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Night blockade on in East Garo Hills

Govt buckles as agitation enters fourth day

From Our Correspondent

 TURA: The ongoing economic blockade of National Highway 62 in East Garo Hills called by the Garo Students Union (GSU) from 5 PM to 5 AM entered its fourth night with no sign of a withdrawal even as a worried State Government hurriedly cleared the appointment of seventeen lecturers to the Williamnagar Government College — one of the three main demands of the agitators.

The GSU together with the college students’ union has been demanding that all posts of lecturers and staff must be filled up and a full fledged principal appointed to the lone government higher education institution in that part of the state.

Their other main demand is the immediate repair of roads in the district.

Following the start of the economic blockade that began on Friday night hundreds of coal trucks have been left stranded on NH-62 which is the main route through which coal from Nangalbibra in South Garo Hills passes to neighbouring Assam from East Garo Hills district.

The agitators are demanding that the pathetic road condition along NH-62 must be repaired at any cost as people have been suffering for months due to absence of public transport that stopped using that route due to the poor condition of the surface tarmac.

The blockade has affected the Williamnagar-Rongjeng-Songsak-Mendipather region through which the national highway runs through.

Although the government has cleared the lecturers appointment the agitators refuse to withdraw their stir maintaining that a full fledged principal must also be appointed to the college.

On Saturday night agitators set on fire vehicle tyres at several places in Williamnagar town during the blockade which has brought the district to a standstill.

The government has, in the meantime, forwarded the necessary papers for appointment of the Principal to the personal department in Shillong, East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Parvin Bakshi informed.

Earlier, government machinery work came to a standstill on account of office picketing of all state institutions in East Garo Hills district on Thursday and Friday.

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