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                        Vol.3, No.77 [*] October 27, 1998

               Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than
                         our progress in education.
                              - J F Kennedy

   Police in Guwahati claimed to have unearthed an ULFA plot to kill the
   editor of The Sentinel even as the banned outfit  denied  having  any
   plan to eliminate senior journalists and intellectuals of the State.
   The Assam Police confirmed that the arrest of two persons  --  Hitesh
   Baruah  and  Pulak  Baruah -- from outside the residence of Dhirendra
   Nath Bezbaruah, editor of The Sentinel  with  documents  including  a
   sketch  of  the  residence,  a  map of the route and the registration
   number of the car used by the editor, had proved that  the  ULFA  had
   concrete plans to assassinate Mr Bezbaruah.
   The  ULFA  had  earlier  denied  reports in a section of the press on
   October 24, that it had plans  to  target  four  senior  journalists,
   including two editors of dailies published from Guwahati.  In a faxed
   statement,  ULFA's  publicity  secretary  Mithinga Daimary had stated
   that the ULFA had no such plan as alleged in the news item and termed
   as emanating from the Government which  it  alleged,  was  out  on  a
   diabolic game of eliminating people and blame the outfit for it.
   The Central Bureau of Investigation  (CBI)  has  chargesheeted  noted
   businessmen  Bhagya  Kalita  and  two  of  his  accomplices  for  the
   sensational killing of mother and daughter Karabi and Dubori  Das  in
   1995 in  the  heart  of Guwahati city.  Along with Kalita, his driver
   Fatiur Ali and a surrendered ULFA activist  Bhupen  Medhi  were  also
   chargesheeted.   The CBI had not chargesheeted Geetika Kalita and the
   personal security  of  Arup  Dutta.    Both  of  them  were  arrested
   immediately after the killings, but later got bail.
   The  court had fixed November 11 as the next date of hearing when the
   matter will be shifted to the Court of Special Judge.   The  killings
   of  the  mother  and  daughter  on  July  31,  1995 at Ambari created
   sensation in the  State.    The  case  was  transferred  to  the  CBI
   following intervention  from  Gauhati  High  Court.  The chargesheet,
   among other things, said that Kalita had  illicit  relationship  with
   Mrs Das  for  a long time.  He also helped Karabi Das and her brother
   Saurav Das financially before the killing.  Bhupen Medhi who remained
   untraced since the killing is suspected to have been  killed  by  the
   ULFA soon after the incident somewhere in Nalbari district.
3  ARMY DENIES LINKS WITH BLT                            [PTI:26-OCT-98]
   The  Army  denied  accusations  levelled  by the banned ULFA that the
   military had link with the banned Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT).  `The
   charge is false and malicious and made in a bad taste.  There  is  no
   question of any link with the BLT', the GOC of 4 Corps, Lt Gen Nirmal
   Chander Vij, told PTI at Tezpur on October 26.
   The GOC was referring to media reports quoting the ULFA that the Army
   had link with the BLT and thus had  stopped  making  the  tigers  its
   target.   `The ULFA and the NDFB which are in close nexus are in fact
   behind this campaign to divert attention', he alleged.  Viz said that
   the BLT suffered no major casualty because it was  now  concentrating
   on  extortion  and manufacturing improvised explosives devises rather
   than attacking security forces which explained the  fewer  casualties
   it suffered.

4  RASHMI'S KILLER HELD BY ARMY AT NAGAON                  [S:24-OCT-98]
   The  ULFA  activist,  Dharani Bora (26), accused in the abduction and
   killing of a 16-year-old girl, Rashmi Bora from Raidangia near Nagaon
   was nabbed by Army jawans on the night of October 22 from  the  house
   of one  Tula  Bhuyan  of  Chaklaghat.  Rashmi, a student of Raidangia
   High School and an upcoming artiste was kidnapped from her  house  on
   June  9  and  killed by the outfit on charges of being an informer of
   the Army.
   In Jorhat, a young girl arrested by Jorhat police on October 21  from
   Nachungi  suspecting  her  to be the fiancee of an ULFA leader of the
   Dhansiri unit was set free after an  abortive  interrogation.  Police
   recovered  several copies of her photograph with the suspected leader
   but she identified the male on the photograph as one Pradip Barua and
   denied having known any ULFA.

