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                        Vol.3, No.67 [*] September 7, 1998

              An age builds up cities, an hour destroys them.
                                - Seneca

   The   overall  flood  situation  in  Assam  remain  critical  as  the
   Brahmaputra along  with  its  major  tributaries  continued  to  rise
   engulfing  more  areas  in  the  State  while the entire northeastern
   region remained cutoff by road.  Road communications  was  completely
   disrupted  as  the flood waters submerged national highway number 31,
   37, 51 and  52,  at  different  places,  in  the  State  forcing  the
   suspension of  vehicular traffic.  Price of essential items including
   onions,  potatoes,  eggs,  pulses  etc  have  also  soared   due   to
   short-supply,  as  trucks carrying these items from outside the state
   remain stranded in the highways.
   Massive  relief  and rescue operations continued round-the-clock with
   the help of Army in the worst affected Dhemaji,  Lakhimpur,  Golaghat
   and Morigaon  districts.    People  have taken shelter on house tops,
   high lands, roads and railway tracks in these districts.  In Guwahati
   the surging waters of the Brahmaputra inundated large areas of  Fancy
   Bazaar and  Shantipur  areas.    The Kaziranga National Park has been
   under unprecedented flood.  Over 90 per cent of  the  park  area  had
   been under  deep  waters making life miserable to animals.  (For more
   news about the flood, refer to on-line news service from Assam.)
   Three suspected militants shot dead the officer-in-charge of Rohmoria
   police   beat  post  under  Chabua  police  station,  Habibur  Rahman
   Choudhury at the residence of Bidya Sharma, at 11 am on September  6.
   It  is  stated  that  since  the  telephone at the outpost was out of
   order, Rahman had gone to the residence of Bidya Sharma, the election
   officer to make a phone call.  As Rahman had settled himself to  read
   a  newspaper  after  the  phone  call  at  the  verandah  of Sharma's
   residence, who was absent,  three  unidentified  youths  entered  and
   fired three shots at point-blank range killing Rahman on the spot.
   The Assam Tribune report said it was one suspected ULFA militant  who
   fired three  shots.    It  also  said that since top policemen of the
   district were busy with the Chief Minister who  came  to  access  the
   flood  situation,  the  news  about  the  incident  took some time to
   trickle down to Dibrugarh.  As  soon  as  the  Chief  Minister  left,
   senior policemen  rushed  to Rohmoria.  The road leading to the place
   is in such a bad shape that it takes more than two hours to cover the
   20 km from Nadua to Rohmaria.  Police have launched a massive manhunt
   to trace out the militant.
   The Army categorically stated that the killing of three  former  ULFA
   leaders  (SULFA)  of Dibrugarh district by Major Jamir Khan on August
   27 night was not over money matters while adding that the preliminary
   investigation into the case  shows  that  the  amount  of  Rs.440,500
   recovered was correctly declared in the incident involving killing of
   Deepmaina Borgohain, a ULFA leader in an encounter on August 25.
   In a release from the 4 Corps headquarters at Tezpur, the Army stated
   that  the inquiry also revealed that `three officers and JCOs (Junior
   Commissioned Officers) were involved in the counting of money  and  a
   police  representative was also present at the place of the counting.
   Major Khan  was  not  even  involved  in  this  process  due  to  his
   involvement with further searches in the area.'
   The activist of All India Muslim Liberation Front (AIMLF), Kamrul Haq
   Borbhuyan, who was arrested by Jorhat police on September 3, has been
   taken  to  Guwahati  for interrogation by a high-level team of police
   and Intelligence officials.  The Assam Police have  already  informed
   Mumbai  Police which are arriving Guwahati shortly to grill the AIMLF
   activist on his confessions that  the  outfit  was  involved  in  the
   serial bomb  blasts  in  Mumbai in 1993.  Intelligence officials from
   New Delhi are also expected to grill the activist.  With  the  arrest
   of Kamrul, Intelligence agencies in the country have been alerted.
   Kamrul  is  reported  to have confessed that the bombs had been taken
   from Andhra Pradesh by the Muslim extremists to Mumbai, which sources
   said, tallied with reports of Intelligence agencies.    When  pointed
   out that a section of the press had reported that Kamrul was actually
   a  mentally-deranged  person,  a  high police official said, had this
   been the case, he  would  not  have  been  moving  with  hundreds  of
   leaflets,  seals,  identity cards, receipt books for donations in the
   name of AIMLF, revolutionary literatures in Bengali, 10/12  books  of
   propaganda,  a  printed constitution of the outfit etc, and retorted,
   can a mentally-deranged person have a hobby like this?
   Acting  on  specific information, the Army along with police busted a
   ULFA regional office at Japorigog area under Dispur police station in
   Guwahati.  A large number of incriminating documents, letter head  of
   ULFA, recruitment forms and a list of newly-recruited members sent to
   Bhutan for training were recovered.  The owner of the house Mosal Ali
   Mazumdar  told  the police that the room was rented to Miri Bora, who
   is absconding.  Police sources said the list of  the  newly-recruited
   members  included  the names of mostly women from Morigaon and Khetri
   areas.  The Army has kept its search operation on in nearby areas.

