Parts of the Indian state of Assam have been placed under curfew as tension in the area increases.
GV Deserted main street in Calcutta
GV Closed Calcutta General Post Office building
GV Closed municipal buildings and deserted street
LV Closed Reserve Bank of India
LV AND CU Locked and shuttered shops (3 shots)
LV ZOOM IN Unattended rickshaws on roadside
GV Closed mill with smokeless chimney
GV Idle trains at Howarah Station, Calcutta (2 shots)
GV AND LV Idle ships in Calcutta docks (2 shots)
LV AND CU of demonstrators walking down street chanting slogans (2 shots)
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Background: Parts of the Indian state of Assam have been placed under curfew as tension in the area increases. There has been student-led agitation throughout India's north-east region for the past eight months over the problem of illegal immigrants. The students, who have brought commercial life in the region almost to a standstill, are calling for the deportation of an estimated two million Bangladeshis and West Bengalese, who've entered the state illegally since 1951. And the action of the agitators sparked a twenty-four hour general strike in West Bengal itself.
SYNOPSIS: The city of Calcutta was all but deserted throughout the day of the stoppage. All government buildings, including the Post Office, were closed.
The Marxist-led government of West Bengal supported the strike, and asked its officials not to interfere.
Bengali political leaders claim their people are being harassed in Assam during what Assamese leaders describe as "a direct but non-violent action against foreign nationals". The dispute has begun to undermine the economy in the north-east of the country. Assam produces one third of India's oil, and the supply has been seriously disrupted. Combined with the Calcutta stoppage, turmoil in Assam is a serious problem for the Indian government. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi says, however, that they have worked out a new formula to end the agitation.
But, with Calcutta demonstrators calling for action against Assam, and troops and police having to quell disturbances and impose a curfew in parts of the state, the problem remains far from solved.