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                    Vol.2, No.45 [*] October 21, 1997

               Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.
                        - Goldsmith, The Traveller

   While turning down a plea filed by Tata Tea for special listing of  a
   petition  seeking  CBI  probe  into its alleged nexus with the banned
   ULFA, Supreme Court indicated on  October  20  that  hearing  of  the
   Special  Leave  Petition  (SLP)  filed  by  Assam Government would be
   transferred to Gauhati High Court for disposal.
   The anticipatory bails granted by Mumbai High Court would  remain  in
   operation  until  November  3, before the Gauhati High Court takes up
   the  SLP  for  hearing  on  November  4,  a  division  bench  further
   indicated.  A formal order to the effect would be passed on Friday by
   the division bench.
   As  the  senior  Tata  Tea  executives heaved a sigh of relief at the
   temporary relief granted by the Apex Court, Assam Government  dropped
   another  bomb  shell  in  the  Court,  when  its  counsel K.T.S.Tulsi
   announced that Tata Tea  Limited  through  ULFA  militants  has  been
   pressurizing small tea garden owners to sell off their gardens to the
   company.  Ram Jethmalini, the Tata counsel vehemently opposed it.

   Sleuths  of  the  CID  on  October 20 'questioned' the Guwahati-based
   senior group  representative  of  Goodricke  Group,  Mr  B.C.Borbora,
   besides  'calling  up' several other Calcutta-based top executives of
   the company to face charges of having extended 'financial assistance'
   to different terrorist outfits, primarily the ULFA and NDFB,  sources
   in Guwahati said.

   The  ULFA's  political  agenda is the liberation of Assam from Indian
   occupation and not to become Indian Prime Minister or Chief  Minister
   of Assam under Indian occupation, the militant outfit's C-in-C Paresh
   Barua said in a fax message released in Guwahati on October 20.
   Replying to an interview given by Lt Gen R.K.Sawhney, GOC IV Corps to
   the BBC, wherein he alleged that the ULFA does not have any political
   motivation, Paresh Barua said that the  General's  remarks  reflected
   his ignorance  of  politics. 
   'We do not have any inclination to talk with  the  Indian  Government
   asking for  autonomy.   We have had sufficient lessons how the Indian
   Government  has  used  'peace  talks'  to  divide  and  destroy   the
   liberation struggles  in our region.  ULFA's politics is the politics
   of liberation.  As such ULFA's agenda is the liberation of Assam from
   Indian occupation,' he said.

4  MAHANTA NOT FIT TO RULE: RAM		           [PTI+AT:18+20-OCT-97]
   Eminent  lawyer  Mr Ram Jethmalini has said the Assam Chief Minister,
   Mr P.K.Mahanta, 'is not fit' to hold his position. Referring  to  the
   controversy  surrounding the Tata Tea officials' involvement with the
   ULFA, Mr Jethmalini said  Mr  Mahanta  had  issued  an  advertisement
   saying  he  had  'Intercepted a letter of January 4 (to ULFA) and see
   they are talking to the ULFA'. This letter was the same  as  the  one
   Tata  sent  to  Assam  Government  along with the covering letter, Mr
   Jethmalini said adding, 'The Chief Minister is lying all  the  time.'
   Mr Jethmalini made these statements in a private TV channel programme
   'Aap ki Adalat'.
   Meanwhile, Pragdhar Chaliha, MP hit out at his Rajya Sabha  colleague
   Ram  Jethmalini  for  the  latter's comments on the Assam CM and said
   that he would raise the matter on the floor of the Upper House.    He
   said  that  Jethmalini  has  insulted  the  people  of Assam with his
   comments as he has no right to decide who would be the CM  of  Assam.
   Mr  Chaliha  further  said that Jethmailini's comments are attacks on
   the democracy and demanded that he should withdraw his comments.  The
   AGP at a press conference in Guwahati on October 20,  lashed  out  at
   Ram  Jethmalini  for  his  comments and described it as an attempt to
   encroach upon the democratic rights of the people of the State.

   The  Sadou  Asam  Kramachari Parishad (SAKP) decided to go ahead with
   its 72-hour non-cooperation agitation from 6  am  on  October  21  on
   their  demand  for  revised pay scales etc after rejecting the appeal
   made by the Chief Minister P.K.Mahanta.  While deciding to  go  ahead
   with  the stir, the executive committee condemned the chief secretary
   V.S.Jaffa for threatening the  Parishad's  general  secretary  Charan
   Deka with arrest under NSA if he failed to withdraw the agitation and
   accusing the government employees of sympathizing with the ULFA.  The
   Parishad decided to urge the President, Prime Minister and Union Home
   Minister to withdraw the Chief Secretary from the State.
   In Golaghat,  the  employees  of  the  Deputy  Commissioner's  office
   decided  not to support the SAKP's call for non-cooperation and to go
   ahead with their normal duties.

   The  bodyguard of ULFA's C-in-C, Paresh Barua and the outfit's 'chief
   secretary' of char areas  Inamul  Hussain  alias  Jainal  Abedin  was
   arrested on  October  18  at  Dhakuakhana in Lakhimpur district.  The
   police nabbed along with him,  his  wife  Sahnaj  Begum  alias  Elija
   Hazarika who  is  also  an  ULFA militant.  The police recovered some
   incriminating documents from them.

   The banned ULFA in a press statement faxed to the  newspaper  offices
   in  Guwahati  on  October  20  called  for a 12-hour road blockade in
   Guwahati on October 22, the day when AGP is holding  a  rally  to  be
   participated  by West Bengal CM Jyoti Basu, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandra
   Babu Naidu and the Defence Minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav.
   This  is  for the first time that two Chief Ministers and the Defence
   Minister are sharing the same platform in Guwahati.  This is also  Mr
   Basu's first visit to Assam after 19 years.

8  BLT CALLS FOR ASSAM BANDH			          [AT:20-OCT-97]
   The Bodo Liberation Tiger (BLT) which was banned early this month  by
   the  Central  Government, has called for a 24-hour Assam bandh from 5
   am on October 22 demanding negotiation with the Government  to  solve
   the long-standing Bodo problem permanently.

   The  Barak  Valley  Tea  Ex-Tea Youth and Students Union has strongly
   condemned the demands of  various  organizations  to  get  the  Barak
   Valley bifurcated   from  Assam.    In  a  press  release  issued  at
   Hailakandi,  the  president  Mr  L.N.Kalwar  said  that  some  vested
   interests  are  trumpeting  over the 'discriminatory attitude' of the
   Assam Government have been trying to get the Barak Valley  bifurcated
   from Assam only to gain political mileage.

10 ARMS FOR ULTRAS FROM ORISSA 			           [S:21-OCT-97]
   In  a  startling  revelation,  the  police on October 20 said that an
   outfit  in  Orissa  was  actively  supplying  arms,  ammunition   and
   explosives to  Assam.    This  fact came to light when investigations
   into the September 17 seizure of explosives from  Kamrup  Express  in
   Guwahati railway  station,  the  source  added.   Mentionably, in the
   aforesaid seizure, 1,225 gelatin  sticks,  1,900  detonators  and  16
   bundle of fuse wire were recovered.

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