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                        Vol.3, No.82 [*] November 13, 1998

                 The hardest thing in life is to know which
                     bridge to cross and which to burn.
                             - David Russell

   The Indian Government categorically ruled out considering creation of
   separate states unless the  State  Legislatures  concerned  passed  a
   resolution to that effect.  This was made known to representatives of
   Bodo  tribals at a tripartite meeting in New Delhi on November 12, in
   which the Assam Government made it clear that it did not  favour  any
   further division of the State.
   The meeting was boycotted by two major groups  -  All  Bodo  Students
   Union  (ABSU)  and Bodo People's Action Committee (BPAC) - who wanted
   the parleys be held at the level of Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani.
   The Centre's  standpoint  was  made  clear  to  leaders  of  People's
   Democratic  Front (PDF) who claimed that majority of legislators from
   Bodo areas of Assam belonged to their party.
   The State Government  representatives  said  342  villages  would  be
   excluded  from  the  list of notified villages in the Bodo Autonomous
   Council (BAC) area where the tribal population was less than half and
   there were no contiguity requirements. They said formal  notification
   would  be issued only after the Gauhati High Court's final order in a
   pending case.

   The Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta asked the departments
   concerned  to  immediately  provide  government  employment  to   all
   eligible  members of 248 martyr families of Assam movement out of the
   848 declared by the Government, and hand over Rs.30,000  to  each  of
   the  four such families who have not got the ex-gratia relief so far.
   The November 12 order came after  it  was  discovered  that  the  248
   families  had  not yet got their compensations even after 13 years of
   the Assam movement having been called off.

3  AJYCP CALLS ASSAM BANDH ON NOVEMBER 19                  [S:12-NOV-98]
   The Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) gave a call for a
   12-hour  Assam  bandh from 5 am on November 19 in protest against the
   spate of killings in the State by unknown  assailants,  allegedly  at
   the behest  of  the  State  Government.    AJYCP leaders Bimal Prasad
   Chowdhury and Apurba Kumar Bhattacharyya told newsmen that the  AJYCP
   will  also  launch satyagraha and dharna in all district headquarters
   on November 16 and 17 on the demand to halt the killings.

   Three  jawans  of  the  Assam Rifles, Kul Prasad Shrestha, Dhurba Raj
   Shrestha and Parsuram Shrestha were beaten  to  death  by  the  local
   people suspecting them to be NSCN activists on November 11.
   According to police the Dimapur-bound jawans from Aizwal  halted  the
   night at  Lumding railway station.  Three of the jawans, who had gone
   for  marketing  near  the  station,  had  an  altercation  with   the
   shopkeepers over price of some commodities.
   The petrified shopkeepers, suspecting the jawans, who wore the untidy
   Army uniform, to be NSCN ultras, called out for help.  Hearing  their
   pleas,  the local people of the neighbourhood came out with machetes,
   axes and sticks and pounced upon the jawans killing them on the spot.

   The women wing convener of Kajou Kut local unit of  the  ULFA,  Julie
   Baruah  alias  Julie Dutta, was apprehended by the Army from Gumoriah
   village under Khetri police station, in Kamrup district  on  November
   12.   According  to  Army  sources,  Julie  was  actively involved in
   building up the women wing of the ULFA  and  had  reportedly  visited
   Bhutan recently.  She has been handed over to police.
   Meanwhile, Guwahati police on November 10 recovered  a  bullet-ridden
   body of an ULFA activist, one Dipak Medhi (25) at Indupur, a locality
   behind the  Guwahati  Medical  College  Hospital.  His hands and legs
   were tied from behind.  There being no trace of blood, police suspect
   that he was killed elsewhere and dumped near a stream at the desolate
   area.  The victim belonged to Bhihapara village in Kamrup district.

6  POOR STATE OF GARAMPANI HOT SPRING                      [S:11-NOV-98]
   The  natural  hot  water  spring  of the erstwhile undivided Golaghat
   district, presently of Karbi Anglong, has been gradually  losing  its
   significance.  The  spring  bed has become shallow and the cool water
   from the nearby Nambor river trickling  to  it  make  the  hot  water
   cooler.  The future of this spring, a rare one in this part of Assam,
   is quite bleak.
   Only 11 km from Golaghat town, and popularly known as Garampani  (Hot
   water),  the spring attracts a large number of people every year, who
   takes a dip to get rid of their various  ailments.    People  believe
   that the hot spring water can cure many of the diseases.  However, at
   present  the  water itself looks so dirty that instead of a cure, you
   might catch some disease.
   Local  people  feels  that  unless  the Government takes up immediate
   measures, the rare natural spring will lose its significance and will
   be turned into a simple pond.    They  said  that  the  area  can  be
   developed into  a  tourist  spot  with  simple  infrastructure.   The
   natural Fatasil waterfalls is about 1 km from the hot spring.
Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]
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