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           _ m m m  (Guaranteed 100% Pure Local News from Assam) 
                       Vol.1, No.2 * September 1, 1998

                             Fourtwenty (4-20)
   A popular expression to describe a cheat, fraud, a habitual  liar.
   It  originates  from  section  420  of the Indian Penal Code which
   deals with crimes related to cheating.
   Popular movies include Shree 420, Chachi 420, and Miss 420.    The
   number is so deep-rooted that you won't find a room by that number
   in any  hotel in India.  One former Indian Prime Minister was also
   charged under this section.  Can you name him?
   GUWAHATI:   The  late  Chief  Minister  Hiteshwar  Saikia,  former
   Veterinary  Ministers  Nakul  Das and Dilip Saikia Sonowal, former
   Labour Minister Barki Prasad Telenga,  Debabrata  Saikia,  son  of
   late  Hiteshwar  Saikia  and Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta
   had entered into a criminal conspiracy `to do or cause to be  done
   an illegal act by illegal means to wit, to cheat the Government of
   Assam  through the Veterinary Department and in furtherance of the
   said criminal conspiracy, they prepared and  submitted  false  and
   bogus  bills  in  the  name of different persons/firms, which were
   prepared by the government officials/private  persons  for  having
   supplied  different articles for construction work or for purchase
   of veterinary medicines, construction of  sheds,  bamboo  fencing,
   earthwork  etc,  prepared  false sanction orders without receiving
   any article mentioned in the bills, prepared false RCC  bills  and
   dishonestly  passed  the  treasury  vouchers and withdrew a sum of
   Rs.48,81,50,932.46 from State  Bank  of  India,  Sibsagar  through
   Sibsagar  treasury on the basis of the said false bills and forged
   documents and they thereby  misused  their  official  position  as
   public servants to obtain undue pecuniary advantage for themselves
   and  for  others by putting the Government of Assam in such heavy,
   wrongful pecuniary loss.'
   This  long  and winding sentence is part of the CBI chargesheet in
   the Demow case of the  Letter  of  Credit  (LoC)  scandal  of  the
   Veterinary  Department  submitted  by  the  central  investigating
   agency to the Court of the Special Judge in Guwahati  on  July  21
   and which was taken cognizance of by the Court on August 18.
   About  Chief  Minister  Mahanta,  the  chargesheet  said, as Chief
   Minister and MLA from 1986 to 1991-92,  he  had  abetted  Rajendra
   Prasad  Borah to commit the offence of cheating and in response to
   that, he had taken 1,500 bundles of CI  (corrugated  iron)  sheets
   and  demanded  drafts  amounting to Rs.26,00,000 approximately for
   distribution  among  different  institutions  and  also  took  air
   tickets  for  his  journey  to Delhi from Guwahati and back during
   1992-94 to protect him.
   DHUBRI:  Mr Ali Akbar Mia, MLA of Bilasipara West constituency has
   alleged  misappropriation  of more than Rs.350,000 from the untied
   fund of the Deputy Commissioner, Dhubri.  The fund  was  allocated
   for the construction of a sluice gate at Sataguri under Bilasipara
   subdivision by the Irrigation department in 1991.
   Mr Mia said that he came to know of the misappropriation  when  he
   visited  the  site  of the sluice gate where the local people told
   him that the gate was constructed at a cost  of  Rs.100,000  only.
   After  inspecting  the  records  of  the DC's office and the local
   Irrigation office, the MLA was surprised to find  that  Rs.450,000
   were recorded at both the offices for the work.
   GUWAHATI:  The case of a racket issuing forged appointment letters
   in various government departments have come to light when a  young
   woman,   one   Vidyavati  Kalita  approached  the  Directorate  of
   Industries with a forged appointment letter for appointment in the
   office.  The Deputy Director, Mr H.Deuri  told  newsmen  that  the
   forgery  was  done  in  a  casual  manner  so  that  it  could  be
   identifiable easily.
   The  young  woman  confessed to having paid Rs.5,000 to one Hitesh
   Kalita of Japarigog in the city for the letter.   As  many  as  16
   such letters had been issued to as many youths by the same person.
   Surprisingly,  the  Directorate of Industries has not informed the
   matter to the police.  (Genuine appointment letters for the  posts
   of teachers in primary schools can `cost' Rs.30,000 above.  -Mozz)
   NAGAON:  Two envelopes in which photographs were supplied to local
   girl  students by a studio named `Studio Sandhya' on the ADP Road,
   Nagaon, with the studio seal on it, were found to be parts of  two
   blank marksheets  of  high  school  (HSLC)  exam  1992.  Recently,
   police in Guwahati had arrested three persons in  connection  with
   issuing  forged  marksheets  of  different  board  and  university
   examinations of the State.  
   A  large number of blank marksheets were also recovered from their
   homes.  They confessed to have been running the racket since  1993
   and  that  the blank marksheets were supplied to them in bulk by a
   Calcutta-based party.  Another gang was  also  arrested  in  North
   Lakhimpur dealing in forged citizenship documents recently.

