 emergency ambulance service did not ply today in protest against the attack on an ambulance by bandh supporters in Dhemaji last night. Since no ambulances were available, Rajola’s family took her to the hospital, 10km from their home, in a handcart. Hospital sources said Rajola was brought late and there was hardly any time to save her. She had high fever.
In Sivasagar, the student’s union handed over a list of seven villages, which they want excluded from the Mising council, to the government and threatened to launch an infinite strike in Upper Assam if their demands are not met by Saturday. “We shall not allow these villages, which have a majority of non-Mising residents, to be included at any cost,” said Atasu adviser Aswini Chetia. The government has already removed 12 villages from the 38 included in the draft notification.
Elections to the Dehing-Desang constituency of the council are scheduled for October 3. The process of filing nominations began today in Sivasagar. Papers can be filed till September 9.
The government has included 12 villages of Sivasagar revenue circle and 14 villages of Demow revenue circle in the constituency, which has been met with sharp resistance from Atasu.
District administration officials maintained that the villages were included according to the norms.
“Several rounds of public hearings were conducted prior to inclusion of these villages. The constituency that falls in Sivasagar district is a satellite constituency. Certain norms have to be followed in such constituencies, which include the cluster system. We cannot exclude a village falling under a cluster of Mising-dominated villages, even if that particular village is dominated by non-Misings,” an official said.