Bharat Bandh evokes partial response in Northeast


Guwahati/Agartala, Sep 27 : The Bharat Bandh called by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha against the three contentious farm laws evoked a partial response in the Northeastern states on Monday. In Assam, a majority of the offices, both government and private, educational institutions, shops, commercial establishments in many of the 34 districts, including the main commercial hub Guwahati, remained open barring some business establishments. However, normal life was crippled in southern Assam as government and private offices, shops and markets and all other institutions were shut responding to the country-wide shutdown call from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the afternoon. Vehicular movements were normal in all the districts, except four districts in southern Assam, even as buses were seen plying in lesser numbers in Guwahati and other parts of the BJP-ruled state. The police arrested 20 Left members in front of the Cachar district Deputy Commissioner's office. However, a large section of traders and transport operators claimed that they were not aware of the shutdown call. The officials said that air and train services across the Northeastern region were normal and no untoward incident was reported so far. In Tripura, the shutdown was partial even as the Left parties, Congress and other organisations, who have supported the Bharat Bandh, did not organise any picketing. The five Left parties led by the CPI-M have campaigned for the past two weeks in support of the nationwide shutdown and its significance. All Tripura Merchants' Association General Secretary Sujit Roy told IANS that thousands of their members have not participated in the strike. In some sub-divisional areas many shops and markets were closed, but in most parts of Tripura life was normal, but presence in government offices, banks and educational institutions were little less. According to the police there was a minor incident in south Tripura's Belonia where a CPI-M supporter was assaulted by the ruling party activists. There is almost no response in the other Northeastern states, including Meghalaya and Manipur. The BJP, which opposed the Bharat Bandh, has been ruling in four of the eight Northeastern states -- Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh while its allies are governing in Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim. /IANS


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