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Rediff News  All News  » News » Assam: Anti-dam protestors call bandh against 'police atrocities'

Assam: Anti-dam protestors call bandh against 'police atrocities'

December 26, 2011 20:17 IST

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity, an organisation spearheading protests against a proposed dam in eastern Assam, has called for an indefinite bandh in Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts from Tuesday.

The bandh has been called to protest 'police atrocities' on agitators who were forcefully evicted from the demonstration site at Ranganadi in the wee hours of Monday.

Akhil Gogoi, general secretary of KMSS, claimed that police personnel resorted to unprovoked lathi-charge in the wee hours of Monday on peaceful protesters at Ranganadi in Lakhimpur district of Assam.

The police have arrested 400 protesters, he said.

The KMSS, Takam Mising Porin Kebang and Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad have been leading a mass protest against the proposed 2000 MW Lower Subansiri mega hydro-electric project of the NHPC that is being constructed at Gerukamukh in Dhemaji district along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.

The anti-dam movement at Lakhimpur has been going on since December 16 and was aimed at blocking all goods to the NHPC project site at Gerukamukh. The protest has succeeded in bringing the ongoing work at Gerukamukh dam project site to a halt.

"The movement is lead by many organisations. But people from all sections of society have played the most important role. The movement has gained significant support from a cross-section of people and communities whose lives, economy and culture is at stake because of the mega dam," Gogoi said.

The ongoing road blockade and anti-dam movement has received support from a number of groups, communities and political leaders of Arunachal Pradesh, he claimed.

"We cannot ignore the fact that tributaries of Brahmaputra are of inter-state nature. Any lay person knows this fact except our political leaders in Assam and Arunachal. The Arunachal government's attempt to control this river system by installing dams is tantamount toa inter-state water dispute. The rivers in Arunachal Pradesh, on which various dams are scheduled to be built, pass through Assam. They are also the lifeline of Assam's economy and society. These rivers and their water are not merely for power generation but also for the very survival of our rural life," Gogoi added.

K Anurag in Guwhahati