People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 23

June 15 , 2008


Bandh Paralyses Normal Life In Assam

Isfaqur Rahman

IN response to the twelve-hour Assam Bandh call jointly given by the Assam units of the CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML)-Liberation and the RSP, the people of the state registered their strong protest against the recent hike in prices of petroleum products and observed bandh on June 9 with unprecedented success. All educational institutions, government offices, banks and other financial institutions, industrial establishments, shops and markets remained closed. All modes of transportation and vehicular traffic came to a halt and the entire state wore a deserted look. The bandh held from 5 in the morning was a total and complete success.

Apart from the joint call of the four Left parties, the AGP and some other parties and organisations also separately gave the bandh call on the same day. Large number of CPI(M) volunteers came on to the streets to make the bandh a massive success.

Prior to the bandh, the CPI(M) organised dharnas, demonstrations, street corner meetings etc throughout the state from June 5 in protest against the hike in prices of petrol, diesel and LPG.

The capital city of Guwahati wore a deserted look on the day of bandh. All education institutions, central and state government offices, business establishments, financial institutions etc remained closed. The vehicular traffic came to a halt. The rail services have also been seriously disrupted.

The Assam government tried its level best to foil the bandh. The state administration arrested several hundreds of CPI(M) activists from Silchar, Karimganj, Jamuguri, Dhakuakhana etc. In spite of the repressive measures of the state administration people came on to the streets and observed bandh with unprecedented success.

The Assam state committee of the CPI(M), in a statement today, warmly greeted and congratulated the people of the state for making the bandh call a big success. The party also condemned the undemocratic behaviour of the state government in dealing with protest action. It demanded immediate and unconditional release of the arrested activists.

The CPI(M) also demanded immediate roll-back of the prices of petroleum products. It called upon the people of the state to build up mightier struggles in support of their just demands. The Party appealed to all other Left, democratic and secular parties to build up joint struggles and pressure the central government to retrace its anti-people steps.




The four Left parties in Assam jointly organised road blockades, rail-rokos, demonstrations etc. throughout the state on June 11, in protest against the hike in prices of petrol, diesel and LPG. Hundreds of volunteers of the CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML) and RSP assembled at different parts of the state, organised road blockades and squatted on railway tracks to register their protest against the anti-people policies of the central government. After the unprecedented and successful Assam bandh observed by the four Left parties on June 9, this action also evoked wide response from the people. In fact, since June 5 onwards, the four parties have been organising various action programmes in Assam demanding immediate rollback of petro-prices. The joint actions have been gaining momentum and growing from strength to strength.

As in the case of Assam bandh, the state administration made elaborate arrangements and heavy police bandobast to foil the rail and road blockade. The four parties gave the call to block the road and railway tracks for two hours as a symbolic but militant protest.

The state administration arrested several thousands of Left parties volunteers throughout the state and resorted to undemocratic actions. However, defying repressive measures, huge number of people came out to the street, defied prohibitory orders and made the call a big success.

The CPI(M) state secretary Uddhab Barman, in a statement issued on behalf of the four Left parties, congratulated the people and condemned police action as well as undemocratic behaviour of the state administration.

In the capital city of Guwahati, around 500 volunteers of the four parties assembled at the Guwahati railway station and stopped the trains from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. The protesters were led by CPI(M) state secretary Uddhab Barman, CPI secretary Drupad Borgahain, CPI(ML) secretary Rubul Sarma and RSP secretary Paresh Boruah. The entire station area was reverberated with slogans for two hours demanding immediate roll back of prices.

At Gauripur, Bilasipara and Chapar in Dhubri district, more than 500 protestors were arrested while conducting road blockade and staging demonstrations. Similarly, at Bongalgaon railway station, 50 volunteers were arrested while more than 200 people were arrested at Manikpur for organising road blockades. In Kamrup district, 150 volunteers were arrested at Rangia station, 300 were arrested at Moranjana and 40 were arrested at Kendukana. The railway authorities were forced to divert the trains from Guwahati, including the Rajdhani Express via alternative routes.

In Barpeta district, 70 picketers were arrested at Sorbhog railway station and 31 were arrested at Barpeta road station. In Nalbari district, more than 80 volunteers were arrested at Tihu railway station while 33 were arrested at Nalbari station.

In Nagaon, several hundred left activists organized road blockade while 51 of  them were picked up and arrested by the police. In Sonitpur district, 54 were arrested at Rangappara railway station and 101 were arrested at Dhalaibeel station. At Biswanath Charilai, several  hundreds volunteers came out to the street and organized road blockades. In Dibrugarh district, more than 100 volunteers squatted on the railway tracks at Namrup. At Johat also around 50 CPI(M) activists participated in the road blockade. At Silchar in Cachar district, more than 300 people participated in the road blockade programme. In other parts of the state, too, protest action were held details of which are awaited.

The four Left parties reiterated their demand for immediate withdrawal of the hike in prices of petroleum products.