/  \    _____ _____ ____      _    _
              /    \  (  __/(  __/(_   \    / \  / \
             /  __  \  \  \  \  \  / __ O N L I N E \
            (__/  \__)/____)/____)(______)(__/    \__)
                    Vol.3, No.7 [*] February 27, 1997

              No man is good enough to govern another man 
                      without that other's consent.
                           - Abraham Lincoln

   Going  by  all  indications  available  from  a  cross-section of AGP
   ministers and  MLAs,  the  reported  claim  and  threat  by  the  PWD
   Minister,  Mr  Atul Bora that he had the support of several ministers
   and MLAs to provide  an  alternative  leadership  to  Chief  Minister
   P.K.Mahanta  may  turnout  to  be yet another anticlimax when the AGP
   Legislature Party meets on March 5 in Guwahati.
   Four Cabinet ministers and the deputy Speaker of the  State  Assembly
   Mr Nurul Hussain, talking to The Assam Tribune, reposed full faith in
   the  leadership of the Mr Mahanta and claimed that there is no threat
   to the leadership of the party.  A prominent Cabinet  minister  said,
   it  was enigmatic that a senior leader of the party like Mr Atul Bora
   should have `acted so  irresponsibly'  at  this  juncture  while  the
   complaints  he  is making in the Press should have been sorted out in
   the party forums.
   Mr  Atul Bora had said that several of his colleagues had opposed the
   candidature of Mahanta's wife Jayshree for the Nagaon Lok Sabha  seat
   at  a steering committee meeting but despite this the party president
   (Mr Mahanta) went ahead with her nomination.  `We have faced a lot of
   problem due to this decision and Ms  Mahanta's  entry  into  politics
   might adversly affect AGP's poll prospects,' he added.

   A election agent of the BJP candidate for the Lok Sabha constituency,
   Mr  Kabindra  Purukayastha  has  charged  the  Congress candidate, Mr
   Santosh Mohan Dev, of rigging and sent  complaints  to  the  Election
   Commission  substantiated  by  evidences  in  the form of fake ballot
   papers found on the streets of Silchar.    In  a  communique  to  the
   Election  Commission  by  the  agent, Mr N.K.Deb, on February 23, the
   BJP, requested that the Commission take  all  precautionary  measures
   during counting of the ballots, segregating the fake from the real.

   The Panchayat  and  Rural  Development  Minister,  Mr  Shahidul  Alam
   Chowdhury,  in  a  fax message to the Election Commission on February
   25, has termed the EC's order of  February  24  `censuring'  him  for
   allegedly  having  violated  the  model  code  of  conduct during the
   elections to  Karimganj  Lok  Sabha  constituency,  as  `illegal  and
   improper  inasmuch as the said order issued by the Commission without
   giving me  the  minimal  opportunity  to  submit  any  representation
   against  the allegations made against me either by observer(s) or any
   other people of the Commission'.
   The Election Commission had censured Mr Chowdhury for  violating  its
   model  code  of  conduct and other instructions on the polling day in
   Karimganj Lok  Sabha  constituency.    In  a  separate   order,   the
   Commission  had ordered immediate transfer of the Deputy Commissioner
   of Hailakandi district on the basis of the report of the EC observers
   that he had failed to conduct the polls in a free  and  fair  manner.
   Mr  Alok  Khare,  member-secretary,  ASEB  has been appointed the new
   Deputy Commissioner, in place of Mr R.K.Das.

   A petition seeking stay on Bangladesh High Court's order rejecting an
   application challenging a reported move  over  arrested  ULFA  leader
   Anup  Chetia  to  India  was  referred to a full bench of the Supreme
   Court's appellate division for hearing on March  4.    Justice  Abdur
   Rauf  of  the  Supreme  Court  passed an order on February 26 to this
   effect after referring to entertain  the  application  filed  by  the
   Bangladesh Human Rights Commission.  The full bench will be headed by
   Chief Justice A.T.M.Afzal.

   The  ULFA  rejected  the  State  Government's renewed offer for talks
   stating that the exercise is a pastime the government has indulged in
   while continuing its  trial  and  error  methods  of  atrocities  and
   violence with  the help of Army.  In a statement released on February
   25 in Guwahati,  ULFA  publicity  secretary  Mitinga  Daimari,  while
   denouncing   the  Government's  offer,  appealed  to  the  people  to
   disassociate with the workers of political  parties  which  supported
   the  continuous  harassment  and atrocities on the people by security
   It  may be mentioned that the Assam Government of February 23 had put
   two  preconditions  before  the  militants  for   holding   political
   negotiations   and   suspension  of  all  ongoing  counter-insurgency
   operations in the State. 
   Meanwhile, the 12-hour lower  Assam  bandh  called  by  the  ULFA  on
   February 25 passed off peacefully without any untoward incident.  The
   bandh  which  began at 5 am evoked lukewarm response in various parts
   of lower Assam.    According  to  official  sources,  bus  and  train
   services were operating normally during the bandh period.

   The  Guwahati  Press  Club, while expressing serious concern over the
   mysterious disappearance of Mr Ankur Borbora,  special  correspondent
   of  The  Asian Age from its Calcutta head office since January 13 and
   lack of any clue about his whereabouts, demanded a CBI  inquiry  into
   the  matter  and has called upon the Assam Chief Minister P.K.Mahanta
   to personally take up the case with his West Bengal counterpart Jyoti
   Basu.  Mr Borbora who hails from Jorhat in Assam, had  been  a  staff
   reporter with The Sentinel and The Assam Tribune earlier.
   Meanwhile,  Police and Black Panther commandos roughed up Monoj Deka,
   a staff photographer of Assamese daily Aram Asom and Daulatar Rahman,
   staff reporter of the North East Times near the Guwahati  Press  Club
   at around 2 pm on February 26.  The Press Club has strongly condemned
   the incident and demanded action against the policemen involved.

   The  All  Assam  Students Union said that the production of textbooks
   for class II students by the  Assam  State  Textbook  Production  and
   Publication   Corporation  in  Bengali  in  part  was  a  deep-rooted
   conspiracy.  In a statement issued in Guwahati on  February  24,  the
   AASU  said that a delegation of the AASU met the managing director of
   the Textbook Corporation and demanded that the officials  responsible
   for  publishing  `Kuhipaath,' part II for class II students partly in
   Bengali this year, be published; the textbooks for school students be
   published in Assam, and the textbooks be distributed to the  students
   at the start of the academic year.

   Mr  Justice  Safiqul  Haque,  retired acting Chief Justice of Gauhati
   High Court  has  been  appointed  as  Chairman  of  an  International
   Arbitral  Tribunal  by the International Court of Arbitration, Paris,
   France to decide the disputes (claims and issues) arising out of  the
   case  with  the  International  Court  of Arbitration between the the
   parties, Dalim  Engineering,  Korea  and  Numaligarh  Refinery  Ltd.,
   India.  Justice Haque is the first judge from the northeastern region
   to preside over an international tribunal.

   A  mysterious  case  of  fire  at  the haystacks of several houses at
   Bhakatpamua village, in Jorhat, intermittently continuing since  past
   several  days,  has  created a great deal of sensation in the area as
   the villagers and police are unable to catch the culprit  or  explain
   the  phenomenon despite keeping nigh-long watch over their haystacks.
   The fire catches only in the haystacks, which was first  observed  on
   the night of January 27.

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