Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested on Saturday (26 April) in India's troubled north-eastern Assam state, on the fifth and last day of government offices picketing.
LV AND SV: Gauhati street in Assam deserted of motorised traffic
LV AND SV: Trucks parked beside closed fuel station (2 shots)
LV: Deserted courts and offices of Gauhati Secretariat
SV: Group of women standing in street and inviting policeman to arrest them
SV: Women chanting as they are escorted by policeman, and board bus. (2 shots)
SV: Group of mainly young men arrive chanting and have names taken by police woman. (2 shots)
LV AND SV: Youths chant as they board bus, watched by police. (2 shots)
SV PAN: Bus leaves
LV PAN AND CU: Group seated around shrine where sing is written in blood at Chandmari
CU PULL BACK TO SV: Flower petals and incense burning at shrine with people watching. (3 shots)
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Background: Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested on Saturday (26 April) in India's troubled north-eastern Assam state, on the fifth and last day of government offices picketing. They were arrested in the state capital of Gauhati and in other towns, for violating a demonstration ban.
SYNOPSIS: This was Gauhati on Friday (5 April) before the arrests. The problem is fuel -- or rather the lack of fuel. Crude oil has been stopped from leaving the state since December, first because of protest action, and then by oil workers who have gone on a sympathy strike. Women from middle class families have taken to the streets to join the students in their campaign. They jeer and taunt police, inviting them to make arrests...and the police oblige, arresting them by the busload. The protesters are demanding that migrant workers from Nepal, Bangladesh and West Bengal lose their voting rights in Assam, and eventually are expelled.
The campaign of violence against migrants has been underway now for seven months, during which time 80 people have been killed. Students say they want Assam for the Assamese to protect the state's ethnic identity. In addition, they're angry that the migrants -- some thee million of them -- have jobs while many locals are unemployed. On Friday, students angered by the government's hardline attitude, tried to extend the disruption, attempting to prevent jute and timber from leaving Assam. Thirty of them were injured when police baton-charge a crowd attempting to break into railway wagons at Kampur, 140 kilometres (85 miles) from Gauhati.
Here are Chandmari -- on the road between Gauhati and the Narengi oil installation -- a young student slashed his chest with a knife and wrote with the blood a sign that says "We can give Blood but not Oil". Thousands of people watched as weeping women in the crowd burned incense and candles.