GUWAHATI, Sept 24 – The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) today announced suspension of its ongoing economic blockade against Nagaland 'with immediate effect,' following an agreement with the Naga Students' Federation (NSF) at a joint meeting at Golaghat last night.
The AASU launched the economic blockade against Nagaland following the September 15 incident of physical attack on a group of its activists by some personnel of the 12 th Naga Armed Police India Reserve Police Battalion at Pholongoni in Golaghat district.
The AASU members were blocking the NH-39 that day in support of their demand for immediate steps to improve the condition of roads and water supply schemes, among others
The September 15 incident led to a great clamour in Assam compelling the Assam Government to institute an enquiry into the incident and to take up the matter with the Nagaland Government. The Nagaland Government tendered apology for the incident and assured steps against the erring police personnel. But the AASU announced its resolve to continue with the economic blockade until the guilty police officers and personnel are punished.
This resulted in a serious situation for several parts of the neighbouring State, which depends on supply of provisions from outside.
The NSF stepped into the matter at this juncture and held a joint meeting with the AASU central committee leaders. A seven-member delegation of the NSF took part in the last night meeting with the AASU leaders. AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharyya, who is also the chairman of the North East Students' Organisation (NESO), presided over the meeting.
At the meeting, the two organisations decided to work hand in hand on all common issues and preserve the age-old relationship between the two communities. The two organisations also reiterated their commitment to maintain people-to-people dialogue in hammering out differences through mutual understanding, said the leaders of the two students' bodies.
Further, they unanimously agreed to condemn any kind of atrocities meted out to the students' communities by any State or Central armed forces, said another resolution of the meeting.
The NSF assured full support to the “cause of AASU in ensuring fulfilment of its demand for justice”. It further stated that it would continue to exert pressure on the Nagaland Government for bringing all the erring police personnel to book at the earliest.
AASU president and general secretary Sankar Prasad Roy and Tapan Kumar Gogoi told this newspaper that they have taken into consideration the action taken by the Nagaland Government initiating the process of disciplinary steps by way of placing under suspension the company commander of the 12 NAP IR Bn responsible for the September 15 incident.
They have also lauded the immediate condemnation of the incident and expression of solidarity and support to the AASU cause by the NSF. The NSF has also assured that it would continue to mount pressure on the Nagaland Government for punishing the erring police personnel.
Therefore, responding to the NSF appeal, the ongoing economic blockade has been decided to be kept suspended in the 'interest of strengthening people-to-people relations of the two States with immediate effect.
However, they said, the AASU will be compelled to resume the agitation if all the erring police personnel are not brought to book at the earliest.