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                        Vol.3, No.88 [*] December 4, 1998

             Money is the opposite of the weather. Nobody talks
              about it, but everybody does something about it.
                             - Rebecca Johnson

   Suspected  United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) militants shot dead
   a surrendered  ULFA  (SULFA)  leader,  Diganta  Baruah  and  his  two
   security  guards,  Paresh  (Nripen)  Barman  and  Mujibur Rahman in a
   daring shootout near the State Zoo on R.G.Baruah Road at 3:30  pm  on
   December 3.  Four others were seriously injured in the shootout.
   Of the injured, one was a SULFA activist, Anup Lahkar and the other a
   security guard  of  Diganta  Baruah,  A.Basumatari.    The  other two
   injured are rickshaw-puller, one Rafiq  Ali  and  a  mechanic,  Abdul
   Hafiz, both of whom were bystanders.
   According  to  eyewitnesses' account, Diganta Baruah's Maruti car was
   parked near a hotel when a speeding Maruti Gypsy (Tata Sumo,  in  the
   Assam  Tribune  report)  from  the Chandmari area screeched to a halt
   near the car and started to fire with AK-47s and 9 mm pistols at  the
   occupants  of  the  car.  The firing continued for about five minutes
   before they fled in their vehicle.
   People  in  front of the State Zoo started running helter-skelter for
   safety, while the manager of the restaurant who came out  on  hearing
   gunfire was  told  by  the  assailants  not to come out.  The manager
   immediately closed the restaurant.
   Meanwhile, the Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (MASS),  a  human  rights
   organization,  has  urged upon the ULFA and the SULFA to refrain from
   fratricidal killings.  The general  secretary  of  the  MASS,  Lachit
   Bordoloi  said  that in the past couple of months several youths have
   lost their lives in such killings.
2  BLAST NOT OF DETONATORS, CONFIRMS ARMY                   [S:4-DEC-98]
   Refuting  the  Guwahati  city  police's  claim that the blasts in the
   Paltanbazar area in Guwahati, which killed  a  12-year-old  boy,  was
   that  of  detonators  which  might have fallen off as the Army jawans
   took away a huge stock of explosives recovered from  the  Brahmaputra
   Mail  coming  from  New  Delhi  at  the  Guwahati  Railway Station on
   December 1, the Army authority said that the shape and impact of  the
   explosives blast was of IED and not of detonator.
   Different political leaders of Barak valley met the Assam Minister of
   Panchayat and Rural Development, Mr Sahidul Alam Choudhury, at Janata
   Bhawan in Dispur and discussed about the problems being faced in  the
   valley  following the 1001-hour rail and road blockade. They appealed
   the Bishnupuria Manipuri leaders to withdraw their  blockade  in  the
   greater interest of the people of the valley.
   Rail and road link between the Barak valley and  the  rest  of  India
   remained   cutoff   due  to  the  blockade  launched  by  the  Nikhil
   Bishnupuria Manipuri Students' Union (NBMSU) and Bishnupuria Manipuri
   Gana Sangram Parishad (BMGSP) since December 1 demanding introduction
   of Bishnupuria Manipuri language in the primary stage of education in
   Assam and other demands.
   The  members  of  the  National  Students and Youth Forum for Smaller
   States (NSYFSS) resorted to a demonstration and  a  rally  at  Jantar
   Mantar,  New  Delhi  on December 1 demanding the creation of separate
   states of Bodoland, Gorkhaland and Jharkhand.
   Over 400 demonstrators including, Mr S.K.Bismutiary, MP, Ms  Pramilla
   Rani  Brahma,  MLA,  Mr  Hemendra  Brahma,  MLA,  besides the student
   leaders took part in the agitational programme.  Later, an  18-member
   team of different organizations led by All Bodo Students Union (ABSU)
   president  U.G.Brahma  met  the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the
   Lok Sabha and submitted memoranda demanding creation of the states.

5  ULTRA HELD IN POLICE CONSTABLE'S HOUSE                   [S:1-DEC-98]
   A dreaded ULFA militant, Uttam Changmai alias  Mina  Ram  Gogoi,  was
   arrested  from  the  house  of  an  Assam   Police    constable    at
   Narayanpur, about 45 km from North Lakhimpur on the night of November
   29. A .32 pistol and some ammunition were recovered from him.

   The Lakhimpur district Superintendent of Police on  the  basis  of  a
   report  that  the militant had been sheltered in a police constable's
   house, directed the Bihpuria outpost to take action.  Police arrested
   the militant without any resistance from the militant.    The  police
   constable was, however, not arrested till the filing of this report.

