Actor Naseeruddin Shah was among a host of air passengers who were stranded for hours at the airports across Assam for hours due to non-availability of public transport following an 11-hour bandh called by various organisations on Tuesday.
A number of students’ organisations and political parties called for a ‘bandh’ in the Northeast to protest the Citizenship Amendment Bill which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The passengers complained that they faced a lot of difficulty during the bandh period as no taxis, auto rickshaws or buses were available for them to either reach the airports or reach the city after landing.
Transport was available only after the bandh ended at 4 pm.
Naseeruddin Shah, who was recently in news for his remark on mob violence and alleged government crackdown on NGOs, came to attend the Kartik Hazarika National Theatre Festival being held in Tezpur in Assam’s Sonitpur district.
Organisers of the theatre festival said Mr Shah had to wait for two hours at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport till the organisers arranged a car for him after the end of the bandh period.
In all the airports, hundreds of passengers were seen stranded at the arrival terminal.
Jet Airways issued a waiver on penalties for passengers’ inability to fly Tuesday.
“Considering the situation in the Northeast India, we’ve issued a waiver on penalties for date/flight change, refund, no-show, fare difference if any, on all confirmed tickets for flights operating to and from Guwahati, Silchar, Jorhat, Imphal & Aizawl on 8th January 2019,” Jet Airways said in a tweet.
Another airline GoIndigo also advised its passengers to keep extra time in hand for their travel to the airport.
Besides the bandh over Citizenship Bill, the All Assam Joint Forum of Motor Transport Workers called a ”chaka bandh” Tuesday over their demands.