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                     Vol.2, No.18  [*] June 2, 1997

    Dreams that do come true can be as unsettling as those that don't.
          - Brett Butler, Knee Deep in Paradise (Hyperion)

1  CHRISTIANS 95.37, MUSLIMS 77.42 PC RISE IN ASSAM       [AT:1-JUN-97]
   Hindus who constitute 67.13 percent of the total population of  Assam
   registered  an  increase  of 41.89 percent during the period 1971-91,
   while Muslims who make up 28.43 percent showed an increase  of  77.42
   percent during  the  same  period.  Similarly Christians constituting
   3.32 percent registered 95.37 percent increase,  Sikhs  0.07  percent
   38.36  percent  increase,  Buddhists  0.29  percent showed 183.66 and
   Jains 0.09 percent showed 59.87 percent  increase.    This  has  been
   stated  in  the  religion  data released by the Directorate of Census
   operations on the basis of the 1991 Census.
   As per the 1991 Census data, Assam had  a  population  of  22,414,322
   against 14,626,152  in  1971.    The  Hindu population increased from
   10,604,618 to 15,047,293, while Muslims registered an  increase  from
   3,592,124 in  1971  to 6,373,204 in 1991.  Of the 23 districts in the
   State, Dhubri, Goalpara, Barpeta, Karimganj and Hilakandi have Muslim
   majority , while the rest have Hindu majority.  Goalpara and  Barpeta
   are  the  two  districts  where  Muslims  have  surpassed  the  Hindu
   population,  as  per  the  1991  Census.  [ Check the AOL Webpage for
   districtwise details on June 4. - Mozz ]

   In a significant breakthrough, the Union Government  and  the  banned
   NSCN(I-M) faction have resumed second round of negotiations at Geneva
   in Switzerland.    The  exploratory  talks  got  underway  after  the
   NSCN(I-M)  faction  announced  an  unilateral  cease-fire  in  April.
   Highly placed informed sources said the resumption of the talks which
   concluded without any major breakthrough has been described as a step
   in the right direction and a major boost to the policy adopted by the
   Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral.
   The  Union Government was represented by top Intelligence Bureau (IB)
   officials who flew from New Delhi, while both top NSCN leaders,  Isak
   Chisi   Swu  and  Thuinaleng  Muivah  represented  the  Naga  outfit.
   Although details of the talks are being kept under wraps, the  IB  is
   expected  to formally submit its reports on the progress to the Prime
   Minister shortly.  According to sources, the Union Government through
   the assistance of the Hague-based Unrepresented Nations Organisation,
   of which the NSCN is a member, managed to re-establish  contact  with
   the top Naga leaders, who are currently based in Switzerland.

   The  United  Liberation  Front  of  Asom  (ULFA) has in an attempt to
   strengthen its financial position, drawn  up  a  long-term  plan  for
   collecting  'taxes'  from  the  people  including  all professionals,
   government or semi-government  employees,  traders  and  businessmen,
   sources said.    Sources  claimed  that  collection  of  the specific
   amounts from the public will be done every six months.
   The  central  committee  of the outfit has sent its detailed plans to
   its various  district  and  anchalik  units.    The   plan   includes
   meticulous   details  of  various  categories  of  people  and  their
   subcategories, who will keep the money  so  collected  and  who  will
   deliver the booty to the outfits' central office.  However, the order
   from the central committee of the banned outfit failed to mention the
   rates  of  'taxes'  and  said  that  these had not been mentioned for
   maintaining secrecy.

