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    AASU Alleges, Dispur Imposing Lockdown & Night Curfew to Push NHPC Materials

    By Debananda Medak

    Guwahati: The state government has imposed lockdown and night curfew in and around Gogamukh areas under Dhemaji district to push heavy machinery equipment required for the NHPC’s undergoing Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Power Project construction, alleged the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).

    Notably, The Dhemaji district units of the AASU, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad, All Tai Ahom Students’ Union, Takam Mising Porin Kebang (All Mising Students’ Union) and other indigenous organisations have been blocking NHPC’s two construction material-laden trucks at Gogamukh since Monday. The members of the unions also demanded the district administration to immediately push back the vehicles.

    AASU Dhemaji district president Dipak Sarma said, “We will not let the vehicles move towards the NHPC’s project site. It must be pushed back by the administration. Intensified protests will continue until the vehicles are pushed back.”

    Sarma informed Time8 that the NHPC authority attempted to bypass the movement of two vehicles loaded with heavy machinery equipment to reach Gerukamukh, the project site on Monday night. However, since the road was congested and constructed recently, the attempt visibly failed and the vehicles were forced to move via Gogamukh. Accordingly, the conspiracy of the government as well as the NHPC authority came to the limelight.”     

    Sarma alleged that by imposing night curfew across the state in the name of containing the coronavirus pandemic, the state government has compounded free movement of smuggling vehicles for timber, coal and cattle. “Categorically, the night curfew is intended to push the trucks loaded with heavy machinery equipment required for the NHPC’s power project,” the union leader said.

    The AASU alleged that the local administration also threatened them to arrest taking advantage of the night curfew.

    Dhemaji district deputy commissioner Narsing Pawar said, “Negotiation is still on to release the vehicles. The circle officer and the additional deputy commissioner of the area concerned have been talking to the agitators. If they (protesters) are not convinced, we will initiate immediate action.”

    The DC added, “We have asked them (protesters) to free the vehicles till this evening. If not released, the administration will be forced to arrest them.”   

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