__ / \ _____ _____ ____ _ _ / \ ( __/( __/(_ \ / \ / \ / __ \ \ \ \ \ / __ O N L I N E \ (__/ \__)/____)/____)(______)(__/ \__) Vol.3, No.42 [*] June 26, 1998 ------------------------------- The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell --------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 WORLD BANK UNHAPPY WITH ARIASP PROGRESS [S:25-JUN-98] --------------------------------------- A high-power delegation of the World Bank, which arrived Guwahati on Monday, is undertaking an extensive tour of the State to review the progress of the various schemes under the World Bank-sponsored Assam Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Services Project (ARIASP). Official sources said that the World Bank officials are highly dissatisfied with the tardy progress of the project in Assam and is seriously contemplating to wind it up within six years instead of the eight-year period. The project was started in 1995-96. The ARIASP envisages development of the existing, and creation of new, infrastructural facilities like roads, buildings, creating irrigation potential, fisheries, veterinary and animal husbandry etc, involving an expenditure of over Rs.5.67 billion to be spent over eight years. The Government of Assam had to spend the money first in phases and submit utilization certificates on the basis of which the World Bank reimburses the money utilized. Accordingly, the State Government earmarks separate funds in its annual budgets to take up works under ARIASP. It may be mentioned that there is already widespread allegations that the departments covered by the ARIASP have squandered away substantial funds to purchase vehicles, computers etc for their head offices only while the officials refuse to move out to the sites in villages. It is also alleged that the department officials have not quite understood the significance and the spirit of the project drawn up by experts in meticulous detail on providing the infrastructural facilities for uplift of the rural people and development of agriculture, and have taken it as just any other governmental project where there is no accountability. 2 ULFA'S WARNING TO SUMITA GHOSE [S:26-JUN-98] ------------------------------ The ULFA warned Ms Sumita Ghose, widow of AVARD-NE secretary Sanjoy Ghose, who was killed by the outfit last year, not to undertake her campaign for search of her husband's body in the State and said, the motive behind the campaign was to facilitate entry of AVARD into Assam. In a statement, ULFA's publicity secretary Mithinga Daimary on Thursday reiterated the charge that Sanjoy Ghose was an agent of the RAW and all his work in Majuli was motivated to undermine the ULFA. 3 ARMYMEN INVOLVED IN RAPE IDENTIFIED [S:26-JUN-98] ----------------------------------- The names of the two guilty Army personnel involved in the incident of rape at Paikarkuchi village on June 16, have been announced by the Deputy Commissioner of Nalbari district Asish Kumar Bhutani on Thursday while receiving a memorandum from a procession protesting Army atrocities in the district. The two guilty Army personnel have been identified as Rama Lingam and Rangi Ram of 313 Field Regiment. 4 ARMY ASSAULTS AGP LEADER, ARMY DENIES [S:25-JUN-98] ------------------------------------- Keshav Deka, the general secretary of Nalbari district committee of AGP, was assaulted on Monday night by Army personnel at his residence at Banekuchi village. Army ghearoed the house of Mr Deka and then misbehaved and assaulted him in front of his family members. The Army on Wednesday clarified that they had carried out search operations in the AGP leader's house on specific information that one Pradip Deka, an ULFA militant was in the house. Referring to the report in The Sentinel that the Army had assaulted the AGP leader, the Army said no one was assaulted and Mr Deka had admitted that Pradip was in the house till 4 pm. In another incident, an Army patrol detained AGP MLA from Sootea, Mr Prabin Hazarika in front of Sootea inspection bungalow from 7 pm to 8:30 pm on June 21. Mr Hazarika, accompanied by his personal security, was driving his Tata Sumo van when the patrol stopped him, suspecting him and his carbine-weilding security to be ULFA activists. No amount of persuasion could convince the jawans, who apologized and let the MLA go only after the Sootea police reported the matter to higher-ups in police and the Army, who in turn asked the jawans to let Mr Hazarika go. 5 ONE-MAN INQUIRY TO PROBE GASTRO DEATHS [S:25-JUN-98] -------------------------------------- The Assam Government has constituted a one-man inquiry committee headed by the Commissioner, Upper Assam Division, Jorhat to inquire into deaths caused by gastroenteritis in Sibsagar, Jorhat and Golaghat districts. The terms of reference on which the inquiry will be carried out, include actual number of such deaths during the last five years and the areas where such deaths took place, reasons for the outbreak of gastroenteritis, whether any medical aid was available to the deceased and fix responsibilities on persons and to suggest measures to improve the system. Meanwhile, the general secretary of the Assam Tea Workers Association, Brij Pradhan has reacted sharply to the formation of the one-man inquiry commission and termed the formation of the committee as a reflection of the Government's lackadaisical approach to the problem, and said that it will never be possible to complete the probe within ten days fixed by the Government. He demanded the formation of a high level commission and a judicial inquiry into the incidents. [The outbreak of gastroenteritis in the tea garden area belt claimed more than 200 lives (actual figures could be higher) as reported so far this year. -Mozz] 6 KANAK SEN DEKA ARRESTED, FREED [AT:25-JUN-98] ------------------------------ Senior journalist and the editor of the `Dainik Agradoot', Mr Kanak Sen Deka was arrested on June 24 following a non-bailable warrant issued against him in a defamation case under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code. The case was filed by the Managing Director of the Housefed. The editor was later produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate and granted bail. Before producing him in the court the Dispur police kept the veteran journalist in the police station for over three hours. 