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                          Vol.3, No.51 [*]  July 25, 1998

        If you are foolish enough to be contented, don't show it,
                        but grumble with the rest.
                           - Jerome K. Jerome

   Over a hundred hard-core ULFA militants  will  surrender  before  the
   senior  Army  officials  at  a  function  organized  by  the  Army at
   Thakurbari in Tezpur on Friday. The process  of  surrender  had  been
   initiated  by  the  Army  under instruction from the Centre since the
   past few months, sources said. The State Government was  apprised  of
   the  impending  surrender  by the Centre only after the whole process
   had been completed. The Centre will provide all facilities  and  help
   to the surrendered militants for rehabilitation.
   In a similar process in 1992, during the tenure of Hiteswar  Saikia's
   (Congress-I)  Government, several hundred ULFA members surrendered to
   the Government giving rise to the surrendered ULFA (SULFA).  Each  of
   them  were  paid  about  Rs.200,000 as bank loans for rehabilitation.
   But most of them in a short time started  to  indulge  in  antisocial
   activities and created a reign of terror in business circles.
   According  to  reports,  several  factors  have  gone into the cadres
   deciding to surrender, primary reason being that a huge fund of  over
   Rs.3  billion extorted by the outfit and kept in some Southeast Asian
   countries, had to be  written  off  after  the  currencies  in  those
   countries crashed.    Secondly, the cadres are disillusioned over the
   absentee-leaders, who are reportedly leading luxurious life-styles in
   foreign countries.
   Meanwhile, the Assam Government  is  contemplating  granting  general
   amnesty to extremists to help them join the mainstream.  According to
   Chief  Minister  P.K.Mahanata, the State Government would soon send a
   proposal to the Centre on the matter.

   The Assam Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Minister Hiranya Konwar had
   a  narrow  escape  from  an assassination attempt when suspected ULFA
   militants fired  indiscriminately  on  his  car  at  Bhotaigaon  near
   Puranigudam in Nagaon on Tuesday at around 7:30 pm.  The Minister was
   coming from  Mahamara  constituency in Sibsagar district.  Two of the
   security and the driver was injured in the shoot-out.
   After the driver was  injured,  the  vehicle  stopped  on  the  spot.
   Mr.Konwar ran  from  the  car to safty.  The vehicle was riddled with
   six bullet holes from end to end.  The security retaliated  three  to
   four  rounds,  the  Minister  told  newsmen in Guwahati on Wednesday.
   According to reports, the ULFA had targeted a patrolling police party
   in the area and mistook the escort vehicles as those  of  the  patrol
   party.   Meanwhile, the State police department on Thursday suspended
   the security personnel who had fled  the  scene  when  the  militants
   opened fire on Mr Konwar.

   The CBI filed the charge sheet in the last of the  12  cases  of  the
   multi-crore-rupee  letter  of  credit (LoC) scandal of the Veterinary
   Department, the Demow case, against 38 accused persons in  the  court
   of Special  Judge  K.K.Das in Guwahati on Tuesday.  The CBI had found
   that Rs.620 million, including the Rs.480 million in the Demow  case,
   was  fradulently  siphoned  off  by  the  accused  through fake LoCs.
   Reports in the news for long indicated that the scandal  involved  at
   least Rs.2 billion.
   Prominent among those named in the chargesheet are:  Nakul Das, Dilip
   Saikia, Barki Prasad Telenga, Rajendra Prasad Bora  (prime  accused),
   Ms Indira Borah and Debabrata Saikia.  The CBI had found evidences of
   omission  on the part of the then Deputy Commissioner of Sibsagar, Mr
   Ravi Kapoor and another Indian Administrative Service (IAS)  officer,
   Mr N.Haque  in  the  case.    It had referred the matter to the State
   Government to take action against them.
   Unidentified  gunmen  shot  dead  AGP leader, Phuleswar Nath near his
   residence at Balikhuti village of  Hugrajuli  area  under  Dhekiajuli
   police station in Sonitpur district on Monday evening at around 7.45.
   Police  recovered  a  letter  typed in English in red by NICI, a Naga
   outfit from the victim's pocket which stated that he was sentenced to
   death by the outfit for his antisocial activities.    Phuleswar  Nath
   was an  executive  member  of  the Tezpur District AGP Committee.  In
   another report in the Sentinel on Thursday said that the  letter  was
   in  the  name  of  `NE Guerilla Army', an outfit known to have emerge
   first time in the region.
   The  Agnigarh  local  unit  of  the  ULFA  has  denied  the  outfit's
   involvement  in  the  murder  of  the  AGP  leader and termed it as a
   conspiracy by the district administration and a section of the AGP in
   the district to camouflage their own involvement, a release said.

