Assam: Opposition Condemns Police Action in Sualkuchi
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The Opposition BJP and Asom Gana Parishad today condemned police action on protesters at silk town Sualkuchi in lower Assam's Kamrup (Rural) district in which 10 persons were injured.

Bijoya Chakraborty, BJP MP from Guwahati constituency under which Sualkuchi falls, told reporters here "like fish and coal syndicates in Assam, there also exists a silk syndicate."

"Because of the syndicate the weavers are compelled to buy thread at high rates from middlemen," Chakraborty claimed.

She said that calling Sualkuchi the Manchestor of India would not do and the demand for a yarn bank and funds for the silk industry's survival against stiff competition from outside silk should be met.

Senior BJP leader Pradyut Bora and influential All Assam Students Union Advisor Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya alleged inaction by the state government to protect the handloom silk industry, the pride of Assam.

Bhattacharya said, "The issue is many years old but both the chief minister and Himanta Biswa Sarma have turned a blind eye to the matter."

He said the police firing on peaceful protestors who wanted to preserve their heritage was unacceptable.

AGP president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta told reporters in Guwahati, "My party strongly condemns the state government's plan to destroy the traditional silk industry and the local weavers lot.

"At a time when the government should have taken measures for protecting the industry from extinction by providing thread at a reasonable rate, a certain circle in the government is hell bent on destroying it in connivance with a section of unscrupulous traders," Mahanta alleged.

Condemning the police action on protestors, he said, the government should provide funds to the weavers to encourage them.

AGP General Secretary Kamala Kailta who reached Sualkuchi said, "If the government had taken action in time, the situation would not have deteriorated to this extent. This is not a one-day affair. Local weavers have been protesting for years."
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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