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OC suspended over bandh vandalism

Cop failed to prevent violence: Boss

Protesters burn tyres during the Assam bandh at Morigaon on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati, July 2: The officer-in-charge of Sonapur police station, Sanjib Kumar Das, has been placed under suspension today for failing to prevent vandalism during a central Assam bandh called by the All Assam Tiwa Students' Union (AATSU) and 26 other organisations of indigenous communities yesterday.

Guwahati police commissioner Mukesh Agarwal said Das had been suspended for negligence and dereliction of duty.

Agarwal said preliminary inquiry found that Das had failed to prevent vandalism by strike supporters, who came onto the road, damaged vehicles and disrupted vehicular traffic.

"It was his duty to take appropriate steps to prevent such untoward incidents during the strike which he failed to do because of which action has been initiated against him," he said.

The police commissioner said a hunt is on to apprehend those who indulged in violence during the strike.

There had been allegations that the police stood as mute spectators as strike supporters went on the rampage.

Several incidents of vandalism were witnessed on the National Highway 37 stretch from Guwahati to Nagaon during the 24-hour strike yesterday. It was called demanding immediate election to the six constituencies of the Tiwa Autonomous Council under Dimoria block in Kamrup (metro) district.

The Tiwa Autonomous Council has 36 constituencies spread over Morigaon and parts of Nagaon, Kamrup (metro) and Karbi Anglong districts.

A truck was set ablaze and some vehicles were damaged by strike supporters at Sonapur. Incidents of stone throwing and burning of tyres were also reported from some parts of Morigaon district.

The superintendent of police, Morigaon, Aynul Haque, said barring a few minor incidents like stone throwing, the strike passed off peacefully in the district. He said three persons were arrested by Morigaon police for throwing stones and sent to judicial custody today.

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