NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Aug 25 - A day after the signing of the draft Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between public sector National Hydro-electrical Power Corporation (NHPC) and Assam government on the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydro Electrical Power plant (LSHEP) last Friday, protests broke out in North Lakhimpur against the agreement.
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU)’s Lakhimpur district union burnt the effigy of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in North Lakhimpur on Saturday in protest of the MoU. In a press release, the Lakhimpur AASU led by its president Pulak Borah and secretary Dhanmani Dutta condemned the Chief Minister for his role in supporting the hydro-electrical dam over Subansiri. They termed Chief Minister Sonowal as a liar and betrayer for the cause of the safety and security of the people of Assam living on the downstream areas of the river. The Lakhimpur AASU expressed strong opposition to the MoA between NHPC and Assam government.
The AASU also expressed strong resentment over the issue of non-implementation of the report of the expert committee formed after the tri-lateral meeting among the students’ body, the NHPC and the Assam government. The expert committee was supposed to take the opinion of experts from Assam and the local people living on the downstream areas of the river, said the press statement. The AASU leaders said that the State government had signed the MoA by keeping the public in dark. The silence by Lakhimpur MP Pradan Baruah over the issue was also criticised by Lakhimpur AASU.
On the other hand, 20 different organisations held a meeting against the MoA in North Lakhimpur on Saturday. The meeting which was chaired by Bikul Goswami pledged to continue the anti-dam protests even by sacrificing lives. Leaders from various organisations like MASS, TMPK, AKRASU, ATASU etc., attended the meeting and expressed their opposition to the MoA. The meeting also formed a platform LSHEP Birodhi Sangram Okya Manch to launch an anti-dam fortnight protest programme in Lakhimpur district.