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                     Vol.2, No.39 [*] August 19, 1997

         This is an age in which one cannot find common sense
                without a search warrant.  - George Will

   The Government of India is thinking of  approaching  the  Swiss  Bank
   authorities  with  request  to  make  available the details about the
   alleged presence of ULFA accounts in their branches.  The backgrounds
   and present activities of some of the Assamese  Non-resident  Indians
   (NRI)  are  also  being  investigated into by the Indian Intelligence
   agencies for their reported  dealings  with  the  banned  Assam-based
   militant outfit, said a senior Union Ministry officials.
   The ULFA at the current rate collects funds  for  its  war  kitty  by
   means  of  extortion  somewhere between Rs.3 to Rs.4 billion per year
   from more than 1,500 (big and small)  tea  gardens,  business  houses
   from within  the  State.    The  officials  said  that the outfit had
   accumulated so far a fund of more than Rs.15 billion.    Most  of  it
   having  been  spent  for  training  its  cadre,  buying  arms  and on
   organizational works.    Recently,  the  Bangladesh  Government   had
   ordered  the  freezing  of  ULFA's accounts in the Sonali bank to the
   tune of more than Rs.2 billion.
   The officials say that a gang of about ten Assamese NRIs,  living  in
   various  parts  of  the  world,  are  working as ULFA's international
   ambassador.  These NRIs not only help procure funds  for  the  outfit
   but  also  act  as a go-between the outfit and the international arms
   dealers.  'We  have  quite  huge  dossiers  on  some  of  them',  the
   officials said adding that once concrete evidences could be gathered,
   action against them will be mooted.  Funds in US dollars collected by
   these  NRIs are not a fat one but, seen as a sentimental donations to
   the outfit by some of the  well-established  Assamese  people  living
   elsewhere in the globe.

2  CALL TO END CULT OF VIOLENCE			          [S:19-AUG-97]
   When   the   country   would   celebrate  the  centenary  of  India's
   Independence 50 years hence, there would be  no  trace  of  a  people
   called the Assamese if the regime of violence, corruption, dishonesty
   and  disrespect  to  one's  own culture and values that the people of
   Assam have been through since the past many years, is  not  ended  by
   the  concerted  effort  of all, Ms Surabala Bordoloi, wife of Assam's
   first Chief Minister Gopinath Bordoloi said in a moving speech at the
   golden jubilee function of the Assam Assembly in Dispur on August 18.
   Addressing   a   function   held   on    the    occasion    of    the
   foundation-stone-laying  of  Gopinath Bhavan of the Assam Assembly as
   the chief guest,  Ms  Bordoloi  said,  it  is  high  time,  political
   parties, institutions and organizations rose from the narrow confines
   of  their  respective  affiliations and organizations to confront the
   challenge thrown up by the prevalent order  of  violence,  corruption
   and greed  and  saved  the  people  of Assam.  She warned that if the
   present generation of leaders failed to live  up  to  the  task,  the
   future generation would not forgive them for their failure.

   Ethnic violence continued to rock Nalbari district as  at  least  six
   persons  including  a  two-and-a-half-year-old  girl and a woman were
   killed by suspected Bengali Tiger  Force  (BTF)  at  Nabingaon  under
   Kumarikata police outpost in Nalbari district on August 19. According
   to  police  sources,  a  group  from  Mechguri  and  Kalgaon villages
   attacked the Bodo dominated Nabingaon, killed six persons and  buried
   them. The bodies were later dug out by the police.
   Police  suspect that the attack came in retaliation of the killing of
   14 persons including four women and two minor girls in  Mechguri  and
   Khairabari villages in the same area by suspected National Democratic
   Front of  Bodoland  (NDFB)  militants  on  the night of August 14.  A
   report in a vernacular daily, however, says that the six  Bodos  were
   killed  a  week  earlier  and  hence  the NDBF retaliated against the
   Bengali-speaking community in the area.
   Meanwhile, the Bodo Liberation Tiger (BLT) claimed responsibility for
   the  August 13 blast on the RCC bridge on the river Demow on NH 52 in
   Dhemaji district,  derailment  of  the  railway  oil  tanker  between
   Basugaon and Dangtol on August 14 and blowing up of a passenger train
   in  Silonibari  in Lakhimpur district on August 14 in which 7 persons
   were killed.  The road communication between Assam and  the  rest  of
   the  country  was  disrupted as BLT militants blew off a portion of a
   bridge on the NH 31 near Barama at around 1:15 pm on August 15

   Defying ULFA's call for a  'public  curfew'  the  golden  jubilee  of
   Indian Independence was celebrated with much enthusiasm in the Majuli
   subdivision of  Jorhat district on August 15.  Large number of people
   came out to hoist the national Tricolour at  various  places  of  the
   subdivision,  officially  the  flag  was  hoisted by the SDO (civil).
   There was no impact of the ULFA-sponsored curfew  call.    Shops  and
   business establishments  remained  open.  What has been noticeable is
   that the younger  generation  took  part  in  the  celebrations  most
   Independence Day celebrations elsewhere in the State remained subdued
   as most people remained indoors, several incidents of burning down of
   the  Tri-colour  in  remote  villages,  sabotage and violence by ULFA
   cadres marred the celebrations.  The Pathsala railway station was set
   on fire by seven heavily-armed ULFA activists on the night of  August
   14,  totally  destroying  the  control  room,  signal  room  and  the
   ticket-collection counter.

   Fed up with being told what to do and what not to and at the  end  of
   their  tether  at  having  a  liberation  movement  thrust down their
   throats without so much as a by-your-leave, over  500  citizens  from
   all  walks of life took out a procession in Guwahati city, to protest
   violence and counter-violence in the State.    The  six-hour  'public
   curfew'  on  August  15,  coinciding  with  the 50th Independence Day
   celebrations all over the State called by the outlawed ULFA  did  not
   deter them.
   Convened  by  the  Editor of The Sentinel and former President of the
   Editors Guild of India, Mr D.N.Bezbaruah, the  procession  covered  a
   three   kilometre  circuit,  its  participants  swelling  in  number,
   carrying placards that read 'Down  with  Violence,  Up  with  Peace'.
   There  would  have  been  more,  some  said,  had it not been for the
   absence of public transport and a number of  participants  were  seen
   shaking  their  heads  in disappointment because they had reached the
   venue of the starting point after the procession had ended.
   One processionist had this to say, 'I am participating in this  march
   not  because  I  am terribly patriotic person but because I feel that
   after 50 years of India's independence, I  as  a  citizen  should  at
   least have the independence to do what I want, to go where I wish and
   to say what I think.'

   Bharatiya  Janata  Party  (BJP)  MP  Dwaraka Nath Das (65), died at a
   Calcutta hospital following cerebral stroke on August 18, on his  way
   to Karimganj.    He was the lone BJP MP from Assam and twice elected,
   in successive terms, from the Karimganj Lok Sabha constituency.

    Telecommunication service at Golaghat remained disrupted due to
    a fault in the Golaghat Electronic Telephone Exchange for the
    third day today (August 20). Telecom engineers are on the job to
    repair the fault in the exchange and restore the service. No 
    details as to when the service will resume was given by the

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