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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Move to ban crackers

- Manik Kalita takes charge of Dhubri police station

Dhubri, Nov. 8: The Dhubri district administration is contemplating to impose a total ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers on the eve and during Kali Puja and Diwali in the district.

Though the ban order on high-decibel firecrackers, which was imposed a few years ago, still persists, Dhubri subdivisional officer (Sadar) R.C. Malakar said in view of the prevailing law and order, the district administration is contemplating to impose a total ban this time.

“But the final decision will be taken within a couple of days, including extending the curfew relaxation period during Kali Puja, Diwali and Chhath,” Malakar said.

Asked about the present situation of the town, Dhubri additional superintendent of police Prasanta Dutta said it was by and large peaceful but police are not taking any chances this time ahead of the festivals.

“Police pickets which were set up in all the sensitive areas of Dhubri town continue to be there to maintain law and order. Besides this, high-decibel firecrackers, which besides deafening sound, also cause noise pollution, remain banned this time too,” Dutta said.

Dhubri, being the largest market of gold and silver in lower Assam, had always made brisk business during Dhanteras, a festival, which is celebrated two days before Diwali among the Hindi-speaking people.

“But this time, pre-Dhanteras business is down beyond our imagination. There are rituals of purchasing ornaments of gold and silver, utensils and gold and silver coins during Dhanteras. However, we think that is unlikely this time because of disturbances and tension in the town,” a goldsmith said.

Amid tension in some parts of Dhubri town, a new officer-in-charge, Manik Kalita, took over the charge of Dhubri police station replacing Harin Deka who was transferred to the CID branch in Guwahati.

Deka had come under fire from both sections of the community for his allegedly inept handling of the Dhubri situation and allowing it to get violent.