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                          Vol.3, No.56 [*]  August 5, 1998

                     When you get to the end of the rope,
                           tie a knot and hang on.
                           - Franklin D Roosevelt

   Suspected  Bodo  militants, speaking in broken Hindi and Assamese and
   in Army fatigue, killed three persons and injured six others, all  of
   whom were called out from their houses and lined up at a crossroad at
   Rangapani-Garughota  village,  13 km from Tamulpur police station, at
   10:30 pm on Monday by spraying bullets on all of  them  from  AK-47s.
   Condition  of two of the injured is reported to be critical. The dead
   have been identified as Mantulal  Das  (55),  Mahanta  Das  (36)  and
   Mangal Das (65).
   Villagers  tend  to  identify  the killers as being from NDFB while a
   section of them suspect them to be BLT ultras. It  may  be  mentioned
   that the Army had taken a BLT activist, one Oren Basumatary from this
   village  a  few  days  ago and killed him. Villagers suspect Monday's
   incident as being in retaliation to the Army killing. The village has
   a population of about 120 Bengali families, 20 Adivasi  families  and
   seven  Bodo  families.  The  killings  have  created  a great deal of
   tension and panic in the area. Many villagers fled the village  after
   hearing the gunshots.
   In  Dibrugarh,  while  a  hard-core  ULFA  militant Kumud Hazarika of
   Bhardhora Bengali village was killed on  the  spot  another  militant
   Tulan  Gogoi  alias Jintu Gogoi of Jerai village, Chabua and a Deputy
   Superintendent of  Police  (DSP),  Harekrishna  Nath  were  seriously
   injured  in an encounter at Tokobam near Dibrugarh-Tinsukia border in
   the wee hours on Tuesday.  Police recovered two  M-20  revolvers,  31
   rounds of live ammunition, Rs.96,000 in cash, a number of photographs
   and some incriminating documents from the site of the encounter.
   Nine   persons  including  BJP  MLA  from  Ratabari  constituency  of
   Karimganj district Mr.Sambhu Singh Malla, his wife and daughter  were
   injured  when  two hand grenades were hurled by two miscreants at the
   city's premier garment shop, Goenka Readymades in  the  Fancy  Bazaar
   area of Guwahati on Tuesday at around 7:30 pm.  (The Sentinel quoting
   eyewitness account reported one grenade was thrown by a tall, healthy
   The  MLA,  his  wife  and  daughter  (The  Sentinel  reports  as  his
   12-year-old niece and 20-year-old nephew.)  suffered  minor  injuries
   along with  six other persons.  Five of the injured were staff of the
   garment shop.   The  customers  were  looking  at  the  garments  for
   purchases when  the  incident  occurred.    The  impact of the blasts
   caused little damage and was reduced due to the thick carpet  over  a
   wooden  floor,  police  said,  adding that the damage could have been
   much greater had the floor been made of  concrete.    The  miscreants
   fled  towards  the  Brahmaputra river along the S.S.Road which was as
   usual crowded at that time.
   Former Home Minister and one of the AGP stalwarts Bhrigu Kumar Phukan
   on  Tuesday said the State had been plunged into `horrible situation'
   by the lack of political initiative from the Prafulla  Kumar  Mahanta
   Government in  all  fronts.  In a hard-hitting statement issued by Mr
   Phukan who has been suspended from the party, said  the  inefficiency
   of the State Government had isolated the party from the masses.
   Mr Phukan said the State had been turned into a killing field by  the
   inept handling of the law and order as well as insurgency problems by
   the State  Government.   Everyday news of killing, abduction and bomb
   blasts have created a sense of insecurity in the minds of the people.
   He alleged that indiscriminate killing and rape by the Army made  the
   youth   of   the  State  perturbed  but  the  Government  lacked  the
   farsightedness to  convince  the  Centre  about  the  `wrong  policy'
   adopted by the Army.
   He alleged that corruption had strike its deep roots among the  party
   leaders  who  have  been  exposed  for their inability to the run the
   Government. He said once endear to the people of the State,  the  AGP
   was  fast  loosing its foothold among the masses due to its egoistic,
   corrupt and power-hungry  leaders.  He  also  denounced  granting  of
   licences  to  open  wine shops in the State. He said this would focus
   the party in bad light in front of the people.
   The  Centre has prepared a `special package' in consultation with the
   State Government for the rehabilitation of the `misguided youths'  of
   the  State  who would give up arms and the path of senseless violence
   to join the mainstream, Chief Minister P.K.Mahanta told The  Sentinel
   at   Guwahati   on  Monday.  He  said,  the  responsibility  for  the
   rehabilitating the misguided youths have to be taken  up  jointly  by
   the Centre and the State Government.
   Asked  to  comment  on  the  reported  statement  of  the  Union Home
   Secretary that the situation in Assam was the  worst  among  all  the
   Northeast  States,  Mr  Mahanta  said  the  Home  Ministry report for
   1997-98, however, states that commendable success have been  achieved
   in  the  counter-insurgency operations during the year. International
   warrants of arrest had been issued against all the top ULFA  leaders,
   Arabinda  Rajkhowa,  Paresh  Baruah,  Sashadhar  Chowdhury and NDFB's
   Ranjan Daimary. 
   The work of the unified headquarters was  also  proceeding  smoothly.
   From  April  1,  1997  to  December 31, 1997, 290 militants have been
   killed and 471 arrested. Under these circumstances, it is not correct
   for the Home Secretary to make the statement that the Assam situation
   was bad, Mr Mahanta said.
   Nagaon police arrested the manager of  Jiajuri  tea  estate,  one  Mr
   Suresh Chandra Mahajan for having links with the ULFA and sent him to
   jail on  Monday.  The police action came after it was discovered that
   he had given the ULFA a Mahindra Jeep which was used by the outfit to
   launch an attack on the convoy of Minister of  State  for  Veterinary
   and Animal  Husbandry,  Hiranya  Konwar  on  July  21 at Nagaon.  The
   manager had not informed the police that his vehicle had  been  taken
   up  by  the ULFA even though he had come to know that it was used for
   the ambush and that the police had come to know about it.
6  FAKE RECRUITMENT CELL BUSTED                            [AT:5-AUG-98]
   The Crime Investigation Department (CID)  of  the  Assam  Police  has
   busted  a  fake  recruitment  cell  which  has  been  issuing  forged
   appointment letters for the posts of  constables  in  the  Assam  Tea
   Plantation Security  Force (ATPSF).  Five persons including two State
   Secretariat employees have been arrested so  far.    The  letters  of
   appointment  issued  by  the  gang  contained forged signature of the
   Director General of Civil Defence and Home  Guards.    Three  of  the
   arrested  were  picked up from the Balipukhuri area near Tezpur while
   the other two were arrested from the State Secretariat in Dispur.
   The  CID  has  also seized counterfeit office seals and other printed
   materials from the arrested persons.  The gang had  fleeced  gullible
   unemployed youths with promise to provide jobs.  They used to collect
   Rs.2,000 to   Rs.15,000   per   fake   appointment  letter.    During
   investigation it was found that the same gang was involved in issuing
   fake appointment letters of the Education  Department  also.    Those
   arrested  are  identified  as  Jagat  Mahanta, Nripen Kalita, Hiralal
   Digar, Haren Dutta and Pradip Das.

