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Home > News > Report

Blockade called by ex-ultras cuts off northeast

K Anurag in Guwahati | May 24, 2007 19:10 IST

The northeastern states remained cut off from the rest of the country through surface communication because of 100 hour-road and rail blockade agitation called by the former militants of the now disbanded Bodo Liberation Tiger from 5 am on Thursday.

The ex-BLT Welfare Society called for the blockade to protest 'series of killings' of its members by rival National Democratic Front of Bodoland. The former leaders of the BLT are now in the helm of affairs of Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District Council comprising four districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri in Western and northern Assam on the north bank of Brahmaputra River.

According to an official source in Kokrajhar district in western Assam to blockade had paralysed vehicular and railway traffic in entire western Assam cutting the N-E region from rest of the country.

There was no movement of vehicle on the NH 39 that connects the Northeast with the rest of the country through road.

Similarly, the main railway line that connects Assam and other N-E states with rest of the country passes through Kokrajhar district where the impact of blockade was total.

According to an NF Railway spokesperson, the blockade affected schedules of thousands railway passengers as all the long distance outgoing and incoming trains had to be regulated in different stations between Guwahati and New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal.

Not a single train including the Guwahati-New Delhi Rajdhani Express was allowed to leave Guwahati station till noon.

"However, we allowed the Rajdhani to leave Guwahati at 2.45 pm followed by New Delhi-bound Northeast Express at 3 pm after getting a go-ahead from the state government," the railway official informed.

Incoming trains have been regulated at stations like New Jalpaiguri, Fakiragram. New Coochbehar, New Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri town, Dhupguri etc. where there is no shortage of food and drinking water for stranded passengers.

The worst-affected were the students traveling from Northeast to New Delhi and other big cities to seek admission in colleges and different professional institutions after their Xth and XIIth results were declared.

Life has been paralysed in all western Assam towns that are traversed through by the arterial national highway 39 because of the road blockade. Vehicular traffic has been completely off the road given the ex-BLT men are notorious for their tendency to burn down vehicles that dare defy their diktat.

Over 3,000 trucks carrying goods into the region have been stranded at Sri Rampur, the entry point to the region from outside because of the blockade. However, the blockade failed to have any impact in Brahmaputra Valley and Southern Assam where the ex-BLT leaders have no influence at all.