Following the death of video journalist Malin Sarma in a hit and run case at Silchar on Sunday, several NGOs and students’ bodies have called for a 12-hour Cachar bandh on Tuesday.
The NGOs and students’ bodies have called for the bandh demanding a better traffic management in the district.
Slogans like ‘Cachar deputy commissioner shame, shame’, ‘district administration of Cachar shame, shame’, shouted by womenfolk outside Silchar’s Gandhi Park at 2 PM summed up the scenes for a tumultuous day ahead in store for Silchar on Monday.
The scene erupted after the arrival of the body of video journalist Malin Sarma, straight from the morgue of Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH) where his post-mortem was conducted in the morning on Monday.
Brought from SMCH with a cavalcade of bikes and cars driven by media persons, by paying respect to journalist Malin Sarma, the first stopover was made outside his office of Barak Television Network.
Malin Sarma’s office staff paid rich floral tributes and cried their heart out for losing one of the ‘brand names’ of their network.
The next and final stop was scheduled at Silchar’s Gandhi Park, where leading citizens from all walks of life, very close and well-known to Malin Sarma, paid their last tributes.
But, things took an ugly turn when Cachar deputy commissioner Laya Madduri stepped out of her vehicle and moved to give her floral tribute.
The moment she did, a number of women started volleying questions at her.
She was asked why the traffic system of the district is in such a bad shape.
Why do repeated incidents of hit and run occur in Cachar and the district administration fails to stop it?
The arguments heated up and the women started shouting slogans like ‘Cachar DC shame, shame’ when deputy commissioner Laya Madduri turned her back to mount her office vehicle.
While the cavalcade taking the body of Malin Sarma moved from Silchar’s Gandhi Park to the funeral ground, just 2 km away, the group of women, headed towards the office of the Cachar superintendent of police, another half kilometre, on the other side of the town.
Not finding Cachar SP Mughdajyoti Mahanta at his office, the womenfolk gheraoed Cachar additional SP Jagadish Das and placed their demands.
They demanded that all heavy vehicles be allowed to move inside the town only between 1 AM and 4 AM and install CCTV cameras in all major parts of Silchar town.
However, their primary demand was the arrest of the driver that fled away from the spot mowing down video journalist Malin Sarma.
Jagadish Das, additional SP, Cachar, talking to Northeast Now, said, “We need some time, but we would hunt down the truck driver, his owner and arrest the guilty.”
“We won’t backtrack at any cost from this case. Not only that, the demands of allowing heavy vehicles ply between 1 AM and 4 AM can be arranged.”