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                          Vol.3, No.40  [*] June 19, 1998

                  If you start throwing hedgehogs under me,
                   I shall throw two porcupines under you.
                            - Nikita Khrushchev

   The banned National  Democratic  Front  of  Bodoland  (NDFB)  claimed
   responsibility  for  the killing of Mr Surajit Mitra (35) in Guwahati
   on June 13 and said, this was intended as `warning to those  who  are
   involved in any kind of conspiracy against the NDFB and the Boros.'
   In  a  statement  faxed to The Sentinel on June 18 from a public call
   office (PCO) at Shillong, self-styled lieutenant of  the  outfit  and
   its  publicity  secretary B.Erakdao asserted that at no point of time
   had  the  NDFB  and  the  Government  of  India  entered   into   any
   negotiations  as  was  being  widely propagated by the Centre and the
   State Government and refuted reports that the  outfit  had  appointed
   late Surajit Mitra as the mediator to talk with the Government.
   Justifying  the  killing  of Surajit Mitra, Mr Erakado charged him of
   becoming a party to the `grant conspiracy' of the Government of India
   and its various agencies, to not only divide the NDFB rank and  file,
   but  also  `all  sections  of  the  Boro  nation.'  He said, the NDFB
   advocated an amicable solution to `our political  conflict  with  the
   Indian  Government  without  any physical confrontation,' adding that
   the ball is in the Indian Government's court.
   `It  should be made clear that there shall be no bargaining as far as
   the total political self-determination of the Boros is concerned,' he
   said and expressed willingness to come for a negotiated settlement if
   the Government of India made `sincere gestures' instead of  indulging
   in  `crafty  politics.'  He  stoutly  refuted  reports  that  Defence
   Minister George Fernandes had  talked  over  telephone  to  the  NDFB
   chairman Nabla Daimary.
   Mr Erakado said, the `armed struggle' of  the  NDFB  was  in  no  way
   connected  with settling certain economic or sociocultural demands of
   the `Boro nation', but fight for asserting the right of the Boros  to
   political self-determination.

   Kamrup District Sessions Judge on June 18 directed  that  summons  be
   issued  to suspended AGP leader Atul Bora to be personally present in
   his court on July 15 in connection with  the  defamation  case  filed
   against him by the Chief Minister P.K.Mahanta.
   Judge  Kanak  Sarma  gave the order after hearing a petition field by
   public prosecutor H.K.Deka which alleged  that  Bora,  a  former  PWD
   Minister,  had  `defamed the post and position of the Chief Minister'
   by giving certain statements to the media against Mahanta.
   The statements made by Bora were published in almost all  dailies  in
   the  State  where  he  alleged  that  Mahanta  spent Rs.10 million to
   influence the CBI investigation in the Letter of Credit  (LOC)  scam,
   Deka said.  Mahanta had filed the defamation case against Bora in the
   Kamrup District and Sessions Court on June 2.

3  DEMAND FOR AUTONOMOUS STATE 			          [AT:19-JUN-98]
   The Autonomous Councils of North  Cachar  Hills  District  and  Karbi
   Anglong   on   June   18  formally  turned  down  the  Memorandum  of
   Understanding (MoU) signed with Assam Government  by  terming  it  as
   `unworkable', reviving the demand for creation of an Autonomous State
   comprising North  Cachar Hills and Karbi Anglong.  In a memorandum to
   Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee they said the full implementation
   of Article 244(A) of the  Constitution  should  be  included  in  the
   national agenda.

   As  many  as  three  agencies  of  the  State Government have started
   investigations into whether the funds made available by  the  Telecom
   Department  to  the  State PWD for restoration of roads dug up by the
   Telecom Department to repair  or  lay  telephone  cables,  have  been
   actually  utilized  for  restoration  work  or  spent  for some other
   purposes, official sources said in Guwahati on June  18.    The  CM's
   Vigilance Cell, the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Cell and the CID of
   Assam   Police   have  seized  the  relevant  records  from  the  two
   departments for investigation. 
   Sources  said,  the  Telecom Department has paid Rs.27 million to the
   PWD during April, 1995 to May, 1996 for restoration work in Guwahati.
   Even though the PWD has shown that Rs.24 million of the Rs.27 million
   had been utilized, complaints have been received that the  money  was
   not  utilized for the purpose and that the work had been entrusted to
   a select group of blue-eyed contractors who got their  bills  cleared
   without undertaking the work.
   It  is common knowledge that PWD do not undertake restoration work in
   time and prefer to  keep  it  pending  for  a  long  time  after  the
   cable-laying  work  is  done,  thereby  putting  the  pedestrians and
   motorists to a great deal of hardship.  Funds were also  provided  to
   the  PWD  in  all  other  divisions  of  the  State  by  the  Telecom
   Department.  Investigations will be conducted into all the  cases  of
   payment by the Telecom Department all over the State, sources added.

   A ten-member delegation comprising government officials and  planters
   headed  by  the Minister for Industries Gunin Hazarika is leaving for
   Azerbaijan on June 20 to attend a seminar on tea.  The  seminar  will
   be  held  at  Baku, Azerbaijan from June 22, where trade and commerce
   minister of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Tajakastan, Armenia and Ukraine  are
   likely to take part.
   Mr Hazarika said `the seminar will provide an ample  opportunity  for
   the Assam tea growers and planters to promote their export as most of
   the  tea  buyers  and  traders of the CIS countries are attending the
   seminar.' He added that earlier the CIS countries were  concentrating
   on Calcutta market.

   After suffering heavy losses in the previous few years, the Assam Tea
   Corporation (ATC) earned a record profit of Rs.31 million in the last
   financial year, the highest profit in its history since its inception
   in the year 1974.  The total revenue earned by the ATC also increased
   from  Rs.303.7  million  in  1996-97  to Rs.446.4 million in 1997-98.
   Apart from  making  a  record  net  profit,  the  Corporation  repaid
   outstanding  dues  including  NABARD  loans  to  the  tune  of Rs.100
   million, ATC Managing Director Kumar Sanjoy Krishna said.

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