| The debris left after rioters set ablaze houses during violence at Beltola in Assam’s Barpeta district on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, Aug. 30: A rattled Dispur is contemplating to not only lodge cases against those calling strikes but also seek damages from those sponsoring and supporting them.
CMO sources disclosed the move to crack down on strike sponsors and sympathisers was prompted by the violence that took place during the AAMSU-sponsored strike on August 28, in which one person was killed and scores injured in Barpeta Road area in Barpeta district.
“We will strictly enforce the Supreme Court ruling on strikes. To start with we will book strike sponsors and also seek damages from them,” a CMO source told The Telegraph.
They did not directly mention whether action would be taken against the union leadership but the decision to seek damages implied the government was contemplating action against those associated with Tuesday’s strike and for the violence that took place.
“We will act against those who indulged in violence during the strike. An affected person can directly seek damages from court in accordance with the ruling last year but we are also planning to seek damages from strike sponsors. We will soon be assessing the extent of damages,” another CMO source said.
The disclosure comes just an hour after chief minister Tarun Gogoi asserted that action will be taken against those who indulged in violence during strikes, which have been banned by Dispur for a month yesterday in accordance with the 1998 Supreme Court ruling, owing to the prevailing law and order situation triggered by the violence in BTAD.
“Public brandishing of lathis and swords is unacceptable,” Gogoi told mediapersons this afternoon, indicating that Dispur had taken serious note of the AAMSU strike seeking dissolution of BTC.
Welcoming the public mood to defy strikes and condemn violence, Gogoi said since January 1, there have been 23 statewide strikes, 48 district strikes, 65 district road blockades and 13 statewide road blockades.
“This proves we are number one in calling strikes and blockades in the country. If this trend continues, where will Assam go?” the chief minister asked.
Gogoi went on to add that violence during the August 28 strike proved some forces did not want peace in the state, adding the ban on strikes will be reviewed after a month.