The Morung Express

Bharat Bandh evokes mixed response in North East

Affects normal life in BJP-ruled Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur & Tripura

 

Morung Express News

Dimapur | September 10

 

The Bharat Bandh called by the Congress and Left against rising fuel prices evoked mixed response across northeast on September 10.

 

The bandh, however, was more effective in BJP-ruled states like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur & Tripura where several untoward incidents were reported.

 

According to IANS news agency, traffic went off the roads in most places including National Highways in Assam.

 

While government offices recorded thin attendance, most markets and educational institutions remained closed during the bandh hours, it said. Hundreds took to the streets in different places including in Guwahati and blocked roads to express their resentment against the rising fuel prices that have shot up prices of essential commodities, it added.

 

The Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Agarwala however told the IANS that the bandh was peaceful.
In Manipur, all educational institutes were closed and attendance in offices was very thin. All commercial vehicles were off the road, men and women came out at several places to burn tyres and block all kinds of vehicular movements, according to IANS.

 

Former Chief Minister and now opposition leader Okram Ibobi led a rally of the party MLAs and members in Imphal. All markets in the city and many other districts were shut, it said.

 

There were heated face offs between police and the Congress members at several places.

 

In another BJP-ruled state Tripura, most markets, shops and business establishments were closed and private as well as passenger vehicles remained off the roads. Government offices and some banks were open but employee attendance was low.

 

Flights operated to-and-from Agartala while the Northeast Frontier Railways operated their trains with very few passengers, another IANS report said.

 

Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) K.V. Sreejesh told IANS that there were no untoward incidents reported from any part of the state.

 

Several Congress party workers were arrested for holding demonstrations in different places and creating obstacles in front of government offices, it added.

 

Meanwhile, in another BJP-ruled state Arunachal Pradesh, all shops and business establishments including banks and educational institutions were closed in the state and private vehicles were off roads on Monday.

 

In the state capital about 100 Congress activists including Mahila Congress workers, Youth Congress president Geli Ete and Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) secretary John Taksing were arrested by police, PTI news agency reported quoting the police

 

The protesters burnt tyres in many places in the state capital and in various other places to block roads, it said.
In Congress-ruled Mizoram, shops, offices and educational institutions were open and there was no impact of ‘Bharat Bandh’ anywhere in the state.

 

However, the Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on Monday joined the bandh by staging demonstration near Vanpa Hall in Aizawl, according to Newmai News Agency.

 

In Nagaland, while the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) described the call for the Bharat Bandh on September 10 as “purely voluntary,” the response to the bandh in commercial capital Dimapur and state capital Kohima were mixed.

 

The NPCC had earlier ‘requested’ business establishments to down their shutters from 9 am to 3 pm as a mark of protest against the indifference of the central government to reduce oil prices.

 

While they were open in the morning, most shops were closed in Dimapur during the bandh timing. However, most petrol pumps kept theirs shutters down since early in the morning.

 

The NPCC Media Cell had earlier informed that the “functioning of government offices, schools, health institutions and movement of vehicular traffic should not be affected” and most functioned normally.