/  \    _____ _____ ____      _    _
                   /    \  (  __/(  __/(_   \    / \  / \
                  /  __  \  \  \  \  \  / __ O N L I N E \
                 (__/  \__)/____)/____)(______)(__/    \__)
                          Vol.3, No.52 [*]  July 27, 1998

        Chi Wen Tzu always thought three times before taking action.
                   Twice would have been quite enough.
                               - Confucius
      Write an article about `Assamese Ghosts' for Project CyberAssam 
      (http://www.assam.org) and  tell the world what Assamese Ghosts
         are all about. Send your entries to: mozz@cyberspace.org. 

   Fifty-one ULFA militants, led by the banned outfit's chief  organizer
   of  Dihing  local committee, Mr Ripu Kalita, `came overground to join
   the mainstream'  by  laying  down  arms  before  the  Assam  Governor
   S.K.Sinha and pledged to serve the cause of the State and the country
   at  the  `Rehabilitation  Ceremony' held at Thakurbari in Tezpur near
   the Army's 4 Corps Headquarter on July 25,
   The ULFA men who gave up arms included one lieutenant and six  action
   group commander.   There had been 12 militants who had been member of
   the outfit for 10 years.  Four of them had been  trained  in  Myanmar
   and 12 in Nagaland and Bhutan.  According to an Army official, cadres
   of   the   outfit  from  Nalbari,  Sibsagar,  Kamrup  and  Dibrugarh,
   representing various local committees comprise the 51  militants  who
   laid down  their  arms.  The youths surrendered two .303 rifles, four
   AK-47s, seven pistols,  two  carbines,  one  hand  grenade  and  some
   Explaining  the  reasons for coming overground, Mr.Ripu Kalita, said,
   `From the long 18-year experience of working in the ULFA since  1984,
   I  can  tell  you  that the ULFA's demand for secession from India is
   unrealizable because it is impractical.  The outfit's demand can best
   be settled through political means,  not  through  violence.    These
   limitations of  the  situation forced us to lay down arms.  I have no
   regrets for this.' The Army authorities, however did  not  allow  the
   newsmen to talk to the other surrendered militants.
   The  ULFA  sharply reacted to its cadres surrendering before the Army
   and said that it is a disgrace to the glorious traditions  of  valour
   and courage of the people of the State in the face of the enemy.
   In  a  fax message, Mitinga Daimary said that the militant outfit was
   not at all agitated over the developments as most of the  cadres  who
   had  surrendered  were  facing  various  charges of violations of the
   organizations's rules, and said that the cadres had no moral guts and
   ideological scruples to fight for the  liberation  of  the  oppressed
   people and had only worked for their personal aggrandizement.
   With the washing away of both the broad gauge  and  the  metre  gauge
   railway  bridges  by  the  torrents of the Pagladia flood waters near
   Ratanpur village in Nalbari district on the night of  July  24,  rail
   communication  between  the Northeast and the rest of the country was
   snapped.  Road communication remained disrupted since July 23 as  the
   surging  flood  waters  of  the  Pagladia  continued  to  submerge  a
   2-km-stretch of the National Highway 31 near Ghograpar in Nalbari.
   Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Som Pal on July 24
   in Guwahati announced a grant of Rs.230 million for immediate release
   to the Assam Government for flood relief from  the  Natural  Calamity
   Fund  in  accordance  with  the  recommendation  of  the 10th Finance
   Commission for the year to the  State.    He  said,  the  Centre  had
   already  released Rs.210 million for flood relief which will make the
   total grant under the Natural Calamity Relief Fund at Rs.420  million
   in the current season.
   A group of about 45 suspected Bodo militants armed with sophisticated
   weapons  and  grenades  attacked  the  Adivasi refugee relief camp at
   Tilapara village about seven km from Kokrajhar at around 7:40  pm  on
   July  24  and  opened  indiscriminate  fire,  killing  five  persons,
   including a woman and a child on the spot while two others  succumbed
   to their injuries at Kokrajhar Civil Hospital later. 
   In  total,  24  Santhal  refugees  were  seriously  injured  and  the
   condition of 15 of them is said to be critical. All  the  24  persons
   were  sent  to Guwahati Medical College immediately. About 44 Santhal
   families are residing in the relief camp.
   Paresh  Barman,  a  undergraduate student of Nalbari college, who was
   taken by the Army on July 22, was found dead in a pond at a `namghar'
   (place of worship) in Ahimpur near Paikarkuchi in Nalbari district on
   July 25.  Both the hands were tied from behind with a cloth used  for
   bandage and his body bore marks of injury.
   Giving  clarification  of  the  death, the Army in a press release on
   Sunday said that the death of Paresh  Barman  was  a  sheer  accident
   occurred due to the prevailing flood and the inclement weather in the
   area.  After Paresh in Army custody had revealed a lot of information
   about  the  ULFA,  the Army went out for a raid taking him along with
