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Rally venue shift to curb violence

Jorhat, June 9: The district administration has decided not to allow any kind of event at Jorhat stadium that could draw a huge gathering.

The decision follows violence on June 1 in Jorhat town, resulting from a botched pre-recruitment training rally, scheduled at this stadium, for youths to enlist in the army and paramilitary forces.

The administration has decided to let organisers hold big events like recruitment rallies and training programmes for youths on the outskirts of the town to prevent any adverse law and order situation and traffic congestion.

Jorhat deputy commissioner Solanki Vishal Vasant told The Telegraph today that the district administration has taken a decision not to allow any kind of “big event” that draw huge crowds, which could become unmanageable, at Jorhat stadium.

“We will not allow any big event, which has the possibility of drawing a huge gathering and creating any kind of law and order situation,” the deputy commissioner said.

The formal announcement about the decision would be made at the meeting of the stadium committee scheduled for tomorrow, he added.

The DC is the chairman of the committee.

Solanki said alternative sites on the outskirts would be selected by the administration to organise big events like recruitment and training rallies.

Additional deputy commissioner Dwijen Singh, who conducted the magisterial probe into the June 1 violence, said the Home Guard Recruitment and Training Centre at Lohpohia on the southwestern outskirts here has been shortlisted as one of the alternative sites.

Singh said the venue has a ready infrastructure for conducting training and recruitment for armed forces.

There was availability of basic amenities like toilets and drinking water, among others, which could be enhanced if needed, to organise big programmes.

He said there is a stream near the venue and greenery all around where participants could rest.

The magisterial inquiry into the June 1 violence had blamed the directorate of employment and craftsmen training under the Assam government and IMS Learning Resources Private Limited, an NGO, for lapses on their part in organising the event.

On June 2, 19 youths were remanded in judicial custody on charges of violence and damaging public property after they were arrested the previous day.

Police had to lathicharge and fire rubber bullets (as claimed by them) at Baruah Sariali and the adjoining road where Jorhat stadium is located to quell hundreds of youths who went berserk and damaged public property, vehicles and blocked AT Road.

Jintu Saikia, 21, a youth from Pulibor on the outskirts of Jorhat, received bullet injury in his stomach.

He is undergoing treatment at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital.

Trouble started when the youths came to the stadium at 5am presuming that a recruitment rally for soldiers in the army was going to be organised by the army.

They got upset after coming to know that an NGO would conduct just a training programme for youths who are interested to participate in recruitment rallies of defence forces.

Advertisements in some newspapers on May 24 said a “pre-recruitment training rally” would be organised by the directorate at Jorhat stadium for the posts of soldiers/sepoys (general duty) of the army and paramilitary forces on June 1 and 2 for youths of Jorhat, Sivasagar, Golaghat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Lakhimpur, Karbi Anglong and Dhemaji districts.