|AJYCP activists during the economic blockade in Golaghat on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos
Jorhat, Aug. 13: The Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association (ATTSA), Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) and Mariani Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi have called an economic blockade against Nagaland in protest against killing of two persons allegedly by goons from that state in Golaghat district on Tuesday.
National Highway 39, the main route to Nagaland via Rangajan in Golaghat district and Merapani-Wokha road to Wokha in Nagaland, were blocked by members of these organisations since morning. In Jorhat district, the attempt to block the routes from Titabar and Mariani met with failure with police arresting the picketeers under Section 144 CrPC.
The Jorhat district committee president of the AJYCP, Siba Kalita, said nearly 50 of their cadres were picked up by the police from Titabar while blocking the road to Dhodar Ali which goes into Nagaland through Golaghat district.
“The blockade was called off for today but tomorrow we will again block the road,” he said.
Likewise, at Mariani, ATTSA cadres who were blocking the Mariani-Mokokchung (Nagaland) road were picked up and later let off.
A source said for about an hour — the duration of the blockade — a few trucks were stopped but later made their way into Nagaland after the arrests.
The truck owners’ associations have said that they will ply their trucks to Naga- land as the essential commodities, if left out in the open during the rainy season, could rot, leading to immense waste.
The truckers said that unless forced to stop, they would continue supplying the neighbouring state with essential items including sugar, lentil, rice, grains.
The Jorhat leader of ATTSA, Dhiraj Gowala, and president of AASU’s Golaghat unit, M. Hussain, said about 350 houses in a dozen villages were torched throughout the day by alleged NSCN cadres from across the border and the administration had failed to provide security.
Gowala further said that the economic blockade would be intensified from tomorrow, defying arrests.
“A policeman could not be seen within a radius of 10km from the affected villages within the Assam border. When the deputy commissioner, superintendent of police and top officials spoke of being on the spot, they meant that they were at Uriamghat town, about 15km from the carnage site,” Gowala said.
Kurmi said that retribution could be taken only through an economic blockade.
The police said the blockade would not be allowed as the Jorhat district administration had imposed Section 144 CrPC in the district.
The Amguri-Namtola Sonari road to Nagaland in Sivasagar district was not blocked.
Nagaland shares borders with Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar and Karbi Anglong districts of Assam.