/  \    _____ _____ ____      _    _      
              /    \  (  __/(  __/(_   \    / \  / \
             /  __  \  \  \  \  \  / __ O N L I N E \
            (__/  \__)/____)/____)(______)(__/    \__) 
                     Vol.I, No.85 [*] January 28, 1997

   Assam's annual plan outlay for the year 1997-98  financial  year  has
   been fixed  at  Rs.15  billion,  marking an increase of  4.6 per cent
   over the annual plan outlay of the current financial year.
   The State's annual plan outlay was finalized at a meeting between the
   Deputy  Chairman of the Planning Commission Madhu Dandavate and Chief
   Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta at New Delhi on January 27.

   The Governor of Assam said that it is the desire of the Government to
   solve  the problem of insurgency through dialogues  and  called  upon
   the  extremists  groups  to come to the negotiation table without any
   further delay.
   Hoisting the National Flag at the Judge Field on the occasion of  the
   48th  Republic  Day  on January 26, the Governor also called upon the
   people in the State to create public  opinion  against  the  cult  of
   violence  and  to  force the militants to settle the problems through
   dialogues with the Government.
   This year's Republic Day    was celebrated in the State amid    tight 
   security,  with  the  dawn-to-dusk bandh called by the ULFA proving a
   big damper.  Although no untoward incident was reported from any part
   of the State, the 12-hour bandh affected not only commercial activity
   and vehicular traffic, but also public participation in Republic  Day
   functions throughout  the  Brahmaputra  valley.    Official functions
   were,  however,  held  as  usual,  although  security  measures  were
   perceptively tighter.

   The CBI,  investigating  into  the  Letter  of  Credit  scam  in  the
   veterinary department, filed charge-sheet in the court of the Special
   Judge,  Assam  on January 27, against 7 persons for their involvement
   in Mangaldai case.
   The persons against whom the central investigating agency  has  filed
   charge-sheet are:    Dr Cheniram Chutia, District Veterinary Officer;
   Dr  Khanindra  Kumar,  Assistant  Veterinary  Surgen  who  is   under
   suspension;   Ektiaruddin   Talukdar,   Accountant  of  the  District
   Veterinary Office; Bhupendra Deka, the storekeeper  of  the  District
   Veterinary  Office,  who  is  now  the  LDA in Kokrajhar office; Siba
   Prasad Sharma, Treasury  Officer;  Keshab  Deka,  Accountant  of  the
   treasury;  and  Pradeep  Rajbonshi,  senior accountant officer of the
   treasury.  Informed sources said that the total  involvement  of  the
   Mangaldai  case was to be tune of Rs.597,200 and the persons named in
   the charge-sheet hatched a conspiracy to siphon out Government  money
   with the help of forged LoC and false bills.
   It may be mentioned that the CBI has so far filed the charge-sheet of
   six  cases,  Goalpara,  Sonari,  Nagaon,  two cases of Abhayapuri and
   Mangaldai.  Altogether 12 cases were handed over to the CBI  and  the
   charge-sheets of a few are likely to be filed soon.
   Meanwhile, two  persons  accused  in  Nagaon  and  Abhayapuri  cases,
   Kamalesh  Deka and U.N.Gogoi, appeared in the court on January 27 and
   the court remanded them to judicial custody till  February  10.    In
   another  event,  the  CBI  arrested  the  accountant  of  ICDP Demow,
   Jogeswar Dutta, and the manager of the branch of the Andhra  Bank  in
   connection with the Sivasagar branch.

   The  Prime  Minister,  Mr  H.D.Deve  Gowda  blamed  the step-motherly
   attitude of the  Centre  towards  the  north-eastern  region  of  the
   country  since  Independence for the rise of militancy in the region.
   Mr Gowda said, the NE region could not keep track with  the  rest  of
   the  country because of apathetic attitude of the Centre, adding that
   this had made the youth of the region hostile.
   The Prime Minister was addressing a 80,000-strong  crowd  at  Kulajan
   near Dhemaji after laying the foundation stone, on January 22, of the
   fourth bridge over the Brahmaputra,  connecting Bogibeel in the north and
   Kareng-Susiborgaon in the south.  Mr Gowda said that the construction
   work on the 4.3-km-long,  Rs.10-billion  rail-cum-road  bridge  would
   start from April this year.