   Twenty-two doctors and 28 students including nine  girl  students  of
   Silchar Medical College (SMC) were taken ill on Thursday after taking
   food supplied  in  packets  by Borail View hotel of the town.  Packet
   lunch were served to doctors and students after they had  attended  a
   function  organized  by  the  Cardiology  department  of the college.
   Those who took the non-vegetarian food packets complained of  nausea,
   loose-motions, etc.    However,  those  who took the vegetarian lunch
   were not affected.  Following the incident, panic gripped the college
   campus and the inmates of the hostel.
   The  principal,  Dr.S.K.Nandi  Purkayastha, who had skipped the lunch
   said never before such an incident had occurred in 30 year history of
   the college.  The district administration had been requested  for  an
   impartial inquiry  into the incident.  He is definite that `there has
   been 100 per cent food-infection'.  He ruled out dropsy  as  all  the
   victims do not have the symptoms of the disease caused by adulterated
   mustard oil.   Mr Subhas Mohan Dev, owner of the hotel, described the
   incident as most  unfortunate  and  refused  to  be  drawn  into  any
   controversy   but  asserted  `food  is  prepared  and  packed,  where
   necessary, under the most hygienic conditions.'  He  welcomes  proper
   investigation into the happening before blaming the hotel management.
   The Darranggiri banana market in Goalpara district - the  biggest  of
   its  kind  in  the  Northeast - has been exporting 30 to 40 trucks of
   bananas to Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and even to Nepal.    It
   is  estimated  that the sale of banana in the market till August this
   year was 450,000 bunch  units,  and  the  sales  tax  earned  by  the
   Darranggiri  development  committee  was  Rs.86,400 at the rate of 20
   paise per bunch unit.  Last year the committee realized Rs.160,000 in
   sales tax which means an export of 800,000 bunches of banana.

   When asked about the tax collection by the committee, which sometimes
   earmarks Rs.200,000 per year, its president Hem Kanta Rabha said that
   the  committee  has  34  local  villages  under  its  fold  and   the
   committee's   earning   is   distributed   among   the  villages  for
   developmental purpose.  Rabha said that after demands were raised  to
   set   up  a  Banana  Research  Centre  and  other  fruits  processing
   industries, a three-member team of experts from  Delhi  had  come  in
   1987 but  nothing  concrete has resulted.  Rabha informed that 60 per
   cent of the  banana  and  other  fruits  at  Darranggiri  market  are
   collected from nearby Garo Hills and the rest from Goalpara itself.
   The Axom Xahitya  Xabha's  pet  project,  the  Central  Institute  of
   Assamese Studies was formally inaugurated at Jorhat on September 5, a
   long 38  years  after  the  foundation of the building was laid.  The
   vice-chancellor  of   Dibrugarh   University,   Dr   Devdas   Kakati,
   inaugurated  the  Institute,  which will function in the new building
   named as Radhakanta Handique  Bhawan  and  is  located  in  the  same
   compound  which  houses the Xabha headquarters, Chandrakanta Handique
   Bhawan.  A Chair in  the  name  of  Krishnakanta  Handique  was  also
   formally  inaugurated  by  noted  poet  and former Xabha president Mr
   Nabakanta Baruah.
   The Institute, which will serve as a research centre, will be a  Dean
   Institute   and   the   Dibrugarh  University  has  already  accorded
   recognition for the same.    The  University  Grants  Commission  was
   expected  to  fund  the  PhD  scholars in their research work once it
   recognizes the centre.  The masterplan of the Institute also includes
   a state-of-the-art research wing, a cultural  museum,  an  auditorium
   and a  guest  house.   Speaking at the meeting, Syed Abdul Malik felt
   that the new institute will go a long  way  in  helping  scholars  to
   unravel many new facts of Assam's history. [EC: The Eastern Clarion]
   The historic Shiva Doul complex in the heart of  Sibsagar  town  will
   soon get a facelift soon.  The Calcutta-based Jayshree Tea Industries
   Limited has come forward to finance the renovation works, which would
   be done  in  three  phases.    The tea company has formally given its
   consent to the district administration to carry out  the  work  at  a
   recent meeting in Sibsagar.  The work is expected to begin as soon as
   the Sibsagar  Deputy  Commissioner  gives  his  nod.   The Doul draws
   hordes of  faithfuls  everyday  and  is  also  an  important  tourist
   landmark in the state.  Though renovation has been carried out in the
   past,  the  present  project  is  the  biggest ever undertaken by the

Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]
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