Tuesday December 11, 2018
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Assam stands still: Hundreds arrested in 12-hour Bandh

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source: Indiatv
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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Guwahati: Assam came to a stand-still on Saturday due to the 12-hour bandh called by the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP). Hundreds of bandh supporters were arrested following Reports of stray incidents of violence from districts across the state

The AJYCP had called the bandh in protest against the central government’s decision to grant citizenship to Bangladeshi and Pakistani non-Muslim migrants, who had entered India till December last year due to religious persecution.

deserted-guwahati-club-area-during-assam-bandh-113518At least 11 other organisations of the state including the Asom Gana Parishad and student organisations of Motock, Moran, Dimasa, Karbi, Goriya-Moriya, Sonowal-Kachari, Madahi and Bishnupuria Manipuri communities supported the bandh called by the AJYCP.

Schools, colleges, other educational institutions and commercial establishments remained closed during the bandh.

Except for a few buses of the Assam State Transport Corporation running in some areas, the roads were exempt from vehicular traffic in most districts.

Bandh supporters blocked national and state highways by burning tyres and in many districts, came out on to the streets in several areas to enforce the bandh.

In districts like Kamrup, Nagaon, Lakhimpur, Tinsukia and Dibrugarh, bandh supporters forced some drivers out of their vehicles and made them stand for several hours leading to stray incidents of violence.

Some of the supporters also partially destroyed some vehicles in Tezpur. This led to the arrest of scores of protesters, police said, adding that they were released later.

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source: indianexpress.com

Meanwhile, Assam’s leading farmers’ body Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) launched a hunger strike at Dighalipukhuripar in Guwahati on Saturday to protest against the Centre’s move and said that they would launch a mass movement opposing the Centre’s decision.

“The government started updating the National Register of Citizens to make the state free of illegal Bangladeshi citizens. However, now the government takes a decision that all the non-Muslims from Bangladesh and Pakistan would be allowed to stay in India and would be given citizenship,” said KMSS leader Kamal Medhi.

“This is a condemnable move of the central government. This is not only against the people of Assam and against the spirit of the historical Assam Accord but also leads to a threat to national security,” Medhi said, adding that Saturday’s fast is just the beginning of a massive mass movement.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Tea Body of Assam Slam ‘Chaiwala’ Modi

The tea labourers of Assam live in the most deplorable conditions without some of the basic amenities, Gowala said

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Assam tea body slam 'chaiwala' Modi,

The largest tea body of Assam on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who often refer to himself as a “chaiwala”, for not being considerate towards the state’s tea garden workers’ plight and urged him to implement the promised minimum wage of Rs 350 before the new year starts.

The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) General Secretary Rupesh Gowala said while Modi often refers to himself as a “chaiwala”, he is yet make good on his promises towards a million tea garden labourers in the state in the last four years.

“Before the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, Modi addressed several rallies in Assam and assured that the tea garden labourers would be paid a minimum wage of Rs 350 per day,” Gowala said.

“If this happens, the 10,00,000 tea garden labourers will lose Rs 30 each day for two months. Is it a “chaiwala” Prime Minister who is doing this to his own community?” said Gowala.

The tea garden workers in Brahmaputra Valley in Assam are presently drawing Rs 167 per day while the tea garden workers in Barak Valley are getting Rs 145 per day.

“The existing wage agreement between the Assam government and the ACMS and other tea workers bodies expired on December 31, 2017.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi (Wikimedia Commons)

“The government had announced an interim hike of Rs 30 per day. The tea garden labourers are supposed to get this interim hike from January 1, 2018, but the government is saying the hike will apply from March 1, 2018.

“This would make them lose Rs 30 per day for two months,” he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Assam is yet to fix that minimum wage, Gowala said, urging Modi to announce the promised Rs 350 per day minimum wage before 2019.

Gowala said the condition of all those tea gardens run by the Assam government was far worse.

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“While the labourers in company-owned garden are receiving a wage of Rs. 167 per day now, the 26,000 workers under the 14 gardens of state-owned Assam Tea Company Limited (ATCL) are receiving a wage of Rs 115 only per day,” he said.

Assam has over 800 medium and large size tea gardens that produces over 50 per cent of the country’s total tea produce.

The tea labourers of Assam live in the most deplorable conditions without some of the basic amenities, Gowala said. (IANS)