Traders of strife-torn Hailakandi and district administration officials took out a rally in the town on Saturday to appeal to shopkeepers to open shutters.
The rally followed a meeting of the Hailakandi District Merchants’ Association with district administration officials wherein the association’s president Bhagwan Sarda submitted a memorandum, demanding a compensation of Rs 8 crore to owners of 38 business establishments of Hailakandi town for damage of property. He said two businessmen had also been injured during the clash on May 10.
At the meeting convened by the district administration at DC’s conference hall, deputy commissioner Keerthi Jalli requested the traders to continue normal business so that it does not have any cascading effect on the economy of the district.
Jalli appealed to the different merchants’ associations across the district to co-operate with the administration in bringing back lasting and durable peace and to put the economy back on track.
Extending support and cooperation to the traders and businessmen, Jalli said the administration would do everything possible to ensure normal economic activities.
Jalli said the administration has already done assessment of the damage suffered by businessmen and despatched a detailed report to the government for necessary compensations.
The traders also urged the administration to install CCTVs at the main thoroughfares to detect subversive activities. They also asked the administration to initiate stern action against those who posted objectionable posts on social media following the outbreak of the violence.
The meeting unanimously decided to hold a shantiyatra (peace march) to assure members of the public that all stand together. A padyatra (rally) was immediately taken out from the DC’s office and traversed through the main market areas of the town.
Taking part in the march, Jalli appealed to all stakeholders to keep shops open till 9 or 10pm and to work together for the development of the district.
“The padyatra was taken out to spread the message loud and clear that the situation in the town is stable and trade and business can resume fully for ensuring progress of the district,” she said.
Superintendent of police Mohneesh Mishra, officials of the administration and traders participated in the rally.
A peace rally had also been taken out on Thursday to maintain peace and communal harmony.
Curfew has been relaxed in the district from morning till late evening for the past couple of days. Only night curfew is still in force.
On Friday, Karimaganj North legislator Kamalakshya Dey Purkayastha had demanded adequate compensation for the traders of Hailakandi whose properties and goods were damaged during the May 10 violence.
He met chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal in Dispur on Friday and requested him to set up an inquiry commission headed by a retired judge of Gauhati High Court.