Step to nip strife in India blocked

A high-court order Monday blocked the Indian Government's mobilization of troops in Assam to help curb growing unrest against immigrant workers in the northeastern state.

The Press Trust of India said the court in Gauhati, the Assamese capital, ordered the temporary suspension of the government's weekend declaration that the state was a troubled area.

The move was intended to let the government use troops to reinforce police trying to contain the agitation, in which more than 80 people have been killed since September.

Even before the court order, demonstrators intensified their picketing of governments offices and oil installations in defiance of the Delhi authorities.

The agency said 15,000 people, many of them women and children, were arrested but not charged during demonstrations across Assam Monday.

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