Assam bandh: Normal life hit; over 70 detained, released

Guwahati, Oct 31 (IANS) Normal life was affected across Assam Friday in the wake of a Bajrang Dal-sponsored 12-hour dawn-to-dusk bandh to press for the arrest of AIUDF chief Badaruddin Ajmal, ban on the party and sealing of madrassas in the state.

Police said over 70 bandh supporters were detained all over the state for trying to enforce the bandh. All the detainees, including popular Assamese singer Krishnamoni Chutia, were, however, released later.
There were a few incidents where bandh supporters took to the streets and prevented movement of people and plying of vehicles by setting fire to tyres on the roads.
Educations institutions and commercial establishments remained closed in almost all the towns and districts of Assam and government offices recorded thin attendance.
Vehicular traffic, including commercial and private ones, remained off the roads causing severe problems to commuters.
The only respite for passengers was that the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) plied its buses during the bandh hours.
Although the bandh did not affect flights, movement of trains was slightly upset as bandh supporters tried to stop these at different places.
Some supporters also prevented railway workers from joining duty in the morning at Rangia.
Police and security forces, however, contained the situation in most places.
In Tezpur, the police resorted to mild lathicharge after some bandh supporters prevented movement of vehicles and also damaged public property. No one was, however, injured.
The Bajrang Dal had called the bandh to protest against alleged links between the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and Bangladesh-based jihadi forces.
A national news channel had recently reported about the alleged nexus between the two and that the AIUDF chief was sending Assamese youths to the neighbouring country for training.
The AIUDF chief has, however, denied the charges and termed it a political conspiracy to defame the party ahead of the 2016 assembly election.