   JORHAT:   Providence  in  the  form of load shedding saved an ULFA
   cadre to flee out of the clutches of the policemen who were  lying
   in  wait  for  hours  in civil dress in front of a pharmacy in the
   heart of Jorhat town.    Police  efforts  to  apprehend  him  over
   different roads  went  abortive.    The  ULFA  cadre  had  come to
   purchase medicines in the pharmacy on that day.  The same customer
   had come two days earlier and bought medicines worth Rs.6,000.
   Meanwhile,  Jorhat  police  has  given  a  stern  warning  to  the
   proprietors of the pharmacies in the town not to sell medicines to
   the  ULFA  cadres secretly as is reported to be done following the
   failure of police to nab the  ULFA  cadre  on  August  24  due  to
   load-shedding.   Police  in the district is keeping an eagle's eye
   over the movement of militants and intensified its searches around
   the town and its traffic.  (Load-shedding or electric  power  cuts
   are common throughout Assam.  -Mozz)

   NAGAON:    A  group  of  20  Black  Panthers  led  by  one  Deputy
   Superintendent  of  Police  (DSP)  ransacked  several  houses   at
   Panigaon,  Sibnagar  on Sunday night searching for ULFA activists.
   In a door to door raid they searched the houses of Ms Manu Saikia;
   an AGP leader, Akon Das; a bank  employee,  Giridharnath  Saharia;
   Shashadhar  Bora,  a DSP posted at Sibsagar, and Mahendra Dutta, a
   junior engineer of the Irrigation Department  but  found  no  ULFA
   cadres and arrested four boys who were later released.
   The raids were a nightmare for the family members who were made to
   wake up at 1 o'clock in the night to  witness  the  wrath  of  the
   Black  Panthers who broke windows, windowpanes etc with their guns
   and boots besides all possible abuses thrown on the residents  and
   ransacking several  household items at every home.  Ms Manu Saikia
   with no male member in her house had to pass a dreadful  night  in
   terror along with other female members of her house.
   An oil tanker of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) carrying mustard
   oil  was  seized by Tezpur police on August 31 from Parwa Chariali
   petrol depot in Tezpur town.    The  tanker  instead  of  carrying
   petroleum  products  mysteriously carried 18,770 litres of mustard
   oil from Jaipur in Rajasthan to the Srikrishna Rice and Oil  Mills
   at Tezpur.   The contents of the tanker was first detected by some
   alert local boys and informed the police.    The  driver  and  the
   handyman were  taken  into custody.  Samples of the mustard oil is
   sent to test for argemone contamination, which has  caused  dropsy
   in Assam and was first reported in Delhi.
   GUWAHATI:   The  Government  Railway Police Force (GRP) arrested a
   smuggler Jalaluddin on August  17  with  147  packets  of  foreign
   cigarettes  being  smuggled  from  Myanmar at the Guwahati Railway
   Station.  He was on his way to Madras.  He has been handed over to
   the Customs Department.

   TINSUKIA:  The businessmen in Tinsukia are haunted by a new  fear,
   that  the  Army is in possession of a list of businessmen obtained
   from Deepmoina Borgohain, who was killed recently in an  encounter
   with the  Army at Jeraigaon.  The list is believed to have records
   of collections made from the traders, big and small.  Another such
   list is said to have been obtained from the custody of ULFA  cadre
   Dhem Chaorok  who was injured during a police firing.  
   The traders are much worried at the rumours and keep on  inquiring
   to anyone  who  is  supposed to know such a fact.  One newsman was
   subjected to such inquiries twice.  When  the  newsman  asked  the
   questioner  why  he should be so worried for that, the businessman
   replied, `It means yet another expenditure.'
   NAGAON:  As if the big crater-like potholes are not enough to slow
   down  traffic  in  the  National  Highway 36 from Arjuntoli to the
   diversion point  of  the  Nonoi-Pathari  bridge  spanning  half  a
   kilometre,  the  Army has put up abnormally high humps in front of
   the Kathiatoli Higher Secondary School for security reasons on the
   eve of the Independence Day.  The  high-rise  speed-breakers  have
   only aggravated the risk for all kinds of vehicles, especially for
   the light  motor vehicles like Maruti cars.  Travelling public has
   demanded for immediate removal of such hazardous roadblocks.
   DIBRUGARH:  A Computer and Academic Information Centre  will  soon
   come up in Dibrugarh town, courtesy the Dibrugarh district unit of
   All Assam  Students Union (AASU).  The Rs.1.7 million project will
   be financed by the  Oil  India  Limited  (OIL).    AASU  president
   Sarbananda Sonowal laid the foundation stone of the project at the
   Chowkidinghee Swahid  Bedi  complex on August 24.  Several leading
   citizens of the town attended the foundation laying ceremony.
12 RAIBAHADUR EXPIRES AT 78		                [S:22-AUG-98]
   BOKAKHAT:   Rai  Bahadur,  an  elephant  employed  by  the  Forest
   Department  of  the  Assam  Government,  breathed  his   last   at
   Haldhibari at 8.30 a.m.  on August 21 at the age of 78, due to old
   age.   He  was the oldest elephant of the Kaziranga National Park.
   The Forest Department purchased Rai Bahadur at Rs 12,000 on  April
   6, 1952  and  since  then he served the department faithfully.  In
   another incident, a five-year-old immature female rhino died after
   mating with a mature rhino at Haldhibari camp near Kohora.
13 OH! OUR POOR NEHRU STADIUM			       [AT:25-AUG-98]
   GUWAHATI:  Unique things happen at the Nehru Stadium here.  If the
   authorities  allow  digging  up of the playground now and then for
   cultural programme, the unruly crowds ensure that nothing  remains
   intact.  Sometime even helicopters also land on the cricket pitch.
   But,  the  Army  Recruitment Rally at the stadium on August 24 was
   the icing on the cake.  Among the thousands of boys who  came  for
   the  recruitment  rally,  many spent the night before the rally at
   the stadium.  As the fateful day breaks-in, there comes  the  call
   of nature.   The candidates, who were not provided with additional
   toilet facilities, had no alternative but use the overgrown  grass
   as cover for emptying their stomach in the vast stadium ground.
   When  two  local  teams  arrived for the GSA Super Division league
   match, most of the players could not be recognized as all of  them
   had their  nose  covered  in  handkerchief.   The sporting circles
   expressed concern over the `unhealthy practice' of the rally.
Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]
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