5  AASU CALLS FOR ASSAM BANDH ON OCTOBER 29                [S:26-OCT-98]
   The  All Assam Students' Union (AASU) gave a call for a 24-hour bandh
   beginning at 5  am  of  October  29  in  protest  against  the  State
   Government's total failure on all fronts and pushing the situation to
   a state  of  civil war.  AASU leaders Sarbananda Sonowal and Samujjal
   Bhattacharyya alleged that the recent killings in the State were  the
   handiwork  of  the  State  Government  which has a vested interest to
   perpetrate a regime of violence so that its failures can  be  covered
   up.  They said, even AASU leaders were being killed.
   The State Government however, denied the allegations levelled against
   it  by the AASU leaders and criticized them for levelling such `wild'
   allegations against the State Government with a view  to  revive  the
   lost  image  of  the students' body. The Assam Government appealed to
   the people of the State to ignore the Assam bandh called by AASU.
6  UTTER FAILURE FOR 177 STATE HIGH SCHOOLS                [S:24-OCT-98]
   The  results  of the High School Leaving Certificate Examination held
   in March-April conducted by  the  Secondary  Education  Board,  Assam
   (SEBA)  showed  the absolute failure on the part of 177 high schools,
   where not a single student could pass.    Schools  having  candidates
   below 20  sitting  for  the  exam  were not included.  Last year, the
   number of such schools were 99.
   A  detail analysis of the results this year indicated that there were
   26 such schools in Jorhat, 23 in Karbi Anglong,  16  in  Barpeta,  13
   each  in  Kamrup  and  Lakhimpur,  11 in Golaghat and two in Tinsukia
   The SEBA review has placed St.Mary's English High  School,  Guwahati,
   Don  Bosco's  High School, Dibrugarh, Jorkota High School, Dhemaji in
   the first three toppers, having recorded hundred per cent  pass  this
   year, as against 13 schools last year.
7  WWF GRANT FOR COTTON COLLEGE                            [S:25-OCT-98]
   The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Washington DC,  USA  under  the
   Russel   E   Train   Education  for  Nature  Programme,  has  awarded
   institutional grant of 5,500 US dollars to the ecology laboratory  of
   the department  of Zoology, Cotton College.  Three faculty members of
   the department of Zoology, Ms Karobi  Saikia,  Dr  Sabitry  Choudhury
   Bordoloi  and  Md  Rasadul-ul-Islam  will  be  working  on  a project
   entitled `Monitoring water quality changes in Guwahati city  and  its
   effects  on  destruction  of habitat of endangered fauna.' under this
   Noted Assamese modern song singer Ridip Dutta breathed  his  last  on
   October 26 after a protracted illness at his Silpukhuri residence, in
   Guwahati.  He  was  51.   Ridip Dutta, together with Charu Gohain and
   late Munin Dutta, is credited with having ushered in a new  phase  in
   Assamese modern songs in the late sixties and seventies.
   His `maijan toke dekha pai', `Xagarika kino kola', `Tumi jodi  kowa',
   `Tomar morome mok' and several other numbers enthralled the youths of
   Assam in  the seventies which are still refreshing to the youths.  He
   also scored music in a  couple  of  Assamese  films  and  the  mobile
   theatres of Assam.
   Citizens of Guwahati are aghast at the utterly casual manner in which
   the  Guwahati  Municipal  Corporation  (GMC) undertake collection and
   disposal of wastes from roadsides of the city.   In  many  localities
   the garbage  is not lifted for days and weeks together.  And whenever
   it is undertaken, it is done during daytime.
   It  is  a  common  sight  in  the  city  that  scavengers  collecting
   foul-smelling  wastes  and  dumping  them into open trucks which pass
   through busy thoroughfares, often dropping some of them on the trial.
   Before the GMC was created, the disposal  of  wastes,  including  the
   night soil from service latrines, was undertaken at night.
   Meanwhile,    ACE   Foundation   (Awareness   for   Cleanliness   and
   Environment), a NGO, has appealed to the general public that  if  any
   one  sees  a  dead  animal  in  the  street  or  in  his locality, to
   immediately inform through pager number 5566.  The ACE Foundation has
   donated a pager each  to  the  Mayor  of  GMC  Abir  Patra,  the  GMC
   Commissioner  K.K.Hazarika,  and the officer-in-charge of dead animal
   disposal for receiving messages from the general public.
10 AND NOW MARIJUANA BY POST !                             [S:27-OCT-98]
   A bizarre  case  of  a  group  of  drug  peddlers  using  the  postal
   department  to transport narcotics to Bihar and other places has come
   to light at Nagaon. According to reports, a group  of  drug  peddlers
   booked  a  five-kg  parcel for Bihar in Kampur post office a few days
   back. But an alert postal employee smelt a rat -- nay `ganja' --  and
   opened it only to find what he had suspected was true. He immediately
   informed the police.
   The police came and took the youths, but surprisingly  let  them  off
   after sometime.    People  have  expressed  surprise  that the police
   should have let these antisocial off for considerations known only to

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