/  \    _____ _____ ____      _    _
              /    \  (  __/(  __/(_   \    / \  / \
             /  __  \  \  \  \  \  / __ O N L I N E \
            (__/  \__)/____)/____)(______)(__/    \__)
                    Vol.3, No.3 [*] February 12, 1997

            Anger leads to bewilderment and that to loss of memory.
          Failure of intelligence follows, resulting in destruction.
                             - Bhagavad Gita 


   The CPI-ML  Liberation  candidate  for  the  13-Dibrugarh  Lok  Sabha
   constituency  Mr  Anil  Kumar  Baruah was shot dead by suspected ULFA
   militants at an election meeting at Nahorani block office  playground
   near  Naharkatia  in  Dibrugarh  district  at 2:45 pm on February 11.
   According to sources, two youths came unsuspectingly near Mr  Baruah,
   who was addressing an election meeting and shot him with pistols from
   close range.    Mr  Baruah received seven bullet injuries and died on
   the spot.  A party worker, Ms Kanaklata Dutta who tried to catch  the
   assassins was seriously injured when they fired at her.
   Mr  Baruah  was  the  head  of the Mathematics department of Tinsukia
   College and was a very popular personality.  He was 56.   A  resident
   of  Tinsukia's Bordoloi Nagar, Mr Baruah was also a popular actor and
   dramatist.  He leaves behind his mother, wife and two daughters.   He
   had  contested  the  Dibrugarh  Lok  Sabha  seat  in  the  past three
   consecutive elections.  He was critical about the ULFA's boycott call
   of the elections, and termed it as an  absolute  irresponsible  step.
   According  to the Superintendent of Police of Tinsukia, Mr Baruah had
   refused to take security cover.
   Meanwhile,  in  an  AIR  report  quoting  the  Returning  Officer  of
   Dibrugarh, said that the election will not be countermanded  for  the
   seat.   According to the new rules, elections cannot be countermanded
   in the event of the death of a candidate of  an  unrecognized  party.

   The   Assam  Municipal  Administration  Minister  Biraj  Kumar  Sarma
   sustained  bullet  injuries,  while  one  of  his  personal  security
   officers  (PSO),  Mr  Dipak  Gogoi  died,  and  three  other security
   personnel were injured  when  suspected  ULFA  militants  fired  with
   automatic  weapons  from the road side in the busy Silpukhuri area of
   Guwahati at around 9:30 pm on February 11.
   Eyewitnesses  account  said  that  the  people ran helter skelter for
   cover as the militants showered bullets from AK-47 rifles.    Two  of
   Sarma's  Asom  Gana  Parishad  (AGP)  party workers, accompanying the
   minister, also received injuries and were rushed to the hospital.  Mr
   Sarma after the day's electioneering for his  party's  candidate  for
   the  Guwahati  Lok Sabha constituency was returning from the AGP ward
   committee office at  Navograha  Road,  located  near  his  Silpukhuri
   residence, when the incident took place.

   The Assam Chief Minister P.K.Mahanta has expressed doubt whether free
   and  fair polls could be held in the State in the absence of adequate
   security forces.  Mr Mahanta, who is also the AGP president, told UNI
   on February 11 that despite repeated requests, there is no  signs  of
   despatching paramilitary  forces  from  the  Centre.   The Union Home
   Ministry has always wanted to see the northeastern  region  weak  and
   disturbed, Mr Mahanta alleged.
   The Assam Government had sought additional 609 paramilitary companies
   for  polls  in  two phases in the State to maintain the law-and-order
   situation, and conduct the election peacefully.  But till now  not  a
   single additional  company  has  been  sent.    'The Home Ministry is
   telling us that  the  paramilitary  companies  would  reach  here  by
   Saturday.   But that will be meaningless as the State goes to poll on
   Monday and deployment of forces is  a  time  consuming  process,'  he
   Expressing strong  dissatisfaction  over  the  Election  Commission's
   rejection  of  the State Government's plea of holding the election in
   two phases, the Chief Minister said, it will  be  difficult  to  hold
   free and fair elections because of the growing threat perception from
   the ULFA.

   The writ challenging detention of  arrested  ULFA  general  secretary
   Golap  Barua alias Anup Chetia is expected to be taken up by the High
   Court in Dhaka on Sunday, media reports said on  February  10.    The
   writ  was  filed  on  February  9  by  the  Bangladesh  Human  Rights
   Commission (BHRC), and the office of the Attorney General is actively
   observing when and in which bench the writ petition would  be  moved,
   The Daily Star newspaper reported.
   A BHRC press release claimed that ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa had
   requested it  to  provide  necessary legal aid to Chetia.  Around one
   dozen lawyers of BHRC  have  enlisted  themselves  for  appearing  on
   behalf of  the  petitioner,  the  secretary  of BHRC said.  Chetia is
   lodged in the high-security Dhaka Central Jail after his arrest along
   with  two  associates  on  December  21  from  a  flat  in  the  posh
   Mohammadpur locality of Dhaka.

