NCHISF calls off indefinite railway blockade, govt invites for talks on Aug 18

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HT Correspondent

HAFLONG, Aug 8: NC Hills Indigenous Students Forum (NCHISF) on Wednesday announced withdrawal of its indefinite hunger strike to be staged at Northeast Frontier Railway headquarters at Maligaon in Guwahati and indefinite railway blockade in Haflong from August 9 after the Assam government invited them for a meeting to be held in Guwahati on August 18.

The NCHISF has called for the agitational programme demanding compensation to the original landowners for the land that was acquisitioned by the railway authorities for construction of the Lumding-Silchar BG Expansion project through Dima Hasao district.

“Assam government has invited us for a meeting in Guwahati on August 18.We received the invitation letter yesterday. We will decide the next course of action after the meeting,” the NCHISF president David Keivom told reporters here on Wednesday.

“We will join the talks, But if the government and the railway authorities are reluctant to fulfil our demands, we will go ahead with our agitation,” he said.

Notably, the railway authorities had acquired land from more than 500 families below the poverty line for construction of the Silchar-Lumding BG Expansion Project in Dima Hasao district. But many of the families are yet to get their compensation amount even after three years of commissioning of the project.

“According to our estimate the families have to receive Rs. 4.58 crore as compensation. More than 100 hectares of cultivable land were also destroyed during the construction of the project. We have been demanding compensation to the families since 2007. But the authorities are not paying heed to our demands,” the student leader said.


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