6  THREE ABDUCTED FROM CACHAR TEA ESTATE                    [S:4-DEC-98]
   A   group   of   about   eight   suspected  extremists  abducted  the
   daughter-in-law, a maid servant and the night guard of  Mr  R.K.Ojha,
   the  manager  of  the Lidiacherra tea garden under Dewan group of tea
   estates, 30 km from Silchar, at about 8 pm on December 2.   According
   to the Deputy Superintendent of Police A.P.Dutta the armed men barged
   into  the  bungalow  of the manager and abducted the three as Mr Ojha
   and his son were absent.
   Paucity of troops along Assam's 262 km land and  river  borders  with
   Bangladesh  have  forced  the  Border  Security  Force  (BSF)  guards
   patrolling the 142-km-long Assam-Bangladesh land borders to go in for
   improvised and ingenious early-warning devices to check the influx of
   illegal aliens from across the border.
   Jingle bells, small temple  bells,  state-of-the-art  mousetraps  and
   remote   controlled   hooters   are   some   of  the  devices  placed
   strategically on certain specific and vulnerable points to  warn  the
   BSF guards  at  night of infiltrators' movement.  Crackers and flares
   that ignite on the touch of hidden cables are also used to  light  up
   the  area which gives the border guards enough opportunity to nab the

   `It is  a  continuous battle of wits.  The infiltrators and smugglers
   have all along been trying to sneak into our side  and  at  the  same
   time,  we  are  also  coming up with new ideas to check the problem,'
   Asaf Ally, Commandant of a BSF battalion manning  the  borders  said.
   `It has proved to be very effective at times and we have got positive
   results after putting to use these improvised systems,' he said.
   In a notice issued  in  The  Assam  Tribune,  the  Working  Group  on
   Information   Technology   (IT)  of  Asom  Prakalpa  have  urged  the
   interested public to give suggestions on evolving an Action Plan  for
   IT in  Assam Beyond 2000.  The Working Group will finalize the Action
   Plan by 31st January, 1999 for further action by Asom Prakalpa.
   It is a follow-up to a seminar  organized  by  the  Omeo  Kumar  Deka
   Memorial Institute for Asom Prakalpa, on Assam Beyond 2000:  Economic
   Issues, on November 21 and 22 at Guwahati and setting up of the first
   working  group  with  Professor  Gautam Baruah of Indian Institute of
   Technology (IIT), Guwahati  and  Mr  Abhijit  Bezbaruah  of  NIIT  as

   The outcome of the discussions led to  the  draft  vision  statement:
   `To   use   IT   as  a  source  of  earning  and  employment  and  as
   infrastructure  for  development  in  Assam,'  and  the   preliminary
   recommendations were:    strengthening  of telecom networks in Assam,
   formal notification of Northeast Industrial Policy, establishment  of
   computing   and  networking  facilities  in  all  higher  educational
   institutions, motivating people to recognize the importance of IT and
   to grab unfolding opportunities.
   Suggestions can  be  sent to:  Professor Gautam Baruah, IIT Guwahati,
   Panbazar, Guwahati  781001;  Phone:    +91-361-521915,  545146,  Fax:
   +91-361-521916.  And by e-mail at:  gb@iitg.ernet.in.
   An ambitious project to  take  education  to  the  doorsteps  of  the
   underprivileged  has  been  initiated  jointly  by  the Indira Gandhi
   National  Open  University  (IGNOU)  and  the  National  Council   of
   Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
   The `distant  education'  project,  envisaging  spread  of  education
   through  video-conferencing,  will  help  students  of  the  remotest
   villages of northeastern States and Sikkim to  take  lessons  without
   having to  travel  much.   `Lessons' would be beamed from IGNOU-NCERT
   combine's headquarters in Delhi.

10 `JOUVANE AMONI KARE' IN FILM FESTIVAL                    [S:3-DEC-98]
   `Jouvane Amoni Kare', an Assamese feature film,  directed  by  Ashoke
   Kumar  Bishoya,  has been selected for exhibition in the `mainstream'
   section of the 30th International Film Festival, slated to be held at
   Hyderabad from January 10 to 30, 1999.  [Read the  success  story  of
   the movie at http://www.assam.org/assam/news/mrinal/joubon.html]
11 ASSAMESE ACTOR IN HINDI TV SERIALS                     [AT:27-NOV-98]
   GUWAHATI:  Pradip Nisith -- a young  Assamese  actor  from  Howli  in
   Barpeta  district  has  earned  quite  a reputation for his acting in
   several Hindi TV serials.  His talent has  been  rightly  exposed  in
   `Mungeri  ke bhai Navarangi' and `Aaandhi' -- directed by Raman Kumar
   and Jatindra Rawat.  Pradip has drawn the attention  of  the  viewers
   for  his  acting  in  Rawat's  popular  serial `Yug' and `Baapse bada
Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]
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           _ m m m  (Guaranteed 100% Pure Local News from Assam) 
                       Vol.1, No.8 * December 4, 1998