   Police alerted by the sudden  warning  of  a  siren  located  at  the
   Central  Bank building at Kartikpara in Dibrugarh town, rushed to the
   bank building in a bid to apprehend the culprits of a daring daylight
   holdup at the bank.  By the time they reached the bank, more  than  a
   thousand  inquisitive passersby looked on for the police action, only
   to discover that the siren was blown by a big rat moving to  and  fro
   over it.  The incident occurred at 12:15 pm.
   Following  a  complaint  by an old woman that her son, Ramen Bora had
   been kidnapped and taken towards Alengmoria, a team of Jorhat  police
   rushed  to his rescue immediately and returned frustrated at 10:30 pm
   without finding the boy.  While returning  they  incidently  met  the
   officer  in-charge  of  the Pulibor police outpost and found out that
   the man they were looking for was in the safety of the police lockup.
   Ramen Bora was picked up by the Pulibor  police  in  connection  with
   some charges.    The whole drama ended as a comedy much to the relief
   of the old woman and the police.
9  CENSUS RECORDS 458 TIGERS IN ASSAM                     [PTI:4-AUG-98]
   The  Forest  Department  has  recorded  458  tigers in Assam during a
   census of the big cat recently.  These include 187 males, 214 females
   and 51 cubs.  Of the 458 tigers,  six  remain  unidentified.    Manas
   National  Park  recorded  the highest number of tigers with 89, while
   Kaziranga came a close second with 80.  Both Nameri National Park and
   Dibru-Saikhowa Sanctuary had 29  tigers.    In  Orang  Sanctuary,  16
   tigers could be spotted while Lakhowa and Burnadi Sanctuary had eight
   and three big cats respectively.
   Dr.Tultul  Baruah,   lecturer   in   Anthropology,   D.H.S.K.College,
   Dibrugarh,  has  left for Virginia, Williamsberg, USA, on July 26, on
   an  invitation  to  attend  the  14th   International   Congress   of
   Anthropological  and  Ethnological Science (ICAES), to be held in the
   Colleges of William and Mary at Virginia, from July 28.  Dr.Baruah is
   the only woman from the Northeast, whose topic  on  `Food  Habit  and
   Morbidity Among  the  Mundas:    A  Case Study in Assam (India)', was
   accepted by the Congress and was invited for the oral presentation.
Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]
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