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                         Vol.4, No.55 [*] August 30, 1999

                     He has made his weapons his Gods.
               When his weapons win he is defeated himself.
                           - Rabindranath Tagore

   KARIMGANJ:  Four  hard-core  Laskar-e-Toiba  militants  posing   as
   Islamic preachers were nabbed by the Border Security Force (BSF) at
   9:30  pm on August 27 at Mokastilla under Patharkandi circle in the
   Karimganj sector of the Indo-Bangladesh border, as they were trying
   to sneak into Assam.
   The BSF jawans on patrol at the border sighted the militants moving
   about in a suspicious manner in the area and challenged them.   But
   when they  started  to  run, the jawans opened fire.  The militants
   surrendered for fear of  life.    They  were  taken  to  government
   hospital for first aid and handed over to police.  Interrogation of
   the militants by senior police and intelligence officials are on.
   HAILAKANDI:  Eighty Pakistani nationals,  who  are  ISI  operators,
   have  landed  at  Sylhet airport in Bangladesh for entry into Assam
   through     Karimganj.  One of them, Jafrul Islam Khan,  a  dreaded
   terrorist,  is suspected to have already sneaked into Assam through
   the Dharmanagar-Ranga route in Tripura with the help of a linkman.
   He is reported to have spent the night of August 21 at Sakalbari in
   Karimganj  district  before boarding a night super bus for Guwahati
   for onward journey to Nagaon.  Intelligence  and  police  personnel
   have  launched a massive hunt for the ISI operator whose mission is
   to commit sabotage during the forthcoming elections.
   SIBSAGAR:  Twenty-seven ULFA militants surrendered before the  Army
   at Joysagar  in  Sibsagar  district  on  August  28.    The ultras,
   however, did not lay down  any  arms  or  ammunition  during  their
   surrender  which  took  place in presence of Brigadier J.S.Choya of
   the Second Mountain Division.  The names of  the  surrendered  ULFA
   ultras have  not  been  disclosed.   Earlier, on August 27 six ULFA
   militants surrendered before the police in Sibsagar.
   NAGAON:  The project officer Hiranya Barua, accounts officer Parama
   Mahanta of  the  District  Rural  Development  Agency  (DRDA),  and
   advocate Ajit Bora of Nagaon court were sent to special jail by the
   additional  district judicial magistrate, while a contractor Mridul
   Das was released on personal bond.
   The  court  granted  bail  to  Dharmeshwar  Bora,  treating  him as
   government witness to the contribution of  Rs.200,000  to  ULFA  by
   advocate Ajit  Bora.    Bora  received the money from Hiranya Barua
   who, in turn received it from Parama  Mahanta,  who  collected  the
   fund.   Nagaon  police  arrested  them  for aiding and abetting the
   ULFA, and for conspiring against the government.
   JORHAT:  Sumanta Chaliha, an engineer turned journalist  of  Jorhat
   has  worked  out  a  project for generating employment to 1 million
   people in  the  agriculture  sector.    The  project  report  which
   envisages  a  budget  of  over  Rs.70  billion requiring an working
   capital of Rs.26 billion was submitted to the Assam chief  minister
   for consideration. 
   Covering six agrarian sectors like the dairy,  poultry,  fisheries,
   agricultural  farms, small tea plantation and raising of plantation
   crops,  the  project  will  require  750  sq   km   of   land   for
   implementation.    Giving   details  of  the  project  at  a  press
   conference, Mr Chaliha said that Assam has enormous scope to  solve
   its  unemployment  through  agro-based  activities. He said, if his
   proposal is accepted  for  implementation  by  the  government,  he
   intends to prepare another such report on the industrial sector.
5  PLATFORMS SUBMERGED IN KAZIRANGA                      [S:29-AUG-99]
   JORHAT:    Twenty-six   raised   platforms,   out  of  twenty-eight
   constructed by the Army last year have been submerged by the  flood
   waters in  Kaziranga.    The situation has compelled the animals of
   the sanctuary to shift to the nearby Karbi Anglong  hills  crossing
   the National  Highway.  The forest personnel are maintaining strict
   vigil over the portion of the highway where the animals cross.