o  BODO ULTRAS KILL 7				[UNI:21-JAN-97]
   Suspected Bodo militants shot  dead  seven  people  in  a  series  of
   attacks  at  different  places  in West Bengal and bordering Assam on
   January 21, according to police.  The  motor  cycle-bourne  militants
   who  struck  first  at  Choto Laukiuthi in Kokrajhar district, gunned
   down three persons in a swift operation at about 5.30 am.  Within  an
   hour,  the same group of militants intruded the West Bengal territory
   and shot dead one person at Borokodali in Coochbihar district, police
   said.  The militants gunned down three more people at Dayanather Ghat
   in Kokrajhar district barely 20 minutes later.  Investigation are on.

o  ARMY NABS 5 ULFA				[UNI:27-JAN-97]
   At least five hard-core ULFA militants were arrested by the Army from
   various parts of the Nalbari districts since January 24.  All of them
   were handed over to the police, official sources said.

   The  AASU  sponsored  12-hour  Assam  bandh  passed off peacefully on
   January 24 affecting normal life in the State.    The  call  for  the
   bandh  was  given  in  protest  against the imposition of the Unified
   Command system in the State to counter insurgency.

   The  Bodo  Liberation  Tiger Force, responding to the appeals made by
   the Union Home Minister Indrajit  Gupta  announced  a  cease-fire  on
   January 21.    The  BLTF, allegedly responsible for most of the major
   incidents of violence in the State during the past one  month,  in  a
   statement faxed to a few local newspaper offices, said the cease-fire
   had  been  announced  in  view  of the appeals made by the Union Home
   Minister.  They also  appealed  to  its  rival,  the  NDFB,  to  stop
   'nefarious' activities.

   The Special Branch of Assam Police has grilled two  British  citizens
   for  their  showing  inordinate  interest  in  two cases of allegedly
   killing of suspects by the Army.  According to  police  sources,  the
   duo -- one has identified as student of anthropology and the other as
   a  teacher  of  Photography  in  the  UK  --  visited the editor of a
   Guwahati-based newspaper and also visited the house of Dilip Boro (at
   Khetri) and Bhuban Phukan (at Beltola), both  of  whom  died  at  the
   hands of the Army.

   Two  self-proclaimed  ULFA  activists  were  badly beaten up by local
   people at Samoguri on January 21 when they tried to extort  Rs.10,000
   from a businessman of the area.  According to reports, the two youths
   had come to the house of the businessman and sought shelter which the
   trader declined  to  offer.    They  again came later and, proclaimed
   themselves to be ULFA activists, demanded Rs.10,000 from the  trader.
   When  the trader refused to oblige them, they started to beat him up.
   Hearing the commotion, people gathered and severely beat up  the  two
   youths before handing them over to the police.

   Suspected  Boro  Security  Force  terrorist  shot  dead  the  Officer
   in-charge of the Karmuja police station  in  the  Goalpara  district,
   Abdul  Wahed Sarkar on January 24 at around 7 pm He was fired upon at
   point blank range in the local market, according to police sources.

   The  Karimganj  District  Magistrate  has  banned  movements  of  any
   persons, vehicles, persons with cattle and even essential commodities
   from  9  pm  to  6  am  within  five  hundred   metre   inside   from
   Indo-Bangladesh  border  in  the Karhawaputni to Lafasil sector by an
   order under section 144 CrPC, according to a  Government  release  to
   check illegal  traffic  of  men and commodities in the border.  Also,
   plying of boats not registered with the DC office of the district has
   been banned in the Kushiyara river from Bhanga to  Lafasail  and  the
   Longai river  under  the  same  section  of CrPC.  The order has been
   valid with effect from January 18 until further orders.

   Boro Security Force  militants  shot  dead  one  Bhabesh  Doimary,  a
   supporter  of  the  All  Bodo  Students  Union,  at  Bhergaon  in the
   Kokrajhar district on January 22.  Police sources  said  at  Guwahati
   that before Bhabesh Doimary was shot he was dragged out of his house.
   According  to  sources,  a note found near the bullet-riddled body of
   Doimary stated that the killing was in retaliation to the  murder  of
   one Ananda Rabha.

