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                         Vol.4, No.35 [*] June 18, 1999

                    Every exit is an entry somewhere else.
                               - Tom Stoppard

   GUWAHATI: Decks have been cleared by the Assam Government to cancel
   the lease deed signed between the Ashok Paper Mills (Assam) Ltd and
   the Hyderabad-based  Sanghi Textiles Processors Pvt  Ltd,  and  the
   Government  is  likely to take possession over the mill in a day or
   two after clearance from legal experts, who had been  entrusted  to
   examine the aspects of cancellation of the lease-deed.
   Senior  officials  of  the Ashok Paper Mills along with magistrates
   and police would soon leave for the plant site at Jogighopa to take
   possession over the property.   The  mill  has  been  lying  in  an
   abandoned  state  since  a  long  time  after the Sanghi management
   failed to  abide  by    the  Government's  instructions  to   start
   It  may  be mentioned that Sanghi created tremendous liabilities by
   mortgaging valuable property of the mill, keeping the government in
   the dark.  The  matter  was  exposed  only  after  the  Income  Tax
   department  shot off a letter on February 26 this year to the Ashok
   Paper Mills, informing that Sanghi group had  sold  property  worth
   more  than  Rs.300  million  at  half the price at the rate of 100%
   depreciation on the cost of plant and machinery.

2  CM NEVER ABORTED DIALOGUE ATTEMPT                     [S:18-JUN-99]
   GUWAHATI:  The Assam Government on June 17 categorically denied the
   allegation, which appeared in the Hindustan Times on June 16  under
   the  caption  `Abortive  Attempt'  published  in  the `State Diary'
   column, that Chief Minister P.K.Mahanta aborted  dialogue  attempts
   with the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in London in
   the first week of January this year, an official release said.

3  MYSTERY SHROUDS KILLING OF ULTRA                      [S:17-JUN-99]
   SIBSAGAR:   The  killing  of the hard-core ULFA ultra and explosive
   expert -- Krishna Buragohain alias Pradip Gogoi -- allegedly  in  a
   shoot-out with police at Bahgarh-Garhkosh near Bhadhara Agriculture
   Corporation on the night of June 13, took a new twist.
   According  to  the  report,  when  a  group of ULFA ultras had been
   hiding in a house a group of `secret killers' surrounded the house.
   While two of the ultras  managed  to  escape,  Krishna  received  a
   bullet injury in his leg.
   He was  later  taken  to  a  lonely  place and shot dead.  However,
   Sibsagar superintendent of police P.K.Lohia denied the  report  and
   manintained that he was killed in an encounter with the police.
   GUWAHATI:   At  a  time when several state governments has enforced
   prohibition on sale of vehicle not fulfilling the Euro  norms,  the
   Government  of  Assam  appears  to  be quite indifferent to the air
   pollution problems in the State,  not  even  conducting  the  smoke
   The  Transport Department had purchased 12 smoke meters and six gas
   analyzers in 1992 followed by 14 smoke meters and six gas analyzers
   in 1997-98 at a cost of nearly Rs.4 million.  The  department  made
   just one application of the equipment abortively.
   When  the  Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) asked the transport
   authorities to take  some  steps  in  this  regard,  the  transport
   department  had  written  a  letter  on  April 6, 1996 to the State
   Government urging it  to  entrust  smoke-test  responsibilities  to
   private  undertakings.  Assam  State  Transport  Corporation (ASTC)
   authority had maintained the same view in a reminder letter sent on
   April 29, 1999. The matter is being ignored till date.
   GUWAHATI:  The  Ministry  of  Communication  has  acceded  to   the
   proposals  sent  by  Assam  Government regarding the improvement of
   telecom  facilities  for  the  growth  of  fast  emerging  software
   industry in Assam and the Northeast in general. In a letter sent to
   the State Industries Minister Gunin Hazarika, the Union Minister of
   State  for  Communications  Kabindra Purkayastha, has asserted that
   most of proposals were under serious consideration.
   He also said that the proposal to set up a software technology park
   has already been sanctioned by the Ministry, and that the VSNL  was
   in  the  process  of  setting up an earth station for international
   connectivity in the STP premises.  He,  however,  asked  the  State
   Government to provide land for the purpose at the earliest.
6  GOVERNMENT STEP TO WOO TOURISTS                       [S:15-JUN-99]
   GUWAHATI:  The  State  Government  has  taken  steps to construct a
   `yatri nivas' (tourist lodge) and provide electrification at  Surya
   Pahar  at Mornoi in Goalpara, famous for its beautiful stone-carved
   sculptures, with a view to attract more tourists to the spot.
   The Director General of National Museum, Dr R.D.Chowdhury had asked
   the Tourism Secretary M.P.Bezbaruah to take some concrete steps  in
   consultation  with the Director General of Archaeological Survey of
   India in this regard.  Mr Bezbaruah  in  turn  directed  the  State
   Tourism Secretary to initiate action on the proposal.

7  RARE SPECIES OF TORTOISE SEIZED                       [S:16-JUN-99]
   JORHAT:   Forest  Department seized a `bor kasa' (a rare species of
   tortoise) from Jorhat market on June 15.    The  flesh  of  another
   tortoise,  which  had  bee  cut  into  pieces for selling, was also
   seized by the officials.  The officials later released the tortoise
   at Rajmao Pukhuri (pond) of the town.
   GUWAHATI: For most people, the Stilwell  Road  which  connects  the
   Northeast  India  with  China  and Myanmar, is part of history long
   forgotten. Much of the road is now a  bed  of  dense  greenery  and
   undergrowth.  At  some  places,  the  historic  road cannot even be
   visibly traced.
   This road has now fascinated a television production company of New
   Delhi, Images  Inc.  which plans to do a full-length documentary on
   it.  Most of the ground  work  for  the  project  is  in  progress.
   Various  officials  including  that of the China, Myanmar, Kunming,
   Yunnah, New Delhi and Assam have been contacted in this regard.
   It may be mentioned that recently, the transport ministers  of  the
   Northeast states discussed the possibility of reopening the road to
   international  trade  between  India  and  Myanmar,  and to counter
   illegal smuggling.
   The international documentary, if  completed,  would  indeed  be  a
   journey down  memory  lane.   It will go a long way in establishing
   the origin of an ambitious road project by the British.   The  idea
   of  making the film is based on the collaterals of business on this
   route to South Asian countries, particularly India.    This  apart,
   watching  the film would be like reliving the romance of travelling
   on this supply route made during the World War II.
   GUWAHATI: The Film Federation of  India  nominated  `Jauwane  Amoni
   Kare',   an  Assamese  language  film  as  one  of  the  films  for
   consideration of National Film Award in the category of `best  film
   providing popular and wholesome entertainment', a release said.
Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]
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