   Widespread  resentment  prevails  among all sections of the people of
   Nagaon district over the ULFA  not  handing  over  the  body  of  the
   16-year-old  upcoming artiste, Ms Rashmi Bora, who was kidnapped from
   her house at Raidongia on June 9 and killed by the outfit on  charges
   of being an informer of the Army.  A large number of organizations of
   the  State,  besides  several  all-India organizations, have demanded
   that the outfit hand over the body of Rashmi to her parents  for  her
   last rites.  
   In Guwahati, 100 activists belonging to 11 organizations of the State
   took out a procession on Thursday demanding judicial probe  into  the
   killing.   The  processionists  marched  to the deputy commissioner's
   office from the Dighalipukhuri area, and submitted  a  memorandum  to
   the chief  minister through the DC Kamrup.  It may be mentioned, that
   during a public meeting  recently  at  Nagaon,  the  Food  and  Civil
   Supplies Minister, Digen Bora had lambasted the ULFA for the incident
   and said that if Rashmi was an informer, why they did not kill her in
   the  courtyard  of  her  house  instead  of abducting her and killing
   Two suspected ULFA militants shot dead  a  surrendered  ULFA  (SULFA)
   man,  one  Jatin Bairagi alias Upen Rajkhowa near Ramakrishna Mission
   Road in the heart of Nagaon town at 10 pm on Wednesday.  At least  15
   bullets pierced  his body.  Police recovered seven cartridges of 9 mm
   pistol and carbine.  The incident occurred when  Bairagi  was  coming
   from his  rented house in a bicycle.  The ULFA militants also came in
   two bicycles and fled the scene after  the  crime.    Bairagi  leaves
   behind his wife and a one-year-old child.
   Meanwhile,  two  additional  companies  of  the  Army was expected to
   arrive Nagaon district on Friday for  counter-insurgency  operations,
   police sources said. The companies will arrive in view of the stepped
   up militant activities in the district.
   A  72-hour  strike  by  Assam State Power Workers Union (ASPWU) which
   started from 6 am on Wednesday and sabotage by miscreants in  several
   132/66/33  KV transmission lines has plunged many parts on Assam into
   darkness.   According  to  Assam  State  Electricity   Board   (ASEB)
   officials  sabotage  in the 132-KV single-circuit Namrup-Tinsukia was
   sabotaged  due  to  which  power  supply  to   Tinsukia,   Dibrugarh,
   Margherita,  Ledo  and  Digboi areas remained disrupted since 3.27 pm

   In  lower  Assam, the 132 and 33 KV Gossaingaon-Gauripur transmission
   lines  were  also  sabotaged  by  miscreants  resulting  in  complete
   disruption  of  power  supply in the entire Dhubri district. In Barak
   valley, all the four feeder lines to Silchar town have been  affected
   because  of sabotage. In Sonitpur district, the Depota-Jamuguri 33 KV
   line was declared faulty due to sabotage on  Wednesday  night.  Power
   supply  to flood-hit Dhemaji district was also affected due to damage
   to the 3.15 MVA 33/11 KV transformer.
   Non-striking ASEB workers and officer are working round the clock  in
   war footing to restore the sabotaged lines in spite of heavy rainfall
   and floods  in  many areas.  The Radio and Television stations of AIR
   and Doordarshan in Dibrugarh remained off the  air  since  Wednesday.
   AIR broadcasts was resumed from Friday morning.
   Meanwhile,  striking  workers  in Namrup, Halflong, Dhubri, Golaghat,
   Hojai, Rangia and Chandrapur in  Guwahati  were  arrested  by  police
   while  they  were  trying  to  prevent some workers from attending to
   their duties.    The   strike   was   called   to   protest   against
   non-fullfilment of their 11-point charter of demands since 1997.
Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]
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