   'We  hear  our  boys are adept at using guns, adept at sprinting over
   hills and vale.  But where are the Olympic medals  in  shooting,  why
   have  we  failed  to  produce a good athlete after Bhogeswar Baruah?'
   -such  broadsides  at  the  culture  of  militancy   in   the   State
   characterized  a  sarcasm-laced  speech  delivered  by Chief Minister
   Prafulla Kumar Mahanta after inaugurating an open  meeting  organized
   to  mark  the  golden  jubilee celebrations of the Nalbari College in
   Nalbari on January 24.
   Referring to the ULFA's  armed  struggle  for  secession,  the  Chief
   Minister asked:   ''So  Assam  will  be  made a sovereign country?  I
   would like to see the map of 'independent Assam',  because  the  NSCN
   has  included  even  Dibrugarh,  Jorhat  and  Golaghat  in its map of
   independent Nagaland, and the Bodos are demanding their own State  on
   the north bank of the Brahmaputra.''
   Reiterating  that wanton killings would not solve any problem or even
   bring sovereignty for Assam, Mr Mahanta said that the people  of  the
   State  should  actually  worry  about  the  fact  that  not  a single
   individual from Assam had managed to enter the Indian  Administrative
   Service  in  the last five-six years. In this context, he called upon
   guardians and teachers to woo their wayward wards and pupils back  to
   academics and industry.

   The  Managing  Director  of  the  North-Eastern  Development  Finance
   Corporation Ltd., Mr K.J.B.Andrews, who had been in the spotlight  in
   November,  1996  for  sweeping  allegation of graft and nepotism, has
   finally submitted  his  resignation.    Informed  sources  said,   Mr
   Andrews, who had been censured on various counts in his conduct as MD
   of the financial institution, put in his papers of January 21, faxing
   individual  copies  to  each  of the directors of the managing board.
   The chairman of the NEDFi, Dr Jayanta Madhab, is away at  Delhi  and,
   therefore, could   not   be  contacted  for  comment.    Neither  was
   immediately  known  what  grounds  Mr  Andrews  had  cited  for   his
   As  pressure  mounted  on  the  NEDFi  from  various quarters to take
   punitive action against Mr Andrews, following  a  series  of  reports
   that  had appeared in newspaper, a three-member inquiry committee was
   instituted towards the fag end of 1996.  It is  understood  that  the
   committee  had  taken  a  serious  note  of  graft charges against Mr
   Observers, however, feel that allowing Mr Andrews to get  away  'scot
   free,'  by  letting him 'resign and leave honorably,' would not serve
   the ends of justice as he would always be free  to  seek  alternative
   employment in other similar organizations.  They said, Mr Andrews had
   earlier  too,  during  his  tenure  in the IDBI, accorded sanction of
   Rs.20 million loan, of which 17.4 million was disbursed, to  a  ghost
   firm.   The  Gauhati  High  Court  has recently ordered the Centre to
   conduct a detailed probe into the matter as  there  were  indications
   that it could be part of a major scam.

   The first batch of 22 graduate engineer trainees from Assam recruited
   by  the  Reliance  Industries  Limited have reported to RIL at Surat.
   These engineers were recruited on the  basis  of  an  Assam  specific
   advertisement  by  RIL  which  made  a departure from their policy on
   selection on  an  all  India  basis,  according  to  RIL  sources  at
   Guwahati.   Another  batch of engineer trainees is expected to report
   at Surat by February next.  This is for the first time  that  such  a
   large  batch  of  graduate  engineers  has been recruited by a single
   organization.  The engineers' recruitment was processed  through  the
   Assam Institute of Management.   More engineers from    the State are 
   expected to be recruited in another year's time, depending on how the
   first batch performs and measures up, RIL sources said.
   The  graduate  engineers  will  be put in RIL's Hazira Petrochemicals
   complex near Surat which houses a number  of  petrochemical  projects
   under execution.    Many  of  these projects are at the commissioning
   stage including the world's largest grass-root single steam  multifed
   cracker  project  which  is almost four times bigger in capacity than
   the proposed Assam Gas Cracker Project.

