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Protesters block Arunachal lifeline

- Blockade against killing continues

Tezpur, Feb. 3: The economic blockade against Arunachal Pradesh entered its fifth day today with protesters blocking hundreds of trucks at Borgang and Chariduar in Assam’s Sonitpur district.

Residents of Borgang and Chariduar in Sonitpur district have imposed the blockade against the alleged killing of 10 persons at Chauldhua in Behali reserve forest on Wednesday by armed men from Arunachal Pradesh. Several others were injured in the attack. The toll went up to 11 yesterday.

According to Sonitpur superintendent of police Sanjukta Parasor, the body of Lachu Mardi, 65, was recovered at Chauldhua yesterday.

Mardi, who hailed from Tinisuti under Biswanath Chariali police station on the Arunachal Pradesh border, nearly 100km from here, had been missing along with three others — Burha Teron, Bichoi Teron and Suren Kremacha — from the incident site.

Several rumours about bodies being found or attacks from the Arunachal side, which the SP denied, are doing the rounds.

Parasor asked the public to inform the police at 9425557322, 9854032882 and the police control room number 03712 232800, if they heard of any news that can lead to an untoward situation.

The protesters, led by several organisations at Borgang this evening, decided after a meeting with 12 organisations that plying of goods trucks between 6pm and 6am on NH 15 in Assam would be stopped indefinitely from today.

At Chariduar, where the blockade entered its third day, the local residents and various organisations, including All Assam Gorkha Students Union, KMSS and AASU blocked the route that connects Tezpur to Tawang.

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki today reiterated his appeal to the people to maintain calm and help bring back normality.

“I appeal to those resorting to an economic blockade on Arunachal Pradesh to reconsider their staunch stand on humanitarian grounds and also call on people from outside the state residing here not to panic. We are peace-loving people and believe in bonhomie and peaceful co-existence,” Tuki said, while attending the annual conference of Topo Welfare Society at Dumporijo today.

Taking note of the two recent incidents — clashes at Tarasso (Behali in Assam) in Papum Pare district and an assault on a student in New Delhi — Tuki condemned both the incidents and assured that law will take its own course and the culprits involved will not be spared.

The All-Assam Gorkha Students Union, the apex influential organisation of Gorkha students, today claimed to have imposed a total economic and road blockade on various national highways leading to Arunachal at Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Siva-sagar, Jorhat, Golaghat and Karbi Anglong in protest against the killings.