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Road rage after assault

Tezpur, May 22: Several organisations today blocked National Highway 15 near Bihmari under Behali reserve forest in Sonitpur district for three hours in protest against the alleged assault of two persons by miscreants from Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday.

Traffic was affected as vehicles were not being allowed into the Behali and Borgang areas on NH 15. The agitators also damaged a vehicle coming from the Arunachal side at Behali.

Behali is about 120km from here and 300km from Guwahati.

According to sources, the duo, Narayan Limbu and Minual Limbu, were on a bike at Bihmari-Mising gaon near the Arunachal border when a group of 10 to 15 men attacked them with machetes and sticks, seriously injuring Narayan. Both were later admitted to Kanaklata civil hospital in Tezpur.

Minual is an employee of the Indian Reserve Battalion in Arunachal Pradesh and sources said his employment in the state is believed to have triggered the attack.

About 200 protesters, including members of the AASU, AJYCP, Arunachal Agrasan Samiti and KMSS, shouted slogans against police and demanded stringent punishment to the perpetrators. The road was blocked from 11am to 1pm.

The protesters lifted the blockade after the police and additional magistrate intervened. They also submitted a memorandum to Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi through the circle officer demanding a solution to the boundary problem.

Manash Pratim Das, in-charge secretary of the Behali unit of the AASU, said the state government needs to immediately construct six forest protection camps as a step to tackle the problem.

Sonitpur deputy commissioner Lalit Gogoi told this correspondent that the government has already released 50 per cent of the funds for construction of four forest protection camps.

Earlier, the Sonitpur deputy commissioner had submitted a model plan and estimate to Dispur for construction of four camps at Radhasu Point, Dikal Tinali, Chauldhuwa Road Point and Naharjan under Behali reserve forest and the proposal has already been granted by the government at an estimated cost of Rs 19 lakh for each camp.

The state forest department is executing the project.


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