By- Staff Correspondent
Three members of AASU (All Assam Students Union) Jorhat district committee were arrested by Jorhat Police after the trader of raw tobacco products informed the police of forceful extortion and unwanted demand to immediately stop the tobacco business in Marwaripatty in Jorhat on October 30, 2013.
Raw tobacco leaf which is still to be declared illegal by the Assam Government and waiting for the Governor’s nod is a legal business and it must be mentioned that only ban on Gutkha and pan masala is banned as of now. Talking to Times Of Assam, Dr Bhaktimoy Bhattacharjee, District Nodal officer of Anti Tobacco Cell informed,” This is the greatest irony of Tobacco sales. Though Gutkha and other tobacco products have been banned but the raw tobacco is still at large and comes under food item”.
The trader of the tobacco business informed,” If the government directs us to stop this business, we will do it right away but we can accept this unruly methods by various organizations that come and tell us to stop our business”. However it was not known immediately if the students who were demanding the traders to stop the business actually demanded money.
Top AASU leaders of the Jorhat District Committee informed Times of Assam that the student who led the crusade against tobacco sales is a brilliant student and a gold medalist in Thai kick boxing. Asked about whether the AASU district committee was told about the operation in advance, Bijoy Sankar Bordoloi, AASU Executive member said,”We were informed about the operation but we never thought that the traders would simply call in the police and try to brand AASU as an extortionist Union. But what the people must realize that Tobacco is a slow poison killing our generation slowly and slowly. And whenever we try to resist this sales we are branded as what you can see today”.