   The plywood industries of Assam face  an  imminent  closer  following
   Supreme  Court's recent order banning movement of all forest goods in
   the north-estern region.  The industry, which is the  second  biggest
   in  the  State  after tea, has altogether 48 mills scattered in three
   upper Assam districts and many of them already closed down  following
   paucity of raw materials.
   According to Mr Munin Bora, general secretary  of  the  Wood  Workers
   Union,  majority  of the plywood mills stopped production on December
   24, 1995 affecting about 200,000  people  directly  involved  in  the
   Notably,  the  State produces 60 per cent of the total requirement of
   the entire country and most of the  leading  brands  of  the  plywood
   market have their factories located in Tinsukia district.  Plywood is
   basically made of 'holong' and 'mekei' timber which is only available
   in the reserve forest of upper Assam, neighboring Nagaland as well as
   of Arunachal Pradesh.

o  BANDH HANGOVER					[AT:28-JAN-97]
   After  seeing  so  many  bandhs  that  too  frequent  ones,  courtesy
   organizations galore, the  people  of  Assam  having  a  hangover  of
   bandhs.   And that is exactly what some rumour-mongers took advantage
   of to spread yet another rumour of an 'Assam Bandh.'
   Close on the heels of 12-hour statewide bandh on January 24  call  by
   the  powerful  student  organization  AASU  in  protest  against  the
   operation by the Unified Command in Assam and the  12-hour  bandh  on
   January 26 'called' by the banned militant outfit ULFA to protest the
   'State terrorism and curtailment of people's democratic rights by the
   Indian  State machinery', the windmills of rumour-mongers were albeit
   successful in  floating  the  rumour  that  there  would  be  another
   36-hour, some say 48-hour Assam bandh from January 28.  This apparent
   from  the fact that this newspaper office has been flooded with phone
   calls, even from places a far as Calcutta enquiring about 'bandh'.
   Though the rumour-monger were successful in creating a  confusion  in
   public  mind  about  the  bandh, the time for which was even fixed at
   ranging from 36 hours to 72  hours,  as  the  rumour  spread  like  a
   wildfire,  they however did not dare to fix the responsibility on any
   organization as the caller of the bandh.   

   The Flood Control Minister, Mr Promode Gogoi, accompanied by high E&D
   Department  officials  and  officials  of   the   Tinsukia   district
   administration,   visited   the  4.2-km-long  retired  embankment  at
   Dirak-Somani, about 18 km from Doomdooma, on January 27.
   Later talking to newsmen, Mr Gogoi said that the construction of  the
   embankment,  which  started  on  February  28  last  year,  would  be
   completed by mid-February this year.   The  minister  said  that  the
   embankment   would   provide   only   a   short-term  relief  to  the
   flood-affected people, and for  permanent  solution  to  the  menace,
   long-term measures were necessary.

   The xatras of Assam  could  help  restore  the  bonds  of  unity  and
   integrity  amongst the people of the State, specially in light of the
   present turmoil, said State Chief  Minister  Prafulla  Kumar  Mahanta
   while  delivering  his speech at the Koliabor Zila Xatra Mahasabha in
   Nagaon district on January 25.

   Three  policemen  from Assam were selected for police medal for their
   meritorious service on the eve of the Republic Day  on  December  25.
   The  policemen  are  Jadab  Barman,  DSP  in the office of IGP (CID),
   Guwahati; U.K.Kachari, inspector of police, Special Operations  Unit,
   Special   Branch   Guwahati  and  G.C.Das,  sub-inspector  of  police
   (operations) in the Assam Police Radio Organization, Guwahati.

   Noted  sports organizer, Phani Sharma was awarded the spiritual world
   honorary degree, Doctor of Sports and Games, by the World development
   Parliament in a ceremony held in Guwahati on January 25.   Mr  Sharma
   was  also  awarded  with  Vishwa  Vikas  Ratna  award  along with the
   Doctorate degree for his contribution in the field of sports.   Bikas
   Mitra,  press  secretary of the parliament conferred the awards to Mr
   Sharma on behalf of the All India body of the parliament.

   Renowned freedom fighter, social worker and former  chairman  of  the
   Assam  Khadi  and  Village  Industries  Board, Mr Rabindranath Nabis,
   passed away at a nursing home at Guwahati on January 23.  He  was  85
   and leaves behind his wife and three daughters.

   The 63rd annual convention of the Axam Xahitya Xabha in Bilasipara of
   Goalpara district has been rescheduled to start from  March  5  to  9
   instead of February 14 to 18, according to an AXX release.

   Mr Partha Pratim Sharma, a budding artist of Assam has been  selected
   for the 8th All India Art Exhibition Award by the Lalit Kala Academy.
   He  will  be  presented  a  cheque  of Rs.25,000, a certificate and a
   memento and his paintings will be displayed at the exhibition  to  be
   organized by  the  Academy  at  Lucknow.    Mr Sharma is studying MFA
   (Graphics) at M.S.University, Baroda.


Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]