   DISPUR:   The  Chief  Minister  of  Assam said that till September
   1998, the State Government earned revenue of Rs.291.7 million from
   foreign liquor and Rs.40.1 million from country spirits.  He  said
   that  till October this year, 231 foreign liquor shop licences had
   been issued by the Assam Government.  In 1996-97, 20 such licences
   were issued and in 1997-98, only 19 were issued.
   He  also  revealed  that till October this year nine licences were
   issued for foreign liquor warehouses as compared to two in 1996-97
   and five in 1997-98.  No licences for country spirits  shops  were
   given in  the  last  three  years.    Mr  Prafulla  Kumar  Mahanta
   disclosed this while replying to a  question  by  Ms  Rupam  Kurmi
   (Congress) in the Assam Assembly recently.

2  AHRC RECOMMENDS COMPENSATION                         [S:30-NOV-98]
   GUWAHATI: The Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has recommended
   the Government of Assam to pay a compensation of  Rs.1,000  to  Mr
   Sunil  Kumar Das, a teacher of non-formal education, in connection
   with police atrocities committed on him.
   Mr Das was bought to the Azara police station in Guwahati  on  the
   night of September 25, 1996, with two bicycles. He was then beaten
   up  by  the  policemen  and  was made to stand up and sit down 250
   times. It was later revealed that the bicycles  were  not  stolen,
   and  he  carried  the  bicycle  of  his  uncle after repair on the
   carrier of his own.
   The  AHRC,  after  investigation  of  the  view  that  there   was
   substantive  evidence  to  hold that Mr Das was a victim of police
   excess and that the policemen violated  the  rights  of  life  and
   liberty of Mr Das, and therefore, it recommended the compensation.
   DIBRUGARH:  Plagued by large-scale thefts of green tea leaves, tea
   companies  like  Williamson  Magor  and the Brooke Bond Lipton are
   planning to install electric fencing around their tea  estates  to
   beat the hordes.  However, in typical bureaucratic style, the plan
   was  put  cold water on the grounds that electric fences `may kill
   cattle and goats.'
   Theft  of  green  tea leaves has become a serious problem for many
   big tea companies, affecting as much as  15  per  cent  production
   levels.  A major instigator of tea theft is said to be the growing
   numbers of `bought leaf factories'.  Within a short distance of 21
   km  between  Tengakhat  and  Dibrugarh, the area has as many as 19
   such factories.
   As all these factories require green leaf to process into tea,  it
   is  understandable  that  a  major  chunk  of the fodder for these
   factories are stolen leaf.  Green tea leaves are also bought  from
   small tea estates which do not have their own factories.

   KOKRAJHAR:  The Maidangsri  Sago-Barley  Factory  at  Ramfabil  in
   Kokrajhar   has  started  production  of  sago-barley  and  edible
   products used for baby food.  Chief of Bodoland executive  Council
   Mr  K.Narzary  inaugurated  the  factory  at  a solemn function on
   November 20.
   The Assam Government has financed 51 per cent while  the  Bodoland
   Autonomous  Council  (BAC)  has  financed  the  rest  of the Rs.15
   million government undertaking cooperative society.   The  factory
   has a production capacity of 150 tonnes per 9 day.  A total of 250
   workers are directly and indirectly employed.
   GUWAHATI:  A general meeting of the rickshaw-pullers of Geetanagar
   area of Guwahati was held at the Geetanagar High School  recently.
   The  meeting  under the aegis of All Assam Rickshaw Pullers Union,
   discussed various problems faced by the  rickshaw-pullers  of  the
   city.  About  300  participants  attended  the meeting.  It may be
   mentioned that cycle-rickshaw is a  popular  and  frequently  used
   mode of transportation in cities and towns of Assam.
   The  rickshaw-pullers union meanwhile, have decided to resort to a
   12-hour strike from 5 am on December 4 in support of their various
   demands.  The members of the union would submit  a  memorandum  at
   the  Kamrup  Deputy  Commissioner's  office  and  will resort to a
   `gherao' programme of the Deputy Commissioner.
   DHUBRI:   The  Sikh  Pratinidhi  Board,  Eastern Zone (SPBEZ), the
   management committee of the Sikh Gurudwara of Dhubri has announced
   its ambitious plan of establishing a university named as Sri  Guru
   Teg  Bahadur  University  at  Panbari  near  Dhubri  in  a mammoth
   gathering of nearly 30,000 Sikh pilgrims who congregated at Dhubri
   on the occasion of 323rd Swahid Divas of the 9th Sikh Guru.
   The  SBBEZ  said that it has acquired 600 bighas (1 bigha = 14,400
   sq  feet)  of  land  for  the  proposed  university  and  generous
   donations are pouring in for the construction of the building.