   Voters  at  a 'Face to face with the candidates' function in Guwahati
   on February 9 resented the failure of  Members  of  Parliament  (MPs)
   from  the  State  to  raise  the  issues agitating the minds of their
   electorate effectively in the Parliament.  The voters demanded  clear
   cut  statements from the candidates contesting the Guwahati Lok Sabha
   seat, on the issues of rise of  voters  in  the  constituency  by  34
   percent and the ULFA call to boycott the elections.
   Addressing  the  function  organized  by  the  GLP  Social Circle and
   conducted by former State Election Commissioner Tapan Lal Barua,  the
   four  candidates  for  the  Guwahati  seat,  Mr Bhubaneswar Kalita of
   Congress(I), Col Monoranjan Goswami of the BJP,  Mr  Gautam  Uzir  of
   Samajbadi  Party  and independent candidate Mr Gautam Uzir, could not
   provide the voters with satisfactory replies  on  the  issues.    AGP
   candidate Dr Prabin Sarma did not attend the function.

   Golaghat  police recovered a large quantity of assorted ammunition in
   two separate drives in the Sarupathar  and  Salikihat  areas  of  the
   district  and  arrested two persons in this connection on February 8.
   According to sources, police recovered 439 rounds of ammunition  from
   the  residence  of  one Nabin Bora, and arrested another person Manik
   Tamuli, and later acting on the tip-off provided by the two  persons,
   police dug up a paddy field at Salikihat, and recovered a basket-full
   of ammunition.    It  included  36 high-power grenades, 200 rounds of
   M-20 pistol, 370 electric detonators, 60 rounds of AK-47 rifles,  one
   magazine of SLR, bullets of 9 mm pistol etc.
   Police   have  held  six  persons,  including  two  surrendered  ULFA
   militants.  Police suspect that the ammunition were  brought  to  the
   district  with  a  view to carry out subversive activities during the
   ensuing elections.

   The district association of  administrative  staff  in  Guwahati  has
   threatened to abstain from election-related duties in the case of the
   State  Administration's  failure  to  find  out  the  Army  personnel
   involved in the incident of firing on the night of February 9  at  Mr
   Tamij  Ali, an assistant in the Kamrup district Deputy Commissioner's
   office, and punishing them for the crime.
   The  employees'  association  has  said in a statement in Guwahati on
   February 10 that while Mr Ali was returning  to  his  North  Guwahati
   residence  at about 10:30 pm, after attending to his election-related
   duty at the district election office in the city, a group of Army men
   opened indiscriminate fire at him.  Mr Ali had a providential  escape
   when the  scooter  he  was  riding on fell on the road.  He sustained
   serious injuries in the incident and is undergoing treatment.

   The  Assam  Government  on  February  11  decided  to  pay   adequate
   compensation  in  the wake of any person engaged in poll duty getting
   killed or injured due to subversive activities  by  banned  insurgent
   outfits.   Ex-gratia  grant of Rs.500,000 will be paid to the next of
   kin of persons on poll duty killed by insurgents; Rs.200,000 to those
   who are incapacitated and permanently disabled;  Rs.25,000  to  those
   who receive  minor  injuries.   The decision was taken in view of the
   threat to lives of persons engaged in poll duty.    The  order  comes
   into effect from February 11 and shall remain in force till March 10.

9  ESTEEM '98 AWARD TO AIDEO HANDIQUE		          [AT:12-FEB-98]
   The Esteem'98 Award will be presented to Ms Aideo Handique, the first
   Assamese  lady  who  dared  venturing  into  the  silver  screen   of
   'Joymoti',  the  first  Assamese  cinema  directed  by  Jyoti  Prasad
   Agarwala, on March 24 at Guwahati district  library  auditorium.    A
   press  release  by  the committee for the award presentation ceremony
   under the aegis  of  Mousahan  Production  said  the  Esteem'98  will
   comprise a citation, a shawl, a silver plaque and Rs.10,000 in cash.

   Ms  Ranju  Dutta,  a  student of DCB Girls' College, Jorhat and a NCC
   Assam  Girls  Battalion  cadet,  was  a  member  of  the   successful
   expedition  team  to  Lamchir  peak,  situated at the height of 5,662
   metre in Kumaon Himalayas.  This was the  18th  girls  mountaineering
   expedition to the peak in the Pindari Glacier which is famous for its
   technical climb.    Ms  Dutta  was among the 17 member all-India team
   which was flagged-off by Dr M.S.Gill, Chief Election Commissioner  on
   September 10, 1997 at New Delhi.  The expedition began on Sept.  15.

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