Guwahati: Thousands of train passengers continue to remain stranded in Dima Hasao district in Assam for three days straight, as protests over the inclusion of the hill district in Naga Peace Accord entered its third day on Saturday.
Tension is running high in Dima Hasao district as the locals continue with their protests and railway mechanics with their repair work of a damaged stretch of a railway track.
Passengers aboard the 56615 Silchar-Guwahati passenger train and the 55616 Guwahati-Silchar fast passenger train are stranded at the New Halflong Railway station and Maibang over the past three days as repair work of the damaged railway tracks is still underway.
Two persons were killed and over 15 injured as protesters clashed with police during a 12-hour bandh called by tribal organizations on Thursday. The protests were triggered by a rumour that the Naga Peace Accord will include the hill district of Assam.
Dima Hasao Deputy Commissioner, Dibyajyoti Hazarika said that 30 buses have been brought in from Guwahati to rescue the stranded passengers, but protesters have stopped the vehicles at Manderdisa, 118 km from Halflong.
More than 800 passengers have been given shelter at a security camp in Maibang Higher Secondary School. Senior ministers Keshab Mahanta and Parimal Suklabaidya rushed to Halflong but were stopped by protesters at the Lumding railway station.
“The situation is limping back to normal in Dima Hasao and we appeal to the agitators to end their protests. Most of their demands have already been agreed upon by the state government,” Hazarika said.
Earlier, protesters had damaged a 100-metre railway track between Detokchera and New Harangajao by removing fish plates. They had also damaged property in the station master’s room at New Halflong Railway Station.
Northeast Frontier Railway spokesperson, Nripen Bhattacharjee told News18, “All lines along the Lumding-Badarpur hill section remain closed. Train services will resume only when the repair work is completed. Movement of several trains have been suspended along this hill stretch.”
Meanwhile, railway patrolling has been intensified and the 119 Territorial Army has taken possession of the railway tracks in the hill section.
Also, Assam Rifles is assisting the state police in bringing the situation under control. The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the two persons who were killed in police firing and Rs 1 lakh for the seriously injured victims. Those with minor injuries would get Rs 20 thousand.