   GUWAHATI:  The Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco (FMA), will celebrate
   the platinum jubilee of their presence and work in  the  Northeast
   at St.Mary's  School,  Guwahati.    The 3-day programme commencing
   from December 6 will be  attended  by  delegates  from  India  and
   A group of six pioneers  under  the  leadership  of  Sr  Innocenza
   Vallino, arrived  from  Italy  in  the  Northeast  in  1923.  They
   established  the  St.Mary's  School  in  Guwahati,  and  pioneered
   education of   the   girls.    During  the  past  75  years,  they
   established several schools for formal and non-formal education of
   girls in the region.  Today,  257  Salesian  sisters  work  in  33
   centres in the Northeast.
   GOLAGHAT:   The  compound  wall  of  the  Numaligarh  cemetery was
   formally inaugurated by the Bokakhat MLA  B.N.Bhuyan  on  November
   27.   The  brick  wall of the cemetery compound was constructed by
   the Numaligarh  Mosque  committee  with  an  amount  of  Rs.50,000
   allocated  from  the  Member  of Parliament Local Area Development
   (MPLAD) fund.
   ITANAGAR:  In a bid to revive the age-old  cultural  heritage  and
   indigenous  faith,  the  Tangsa  and  Tutsa  tribes  in  Changlang
   district of  Arunachal  Pradesh  have  set  up  a  temple  at  New
   Changlang  and  installed  the  idol  of  God Rang Frah amid great
   fanfare recently.   As  myth  goes,  Rang  Frah  is  the  creator,
   protector  and  destroyer  of  the universe and was considered the
   saviour of human beings and the universe.
   I.Taiju,  State's Minister for Mines, and the secretary general of
   the temple construction committee,  said  Rang  Frah  had  been  a
   household  name  as  people  used to worship him in isolation, but
   with the installation of the marble-stone idol at the temple,  the
   devotees now got the opportunity to propitiate collectively.
   GUWAHATI:  The  devotees  of  Lord  Ayyappa,  held  a  meeting  on
   November  25  and  decided  to  construct  an  Ayyappan  Temple in
   Guwahati.   The  meeting  decided  to  form  a  trust   named   as
   `Purvanchal  Sree  Ayyappa  Seva  Samity' and formed an organizing
   committee of 15 members with Mr  N.V.Subramanian  as  convenor  to
   initiate the  preliminary work.  
   The  committee is hopeful that with the blessings of Lord Ayyappa,
   the temple will be completed by the month of November,  1999,  and
   seek  the cooperation of all Ayyappa sevaks of northeastern region
   to complete the task in time.  It may be mentioned that there  are
   a large number of Ayyappa followers in southern states of India.
   GUWAHATI:  `Bisphoron' -- another new  Assamese  feature  film  is
   under production.   Kandarpa Saikia is producing the film with his
   own story and screenplay, while  a  new  director  Akashdeep  will
   direct under  the  banner  of  R.K.Films  of  Guwahati.  Prominent
   artists including noted actor Brojen Bora will be in the cast.
   The songs of the  film  have  already  been  recorded  at  Mumbai.
   Beside  singers  Jitul  Sonowal,  Pankaj  Dutta  and  a  few other
   singers, Kumar Sanu and Mahalakshmi have lent their voices.  Suman
   Dutta is the cinematographer.  The movie  is  expected  to  be  an
   entertainer with songs, dances, fights and action, sources said.
   DOCUMENTARY ON  DEODHANI:    Preparations to produce a documentary
   film on the traditional `Deodhani' dance is on under the aegis  of
   Screen Communication.   The film will be directed by Mr Ranjit Das
   and he will be assisted by young artist  Dilip  Kumar  Nath.    Dr
   Paramananda Rajbansi has written the story for the film.
   GUWAHATI:  `Chaturanga', a literary  organization  of  Assam  will
   release the Assamese version of the book of poems written by Prime
   Minister of  India Atal Behari Vajpayee.  The book translated into
   Assamese by  Mr  Narendra  Shastri  is  entitled  `Mor  Ekawannati
   Kabita' (My  Fiftyone  Poems).    The book will be released on the
   birthday of Mr Vajpayee on December 25 at Guwahati.

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