Judicial Probe Ordered Into Violence in Assam Silk Town

The Assam government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the violence and police firing on weavers who were protesting against the selling of synthetic silk clothes in Sualkuchi.

An inquiry has been ordered by additional DC and based on the report action would be taken, government spokesperson and Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Rockybul Hussain told the Assembly today.

He said as many sections including opposition parties were demanding a high-level inquiry, it was decided to order a judicial inquiry.

The minister, however, did not give others details, including the timeframe for the inquiry.

Hussain said that peace was returning fast to Sualkuchi and the situation was calm and under control.

Replying to a point of order, Minister for Handloom and Textiles and Sericulture Pranati Phukan said there were five yarn banks in Sualkuchi and more would be set up if necessary.

She said the government has already started work on setting up similar yarn banks in all districts and weavers would be provided thread at 10 per cent subsidy.

On trademark for Sualkuchi silk, Phukan said the government would like to consider the views of local weavers.

She said that under the Handloom Reservation Act, enforcement squads would ensure that in all blocks 11 products including gamochas and mekhala chador made with fake materials or on powerlooms were not sold in shops.

Violators would be liable to six months imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000, she said.

The minister said the state government would take action against traders selling fake silk products branded as Sualkuchi.

Earlier, during zero hour, Asom Gana Parishad Legislature Party leader Phani Bhushan Choudhury and party MLA Keshab Mahanta demanded a high-level inquiry into the violence and police firing on protesting weavers and locals on March 30.

Choudhury said the weavers and the handloom sector in the town, famed for its unique golden Muga Silk and white Paat Silk, was facing threat due to import of cheap and artificial silk from outside the state.

The AGP leader asked the state government to set up a dedicated bank for supplying subsidised threads and handloom materials to weavers and also have a trademark to prevent proliferation of fake goods.

He said that under the Handloom Reservation Act, there was a provision that gamoshas (Assamese towels) and other items made on powerlooms were not considered genuine and the same should be done for Paat and Muga silk.

Earlier, during zero hour, Asom Gana Parishad Legislature Party leader Phani Bhushan Choudhury and party MLA Keshab Mahanta demanded a high-level inquiry into the violence and police firing on protesting weavers and locals on March 30.

Choudhury said the weavers and the handloom sector in the town, famed for its unique golden Muga Silk and white Paat Silk, was facing threat due to import of cheap and artificial silk from outside the state.

The AGP leader asked the state government to set up a dedicated bank for supplying subsidised threads and handloom materials to weavers and also have a trademark to prevent proliferation of fake goods.

He said that under the Handloom Reservation Act, there was a provision that gamoshas (Assamese towels) and other items made on powerlooms were not considered genuine and the same should be done for Paat and Muga silk.

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