AASU withdraws proposed Garo Hills blockade as Meghalaya revises COVID protocols

TURA: Goalpara unit of the All Assam Students’ Union which had joined hands with Assam based trade organizations and transporters to call for an indefinite blockade of Garo Hills from Thursday, has withdrawn their proposed strike on Wednesday evening.

The agitating groups decided to halt their stir a day after the Meghalaya Government released a revised protocol on Covid which eases entry and exit in the state.

According to the revised draft, it is mandatory for all people entering Meghalaya to register themselves prior to their travel while all entrants producing a Covid negative report at the entry point would be exempted from testing, irrespective of their state of origin.

“We have put on hold the proposed blockade and will follow the revised protocols given out by the Meghalaya government. However, if untoward incidents occur during entry and there is harassment despite the new rules in place then we will be compelled to return to agitation,” cautioned AASU district executive for Goalpara Gitartha Sarma while speaking to The Shillong Times on Wednesday evening.

Earlier, Goalpara deputy commissioner Mrs V Deka and superintendent of police Seshan Sarma had a marathon meeting with representatives of the traders’ community and commercial transporters groups at Goalpara DC office to reason out the problem.

The agitating groups were also given a copy of the new Covid protocols put in place by the Meghalaya government to ease travel to and fro the state.

Meghalaya Commissioner and Secretary for Health, P Sampath Kumar, while speaking to this scribe stated that under the current circumstances of the pandemic continuing to spread all over the region and country it would be a mistake to withdraw the measures which help the state to track the transmission chain for containing Covid effectively.

“A lot of thought has been given while coming out with the new protocols. The new measures give a lot of flexibility which is aimed at further boosting of economic activities in the state,” said Sampath Kumar.

Earlier, several transporters, transport workers and traders unions of Goalpara, under the aegis of AASU, had called for an indefinite blockade on all routes from the district to the Garo Hills, beginning October 29th, to protest against the entry restrictions imposed by the Meghalaya Government on traders and transporters from Assam in the wake of the pandemic.

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