The 12-hour Barak bandh called by Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC) Mills Revival Action Committee affected the normal life in the valley. The bandh was called in protest against the apathy of the Centre towards revival of the Cachar and Nagaon paper mills.
The protesters blocked the Silchar-Guwahati passenger train during the bandh. "At a time when the revival package of Rs. 1900 crore for the mills is pending with the Prime Minister's Office, the Centre has granted Rs. 5,000 crore for textile industries, most of which are in Gujarat, Rs. 469 crore to a paper mill in Madhya Pradesh in October while several thousand crores have been approved for development in Uttar Pradesh," said a protester.
"Three lakh people engaged directly and indirectly by the corporation have lost their jobs, 39 died in harness, of which two committed suicide. The government has not paid salary for 23 months now," added another.
It should be noted that operations in Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram have been suspended since October 20, 2015 while production at Nagaon Paper Mill at Jagiroad came to a halt on March 13, 2017.