Guwahati, Tuesday, February 2, 2010
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KMSS stages mass protest in Dibrugarh
staff correspondent
 DIBRUGARH, Feb 1 Over eight thousand farmers including women led by Akhil Gogoi, the general secretary of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), today stormed the office of the Deputy Commissioner here in support of their various demands.

The members of the KMSS, who have been since long opposing construction of mega dams in Dibang valley and Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh, besides pressing for land reforms, total implementation of irrigational schemes and issue of land pattas to the indigenous people of Assam refused to talk to the lower rank district administrators and continued with their demonstration. The situation was almost turning volatile as the agitators were getting aggressive due to the reluctance of the Deputy Commissioner G D Tripathi to meet the farmers. Refusal on the part of the DC despite prior information and repeated requests kept the agitators demonstrating for more than an hour.

A large contingent of armed police personnel, including CRPF and commandos were deployed to contain the crowd, besides one tear gas team was placed on the stand-by to disperse the crowd incase of any eventuality. Three Additional Deputy Commissioners, one Additional Superintendent of Police and two Deputy Superintendents of Police were seen trying to persuade the crowd to end the demonstration.

After prolonged pleas, the Deputy Commissioner gave in to the pressure of the agitating farmers and walked out of his office to face the crowd. The farmers who thronged the office of the Deputy Commissioner had blocked both ends of the Mancotta Road from Chowkindinghee intersection onwards, creating a major traffic chaos.

The Deputy Commissioner received a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister from Molan Laskar, president, KMSS and assured the gathering that the administration would expedite the process in solving the problems of the farmers. The KMSS has demanded immediate solution to the flood and erosion problem, particularly in Rohmoria and Lezai in the district and fixation of a fixed price for green tea leaves among other demands.

Later, the leaders of the KMSS also met the Superintendent of the Food and Civil Supply, Project Director of District Rural development Agency (DRDA) and the deputy director of supplies and placed their grievances before them.

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