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                     Vol.3, No.5 [*] February 20, 1997

                 Beyond talent lie all the usual words:
                      discipline, love, luck - but,
                         most of all, endurance.

                            - James Baldwin

   Assam Online (AOL) completes two years of news service on February 18
   this year.  We take  this  opportunity  to  thank  all  our  members,
   regular readers  and  well-wishers  for  their continued support.  We
   would like to inform  our  new  readers  that  AOL  is  a  voluntary,
   nonprofit service.    Part  of  the project is funded by the members'
   contribution.  AOL is distributed free of cost to students.    It  is
   also  available on the web for casual visitors and curiosity seekers.
   You can also retrieve old news from the AOL archives.  - AOL Team.

   Former State Labour Minister Bakri Prasad Telenga resigned  from  the
   primary  membership  of  the  Asom  Gana  Parishad  on February 19 on
   personal ground.  Mr Telenga is an accused in  the  multi-crore-rupee
   LoC scandal in the Demow case.  In the 1991 elections, Mr Telenga had
   vacated  his  constituency,  Thawra, for the prime accused in the LoC
   scandal, Mr Rajendra Prasad Bora, who lost the election.
   Meanwhile,  Minister  of State for Science and Environment Hazi Abdul
   Rouf told newsmen on February 19 at Lanka in Nagaon district that  he
   had  resigned  from  the  Mahanta  Ministry  and  would hand over his
   resignation to the Chief Minister in a day or two.   Mr  Rouf,  while
   making  this  revelation,  made  a  scathing  attack  on  the Mahanta
   Ministry for total failure of the Government on  all  fronts  as  the
   State  has  turned  into a `burning cauldron of violence, price rise,
   However,  his  complaint was particularly directed against the voters
   list because the EC had defranchised 36.4 million  `D'  voters.    He
   termed this as `illegal, unconstitutional and an unprecedented action
   of the  EC'  which the Mahanta Ministry failed to rectify.  The Chief
   Minister said he had not received Mr Rouf's  resignation  letter  nor
   had Mr  Rouf  said anything to him about this.  According to sources,
   Mr Rouf is likely to join either the Samajwadi Party or the Congress.

   The BJP will have no objection to enter into an alliance with the AGP
   in Assam if the post-election scene so demands. The party has already
   adopted entering into alliances  with  regional  parties  in  various
   parts  of  the  country  as  a  matter  of policy but the question of
   alliance with the AGP will largely depend on what conditions the  AGP
   put  to  the  BJP  and whether they would be acceptable to the party,
   State unit BJP president  Narayan  Barkataki  told  The  Sentinel  on
   February 19 at Guwahati.

   In the first phase of repolling in nine polling centres under Nagaon,
   Kaliabor and Jorhat Lok Sabha seats were held peacefully, State Chief
   Electoral Officer (CEO) Bhaskar Musahary said in Guwahati on February
   18.  The second phase of the repolling will be held on February 20 in
   255  polling  stations  of  Karimganj,  Silchar,  Dhubri,  Kokrajhar,
   Barpeta,  Guwahati,  Mangaldoi,  Tezpur,  Dibrugarh  and   Lakhimpur.
   Repolling in these polling stations were ordered following reports of
   snatching of poll materials including ballot boxes.
   Meanwhile, the State CEO confirmed on February 17 that the percentage
   of polling in the State in the 14 Lok Sabha seats held on February 16
   was 50.31 and not 45 as had been stated earlier on the basis  of  the
   preliminary reports only.  The final breakup of percentage of polling
   for the  constituencies  are:  Silchar - 72.5; Karimganj 65.14; Diphu
   59.99; Dhubri - 60.77; Kokrajhar - 47.97; Barpeta -  45.64;  Guwahati
   35.45;   Mangaldoi   -   50.91;  Tezpur  -  62.93;  Nagaon  -  44.25;
   Kaliabor-48.61; Jorhat - 29.09; Dibrugarh-36.79 and Lakhimpur-57.25.

   Defying the ULFA call for vote boycott, the  people  of  the  world's
   largest  river  island  Majuli  took  avenge of the killing of social
   worker Sanjay Ghosh by casting their votes on February 16.    Braving
   inclement  weather  and  unseasonal rain, more than 80 percent of the
   electorate cast their votes, while the polling percentage  of  Jorhat
   district was  barely  32  percent.    The  people  from  all ages and
   sections lined up in front of the polling stations to vote paying  no
   heed to  the ULFA diktat.  The social worker and general secretary of
   the AVARD-NE was abducted and killed by the ULFA last year.  His body
   was never recovered.   Since  then  an  anti-ULFA  feeling  has  been
   sweeping the entire island.

   A documentary entitled `War Cemetery of  Kohima'  directed  by  Gopal
   Borthakur and produced by Ms Aroti Barua of Rhino Films, Guwahati for
   PPC  (NE),  Doordarshan,  Guwahati  has entered the video competition
   section of 5th Mumbai International Film Fest  '98  for  documentary,
   short and  animation  films to be held from March 1.  This is for the
   first time a programme commissioned by PPC (NE), Doordarshan has been
   selected for video competition section of this prestigious  festival.
   Another documentary, `From the Dawn-lit Mountain -- The Nishi' by the
   PPC (NE) is also selected for the festival.

   A  13-year-old  boy  from  Lucknow  barged into the arms of CRPF head
   constable Ram Chandra Dubey at Guwahati Railway Station shouting  for
   help.   Vijay  Mishra  was kidnapped by two armed men from Lucknow on
   February 17.  They took him to a place, where two others joined them,
   and brought him to Barauni and somewhere along the  way  boarded  the
   Avad-Assam Express.
   As  the train chugged into the railway station, Vijay, wits and brain
   in top gear, on the plea of  going  to  the  toilet,  jumped  out  to
   freedom.  The  boy's  parents  were informed of his safe custody.  An
   overwhelmed family of the boy thanked the constable and informed that
   the boy's elder brother will be arriving Guwahati on February  20  to
   take him back home.

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