12-hour Barak bandh called by the HPC Paper Mills Revival Action Committee, for revival of the paper mills.
The 12-hour Barak bandh called by the HPC Paper Mills Revival Action Committee, for revival of the paper mills at Panchgram and Jagiroad was near-total and peaceful on Thursday.
Activists went around in Panchgram and other parts of Hailakandi district seeking support for the bandh and blocked the National Highways at several points before police and CRPF personnel dispersed them. The agitators also stopped a train for some time at the Panchgram Railway Station. Several activists were rounded up by the police. Local MLA Nizamuddin Choudhury was also arrested as he joined the bandh supporters.
In district headquarters town of Hailakandi, few shops and other commercial establishments remained open. The main thoroughfares wore a deserted look. Educational institutions and banks remained shut. The civil hospital and medical stores remained open. Most petrol outlets were closed.
Government offices were open and attendance was near normal at the Deputy Commissioner’s office as the employees were busy with Panchayat election, as it was the day of withdrawal of nominations and publication of list of contesting candidates. But, with so few people coming, there was little delivery of services. Attendance at some Government offices, however, was thin as many employees commute from Karimganj and Silchar. Few vehicles plied on the road. The ISBT bus stand near SS College and the taxi stand at Shivbari Road in Hailakandi town were eerily silent, following suspension of services.
Security had been beefed up in some parts of the district, particularly at Panchgram and surrounding areas. However, the bandh was peaceful by and large and no major untoward incident was reported.