   them in a vehicle.
   When the raid party reached Ahimpur Chowk,  the  vehicle  had  to  be
   driven in  about  2 feet deep flood waters on the road.  After moving
   about 40 metre ahead of Ahimpur Chowk, the vehicle  skidded  off  the
   road and, fell into a pond and turned turtle before the door could be
   opened.  While the troops managed to come out of the vehicle, Paresh,
   whose hands were tied from behind, was missing.  The troops conducted
   a  search in the pond but because of weeds and muddy flood water they
   failed to fish out the boy, the release added.
   The Nalbari District Students Union has given a call  for  a  10-hour
   Nalbari  bandh from 5 am of July 27 in protest against the killing of
   Paresh Barman, and the incident of rape and murder of Bina Das (which
   the Government denied any involvement of the Border Security  Force),
   and  failure  of  the  authorities  to provide adequate relief to the
   flood affected people.  The Nalbari district unit of  the  Asom  Gana
   Parishad  (AGP) demanded judicial inquiries into the death of Paresh.
   The Students Union exempted flood rescue and relief  operations  from
   the preview of the bandh.
   An  armed  gang  of  about  a  dozen  dacoits  hijacked a Assam State
   Transport Corporation (ASTC) bus  which  was  on  its  way  to  North
   Lakhimpur  from Guwahati from Chikonmati village under Dalgaon police
   station in Darrang district, at gunpoint at about 10:30  pm  on  July
   24.  One of the dacoits drove the bus 95 km away opposite the spot to
   Khandikar, 5 km north of Rangiya town.  They looted the passengers of
   all  their  valuables and money including a mobile phone and left the
   bus and the passengers in a muddy field near  the  Khandikar  railway
   station at around 2.30 am.
   According  to ASTC sources, the gang of dacoits are suspected to have
   boarded the bus in two groups -- one at Guwahati  and  the  other  at
   Mangaldoi,  in  the  guise of passengers. They spoke Hindi as well as
   Assamese. Though the bus came across several Army check posts on  its
   way  to  Khandikar  from  Chikonmati,  the bus was not checked at any
   point by the Army. The nineteen passengers of the ill-fated bus  were
   sent to North Lakhimpur by a special ASTC bus at 10 am on July 25.
   Six militant outfits operating in the Northeast have jointly given  a
   call to the people to boycott `India's Independence Day'.  In a joint
   statement  -- National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), People's
   Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak, Revolutionary  People's  Front  of
   Manipur,  Tripura  People's Democratic Front, United Liberation Front
   of Assam (ULFA) and the United National Liberation Front of  Manipur,
   have also called for a `general strike' from midnight of August 14 to
   5 pm of August 15.
   Rene  Philip  Joseph Emerie, a French national who allegedly tried to
   commit suicide near the bank of river Brahmaputra at Shukleswar  Ghat
   in  Guwahati  on  July  23  afternoon  was  sent to jail by the Chief
   Judicial Magistrate's court on July 24.  The person was identified by
   the owner of the hotel in the Panbazar area where he was staying  for
   a month.    The  hotel owner also informed the police that the person
   had seemed to be mentally disturbed.
   Police had informed the Calcutta-based  French  Consulate  about  the
   incident  and  the  person  would  be  released  from jail as soon as
   representatives from the Consulate arrive in Guwahati to take  charge
   of the  man.    It  is  learnt  that  he  was a student of the French
   University and his visa and passport were in order.  He is  about  25
   years old.  He can speak English, Hindi, Bengali with some difficulty
   and can  also speak a few Assamese words.  Though he was suspected to
   be mentally disturbed yet his behaviour in the jail has  been  normal
   so far, police said.
   Assam  Government  has release Rs.60 million for modernization of the
   Jyoti Chitraban Studio, the only film studio in the Northeast.   This
   was  disclosed  by  the  Chief Minister, P.K.Mahanta on July 24 while
   laying the foundation stone  of  a  project  for  the  studio.    The
   authorities  have  decided  to  install  a high quality on-line video
   production studio and a  modern  re-recording  theatre  at  the  film
   Meanwhile, the Assamese feature film `Adajya', directed by Ms Santana
   Bordoloi,  has  been  invited  to  the  3rd  Pusan International film
   festival, Korea to be held from September 24.  The film will be shown
   in `The double wall:  becoming a woman director in Asia' section.
   Hridayananda Kalita, a final year  student  of  Journalism  and  Mass
   Communication  of IGNOU, Joyjit Kumar Haloi, an undergraduate student
   of Nalbari college and Gopal Subba, a higher  secondary  second  year
   student  of  Hindustani  Kendriya  Vidyalaya,  Bhangagarh,  Guwahati,
   secured  the  overall  first  position  in  the   23rd   Asia-Pacific
   Intellectual  Meet  '98  held at the premises of Delhi Public School,
   Noida, near New Delhi on July 25, a press release said.

Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]
        To unsubscribe write to: kalita@pikespeak.uccs.edu