Bandhs to protest deaths

Nagaon/Kokrajhar, May 8 : Normal life was thrown out of gear in the North Cachar Hills and Baksa districts today during two separate bandhs called to protest the deaths of three persons, including a student leader and a pastor, allegedly in the custody of security forces last week.
The 12-hour bandh in Baksa was called in protest against the killing of two youths on April 28 whom the army said were hardcore militants, but who, residents said, were innocent.
The 12-hour bandh called by the ASDC is in protest against the death of one of its senior party leaders allegedly in the custody of the Assam Rifles on Friday at Haflong.
NC Hills police said the bandh passed off peacefully. The family of the victim today received the body from the police after completion of the second post-mortem at GMCH and brought it to his birthplace, Dimapur, for cremation.
The middle-aged ASDC leader and pastor, Liden Jidung, was picked up from his residence in Haflong along with a party worker and a village headman on April 30. The next day, Assam Rifles handed over the body of Jidung to the police, claiming that he was suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure and had died soon after interrogation.
The ASDC claimed that Jidung died of torture in the Assam Rifles camp.
The Baksa district bandh called by All Adivasi Students Association of Assam (AASAA) in protest against the deaths of two youths — its district vice-president Jayanta Sing and Rajesh Bandoa — in an alleged encounter with the army affected life in Adivasi-dominated areas like Mushalpur and Dumni.
Anil Kujur, president of the district unit of the AASAA, said they have filed an FIR against the army at Mushalpur police station for allegedly killing the youths in a fake encounter. The AASAA members will meet again tomorrow to discuss its future course of action.