//AASU activists go on rampage during bandh

AASU activists go on rampage during bandh

GUWAHATI, FEB 14  (PTI) : Activits of the All Assam Students’ Union today went on the rampage, assaulting senior railway officials, setting ablaze vehicles and pelting stones at buildings during the 12-hour state-wide bandh called by the student body.

Bandh supporters protesting against the February 10 police firing at Kakopathar in Tinsukia district assaulted the North-East Frontier Railway’s Chief Commercial Manager, Kaushik Mukhopadhaya, and his driver with iron rods and smashed the vehicle in front of the Railway Headquarters at Maligaon here.

They also damaged four vehicles belonging to railway employees including that of a Public Relations Officer, who also received injuries, NF Railway Chief Public Relations Officer T K Rabha told PTI.

The injured were admitted to the railway hospital at Maligaon and an FIR has been launched with the police in this regard, Rabha said. NF railway authorities condemned the attack on its employees and alleged there was lack of adequate security by the state government in the vicinity of the railway headquarters here. AASU activists also torched a vehicle in front of the Veterinary College in Khanapara and damaged several other vehicles and pelted stones at shops in the Paltan Bazar area of the city.

Normal life was completely paralysed in the Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys with all schools and other educational institutions, banks and business establishments, private offices remaining closed in response to the bandh while attendance in government offices was thin, official sources said here. For the first time a bandh called by the AASU received total response in the Barak Valley with normal life coming to a standstill in all its three districts.

Incidents of stone pelting and damage to vehicles were reported from different parts of the valley and more than hundred persons were arrested by police. Meanwhile, vehicles remained off the road in the entire state though some long-distance Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) buses left for their destinations early morning with police escort. Airlines and train services, however, remained unaffected, official sources said.

Normal life was hit for the second consecutive day today as the ULFA had called a bandh on the same issue yesterday.

A villager, Ajit Mahanta, was picked up by the Army from Tirak in Tinsukia district on February 6 on the suspicion of being an ULFA linkman. His body was found in a gunny bag the next day near the Assam Medical College at Dibrugarh. The police opened fire last Friday on a mob, protesting against Mahanta’s death, killing nine people