Assam officials imposed an indefinite curfew in the Maibang area of Dima Hasao district on Friday leaving more than 1,000 train passengers stranded, NDTV reported. The curfew was imposed to counter the violence that broke out following the deaths of two protestors after police police fired at them during a demonstration on Thursday. Trains bound for Silchar and Guwahati were stopped midway.
The protestors were among the hundreds of Dimasa tribals who were demonstrating against a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist’s purported comment that the draft plan for the Naga Accord showed that the district is part of Nagalim. RSS leader Jagdamba Mall, however, claimed he was misquoted, NDTV reported.
The protestors have damaged the railway tracks, Dima Hasao Deputy Commissioner Deva Jyoti Hazarika told IANS. “It will take time to repair them [the tracks] and resume the movement of trains,” Hazarika said. “We have requisitioned 25 buses from Guwahati to send the stranded passengers to their destinations by road. However, the picketers did not allow the buses to proceed to New Haflong.”
The passengers have been provided with security, food and water, Hazarika told the news agency.
Southern Assam, Mizoram and Tripura are totally cut off due to this agitation, said Northeast Frontier Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sarma said. “The passengers have been waiting at the stations for more then 24 hours now. We cannot run trains till we are sure of the safety of the track,” Sarma said.
On Friday night, protestors carried the bodies in a rally in Haflong, the headquarters of Dima Hasao. Tribal groups called for a 48-hour bandh in district to protest against the killing. The protestors have demanded that the state government clarify their stance on the draft plan in writing as well as the immediate suspension of police officials. They have also demanded a compensation package for the family members of the dead and injured.