   While 38 accused in the Nagaon and Biswanath Chariali  cases  of  the
   multi-crore-rupee  LoC  scam in the State presented themselves in the
   court of the special judge in Guwahati on May 31,  the  court  issued
   non-bailable  warrant  against  one of the accused, Amar Bezbaruah (a
   supplier); who has been absconding.  The court also granted  bail  to
   seven of  the  accused in the two cases.  The others had secured bail

5  AHRC SOLVED 119 CASES SO FAR			         [S:31-MAY-97]
   Chairman of Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Justice S.N.Bhargava
   informed press persons that out of a total  of  125  cases  of  human
   rights violation filed with AHRC, 119 have already been settled.  And
   out of  those  seven  were from Golaghat district.  He also announced
   that human rights courts in Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Nagaon, Tezpur, Dhubri
   and Silchar  would  start  functioning  soon,  while  addressing  the
   concluding  session  of the workshop on human rights organized by the
   commission and coordinated by the Avard, an NGO.    Justice  Bhargava
   stated  that Assam was the third State in the country to form a human
   rights commission.

   Tension prevails in Jamuguri area of Nagaon following  the  death  of
   one  Cheniram  Nath,  32,  in  Army  custody  on the night of May 31.
   Official sources claimed that Cheniram was  interrogated  jointly  by
   the   Army  and  the  police  after  he  was  picked  up  and  during
   interrogation he agreed to lead the Army to a hideout of the ULFA  in
   Bebejia.   Sources  said  an Army patrol accompanied by a havildar of
   the police went along with Ceniram but immediately after crossing the
   Senchowa Railway crossing, he broke loose and ran  towards  a  nearby
   jungle.   When  he  continued  running  despite warnings, the Armymen
   fired on him, killing him on the spot, sources  added.    The  Nagaon
   Deputy  Commissioner  has  ordered  a  magisterial  enquiry  into the

   The  Dibrugarh  station  of  the  All  India  Radio  will air a daily
   five-minute Assamese newscast starting from June 11 in  the  evening.
   This  comes  following  an  announcement  to this effect by the Prime
   Minister I.K.Gujral at a public meeting in Dibrugarh on May 19.   The
   Axom  Xahitya  Xabha  (AXX) president Dr.Nagen Saikia in a memorandum
   submitted to the PM that day  had  noted  the  demand  for  the  news
   programme  after  the  Press  had  highlighted  the  prospect  of the
   newscast following  the  shifting  of  the  Arunachali  dialect  news
   division from  the  station.    Meanwhile, the AXX in a press release
   urged all its constituent units as also the  public  to  observe  the
   Assam Rajyabhasa Day on June 9.

   Netherland India Communication Enterprises (NICE), a  leading  paging
   service  company in India has tied up with M/s Sangita Communications
   and M/s City Enterprise to provide paging service by the  first  week
   of June  in  Guwahati.    NICE will also provide value-added services
   like information on current  topics,  weather,  sports,  railway  and
   airways  time  table,  TV  and  cinema,  horoscope, sensex and social
   activities etc.  The service is likely to be extended to other places
   of the State within a short time.  NICE is a  joint  venture  between
   Esquire Electronics  Inc.  USA, LG Information and Communication Ltd,
   South  Korea,  Narray  Mobile  Telecom  Inc,  South  Korea   and   SM
   Electronics and Services Ltd, India.

   The  Federation  of  All  India Tea Traders Association has expressed
   concern over the rise in the prices of auctioned tea.    In  a  press
   statement issued on May 30, the federation said that
      the  tea  traders  were 'forced to pay higher prices', and
   they were at the mercy of some  vested  interests.    On  the  export
   front,  it  said  that current level of prices were discouraging most
   buyers, especially from the CIS countries.

   Dr.  Nabin Bhuyan, State physician responsible for  AIDS  management,
   of  the  State  AIDS  Cell,  Assam  attended  the third international
   conference on 'Home  and  Community  Care  for  Persons  Living  with
   HIV/AIDS ,'  held  at  Amsterdam,  in  Netherlands  from May 21.  Dr.
   Bhuyan presented a  paper  on  'Promotion  of  Spiritual  Health,  as
   prescribed  in  Ayurveda,  as an approach to AIDS management', in the
   conference's 'Cooperation of Care System' session.    He  highlighted
   the need to initiate a global programme on spiritual health education
   as  part  of the UNAIDS programme to ensure the success and worldwide
   acceptance of the ongoing HIV/AIDS community-based care  and  control

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