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Candle rally in support of peace

People participate in the rally in Kokrajhar on Sunday. Telegraph picture

Kokrajhar, Sept. 1: A peace rally and a candle-lit vigil were organised by civil society groups here this evening to protest various forms of violence like abduction, extortion, violence against women and witch-hunt.

The white peace rally — the participants wore white — was organised by the Lower Assam NGO Forum as a show of unwavering commitment and support for non-violence.

The All Bodo Students’ Union (Absu) extended its full support to the rally and its members participated in it.

The rally started from Kokrajhar flyover and marched towards Police Point. It passed through Santinagar, Civil Line, JD Road and returned to the flyover. The protesters then stood on either side of the flyover for half-an-hour with candles.

“The rally is being held especially to register protest against all forms of violence — communal, witch-hunting, kidnapping and other forms of violence. This will also be a gesture to show that for ordinary people, peace is the only desirable outcome,” said Jenny Liang of Ant, a Chirang-based NGO, and convener of the Lower Assam NGO Forum.

“Lower Assam has seen violence of many kinds over the years. Militancy, ethnic conflicts, extortions, kidnappings, violence against women and witch-hunting — it has become a region where use of force and violent means to aid a cause have become too common. As a tool, violence is non-democratic and does not allow participation of ordinary people. Even when violence is provoked or taken to as a last resort to redress a perceived wrong, it can never be a sustainable means. The effect of violence on society and particularly on the lives of the poor is too heavy a price to pay for short-term ends. A society brought up on fear, terror and use of force can never be one where justice, democracy, rule of law and equality exists,” Liang said.