7 FINAL REPORT ON DR DHANIRAM BARUAH CASE [PTI:23-JUN-98] --------------------------------------- The Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) on June 23 sent the final report on the controversial pig heart transplanting on a human being by an Assamese doctor two years back to Assam State Forensic Lab. The report assumes significance as it will either prove or dispel the claim made by the surgeon, Dr Dhaniram Baruah, that the transplanted heart was that of a pig. Declining to divulge the results of the report since the case was sub-judice, CFSL Director M.S.Rao said a part of the report had earlier been sent to Assam FSL and the one posted on Tuesday contained the final analysis. 8 REPORT CARD OF GAUHATI UNIVERSITY [S:24-JUN-98] --------------------------------- The Vice Chancellor of Gauhati University (GU), Dr H.L.Duwarah while addressing press persons in Guwahati on Tuesday announced that GU will soon introduce semester system, starting from the 1999 batch, and will open a distance education programme in the Arts stream. Private candidates will not be allowed to appear for examinations along with the regular candidates to help the administration to conduct examinations smoothly, he said. He revealed that the post graduate examinations for the academic year 1997-98 which was scheduled between January and March was not held due to the midterm polls. Moreover, incidents of violence between students also compelled the authority not to conduct the exams. Commenting on the unauthorized occupation of the university hostels, Dr Duwarah admitted that there might be `some bad elements' behind this who are working for their vested interests. However, he refused to say more on the subject. Dr Duwarah said that there are a little over 1,632 bighas of land under university occupation and out of it, 1 bigha and 2 kathas are disputed land. Besides 50 bighas are encroached in which, 48 university employees and 87 outsiders have illegally settled. The Vice Chancellor also informed that the State Government had sanctioned a sum of Rs.86 million for the current financial year. Additional revenue comes from the 25 percent increase in the University fees. The University made a profit of Rs.50.5 million during 1996-97 from fees collected under various heads. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had approved Rs.11.13 million for certain projects, he said. 9 ASTC DRIVER BEATEN BY PASSENGERS [S:24-JUN-98] -------------------------------- The driver and conductor of a new Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) night-service bus travelling from Guwahati to Golaghat started to behave abnormally after drinking heavily at a highway joint. At one point the driver almost lost control of the 35 seater vehicle but was saved by a passenger who knew driving and drove the bus safely to Golaghat. The passengers gave both the driver and the conductor a through thrashing. 10 RELIGIOUS MANUSCRIPTS LANGUISH IN DHUBRI DISTRICT [PTI:19-JUN-98] ------------------------------------------------- More than a thousand objects of art and historical interest -- including old religious manuscripts -- are languishing in a small and dilapidated museum in this district town due to lack of funds. Housed in a rented, cramped six-room flat, a majority of the articles, donated by a scion of the Gauripur Raj family, Nilima Barua, are displayed on makeshift shelves -- subject to the vagaries of extreme humidity in this riverside town. `During the last great flood that washed away Gauripur and Dhubri area, our objects were also affected. The major portion of the collection of Nilima Barua was kept in a room of her residence under lock, as there was no space in the museum building,' says officer-in-charge, Ms Kavita Devi, who also serves as the unofficial curator. `We face the usual teething problems and in spite of them we are carrying on... Things can look up if we can get some funds,' she says. However, the museum has managed to create some awareness among its local populace about the beauty and historicity of the objects here. `A large number of the visitors we get are students from schools and colleges and occasional research scholar,' Ms Devi says adding that many people, till recently, were not aware about the museum in the town and those aware, would not know what a museum was! 11 FIRST WOMAN IAF OFFICER FROM ASSAM [S:23-JUN-98] ---------------------------------- Ms Suranjita Khaund has been selected for the post of Pilot Officer (technical branch) by Indian Air Force. Ms Khaund who has been a product of Assam Engineering College in Electronic and Telecommunication, 1996, is the first Assamese girl to be selected for the post from the Northeast. She is the eldest daughter of Mr Parag Jyoti Khaund and Ms Kanan Khaund of Guwahati. ______________________________[Mozz-BG]_________________________________ Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only. [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB] http://www.cyberspace.org/~mozz/aol.html http://www.assam.org/assam/news/index.html ________________________________________________________________________