   However, despite prior warning about speed  limits,  several  deers
   have fallen  prey to speeding vehicles.  A deer was bitten by a dog
   at the Mihirmukh camp area.  The authorities are on high  alert  to
   save  the  rhinos from poachers and five rhinos so far were shifted
   to the Karbi Anglong hills.
6  OH, NO!  AGARWALA-JI, WHERE ARE YOU ?                 [S:30-AUG-99]
   JORHAT:   Forty telephone subscribers in the town who had long left
   their telephone-related worries to Agarwala-ji are now  desperately
   looking  for him, when he mysteriously disappeared after the change
   of guard at the district telephones office.
   To these subscribers, Agarwala-ji was indispensable -- he could fix
   all their telephone  problems  in  a  day,  pay  bills,  rectifying
   disputed bills and any other telephone related errands.  He used to
   collect  the  cash  for  the  bills and paid them in cheques to the
   telephones department.
   Some of the cheques bounced but the services were not disconnected.
   When certain officials have been transferred and new officials took
   their  place, disconnection notices started to pour in to the utter
   surprise  of  the  subscribers.   That's   when   they   discovered
   Agarwala-ji missing. 
   However, the hapless subscribers,  have  regularized  their  bills.
   How  Agarwala-ji  operated  his  business  or  how  he  managed the
   department officials remains a mystery.  The  concerned  department
   has  denied knowing anything and said that the bounced cheques will
   be dealt with in accordance with the rules.
   GUWAHATI: The Coconut Development  Board,  State  Centre,  Guwahati
   will  celebrate  Coconut  Day  at  the  Directorate of Agriculture,
   Khanapara in Guwahati on September 2.
   Every  year,  September  2 is celebrated as Coconut Day, as per the
   decision  of  the  Asia  and  Pacific  Coconut  Community   (APCC),
   headquartered at Jakarta, Indonesia.  Foundation day of the APCC is
   also celebrated on that day.
   The celebration of the annual coconut day is aimed at creating more
   awareness  on  the  importance  of  the  coconut and focusing world
   attention to  this  crop  to  enhance  its  potential  in  removing
   poverty, encouraging investments in the sector and to promote total
   development of coconut industry in the member countries.
   GOLAGHAT:   Parbati  Barua  is  probably  the  only  woman elephant
   trainer (Hatir Phandi) in Asia,  writes  Nava  Thakuria  in  a  PIB
   article published   in  The  Sentinel  dated  28-Aug-99.    Parbati
   received international recognition in 1998 following  an  operation
   called `Dalma', in which she had successfully pushed wild elephants
   across  Kansabati  river  to their migratory route to Dalma forest,
   with the help of her four trained elephants.  The  wild  elephants,
   coming form Dalma in Bihar, were spreading destruction in Mindapore
   district of West Bengal at the end of 1997.
   Soon after   the  event  Parbati  became  a  celebrity.    She  was
   recognized as the `Goddess of Elephants' by the local people.   The
   National Geographic Society made a documentary on Parbati.  Another
   documentary  named  `Queen of the Elephants', produced by Mark Sand
   was broadcast world wide through Discovery Channel.  The book  with
   the same title written by Mark also received good response from the
   Born in an Assamese zamindar (landlord) family in Gauripur of lower
   Assam, Parbati   was   brought  up  with  elephants.    Her  father
   Prakritish Chandra Barua was an internationally acclaimed  elephant
   expert.   Parbati  completed  her  schooling  at her home town, and
   completed her graduation from Handique Girls College, Guwahati.
   Parbati Barua now attends various discussions based on the theme of
   preservation of  wild  life  and  particularly  the elephants.  She
   speaks five languages including English.   She  contributes  papers
   for various  seminars  too.   She expresses concerns over the rapid
   destruction of the natural  habitat  of  the  elephants  and  wants
   proper  awareness  about  this intelligent animal among the people.

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