300 arrested for defying law in Silchar

Silchar, Jul 6 : At least 300 people were arrested in southern Assam's Silchar as hundreds of people took part in a day-long ''civil disobedience'' agitation seeking early completion of 214-km-long Lumding-Silchar broad gauge project.

People from all the three districts of Barak valley, including Karimganj, Hailakandi and Cachar, gathered in front of the office of the Cachar Deputy Commissioner here in response to the call given by the Lumding-Silchar Broad-gauge Project Demand Implementation Struggle Committee, an umbrella organisation of different NGOs of this valley.

As the agitators joined the civil disobedience police started arresting them in phases and took them to a makeshift custody. At least 300 agitators were arrested for defying the law, said a senior police officer.

He, however, said the agitation passed off peacefully.

A spokesman for the committee said less than 50 per cent of the work for the Lumding-Silchar-Jiribam broad gauge project under North-east Frontier Railways has so far been completed since its foundation was laid in 1996.

He said the authorities had set December, 2013 as a fresh deadline for implementation of the 214-km Lumding-Silchar broad gauge conversion project. But the project might not be completed in time due to snail progress, he claimed.

The agitation is to press upon the authorities to complete the Rs 3909 crore project in time, considered as lifeline of southern Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur, he added.