Bandh in Raha over clash over AIIMS

Raha: Normal life here was hit by a 10-hour bandh today against the killing of one person in Friday’s clash between police and protesters demanding shifting of proposed AIIMS in Assam from Changsari to here, about 130 km from Guwahati.

The spontaneous protest saw markets, shops, educational institutions closed and the people also did not allow vehicles to ply during the bandh, which began at 8 am, official sources said.

There were reports of some agitators pelting stones on vehicles, including media vans, they added.

Ministers Chandra Mohan Patowary and Keshab Mahanta were rushed by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to Raha along with MLAs Rama Kanta Deuri and Piyush Hazarika to meet the protestors and the victim’s family.

The ministers handed over ex-gratia of Rs five lakh to the next of kin of the victim and said the government would immediately provide a job to his wife.

The protestors demanded that Raha be declared the place for setting up of AIIMS, to which Patowary said the proposed site would be finalised by the Centre.

The Chief Minister announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh to the next of kin of the victim. He also financial aid of Rs 50,000 each to the 20 injured.

He appealed people to maintain law-and-order in the area, while a one-member inquiry commission headed by Additional Chief Secretary Rajib Bora has been ordered to probe the incident in which the injured included two additional superintendents of police.

Meanwhile, the victim’s body was taken to his native village where his last rites were performed, the sources added.