AASU lifts blockade against Nagaland for now

The All Assam Students Union (AASU) on Friday temporarily lifted the economic blockade.

Golaghat: The All Assam Students Union (AASU) on Friday temporarily lifted the economic blockade on roads leading to Nagaland after the neighbouring State suspended a top officer allegedly involved in the firing and assault of AASU members here.

The protesters had blocked supply of essential commodities through the key NH-39 in protest against the September 15 incident when the student activists were allegedly fired upon by the Nagaland police injuring 22 people, some of them seriously.

AASU executive member Jatin Bora told PTI the blockade was lifted temporarily from 2.30 am IST following the suspension of Company Commander of the India Reserve Battalion (IRB) and announcement of Rs. 5 lakh ex-gratia to the injured by the Nagaland government.

The neighbouring State had constituted an inquiry committee to probe the incident and also requested the Nagaland Students Federation for withdrawal of the blockade on humanitarian grounds, he said.

The blockade would, however, be re-imposed if action was not taken by the Nagaland government based on the report of its inquiry committee, Mr. Bora said.

Earlier, the trouble broke out when the protesters stopped a convoy of five cars belonging to the Nagaland police who allegedly resorted to firing and cane charging near Golaghat here.

The Nagaland government had on Thursday regretted its police action and suspended the company commander of 12th IR battalion ‘Bravo’ involved in the incident and announced Rs. 5 lakh ex-gratia to the injured.

Three members of the inquiry committee instituted by Nagaland government had visited Golaghat on Wednesday and met AASU leaders, some of the victims and the district administration officials and had appealed to the AASU to lift the economic blockade.

They were handed photos of police excesses and shown the video clippings of police brutalities.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had urged his Nagaland counterpart N. Rio to ensure that the errant policemen were arrested at the earliest.

Mr. Gogoi had earlier ordered an inquiry by the Golaghat district administration and directed Principal Secretary Labour and Employment KK Mittal to probe the incident.