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                       Vol.4, No.62 [*] September 21, 1999

              Propaganda: That branch of the art of lying which
                   consists in very nearly deceiving your
               friends without quite deceiving your enemies.
                          - Francis M Cornford

   GUWAHATI:   A  school  teacher  of  Kalitakuchi  village under Hajo
   police station in Kamrup district survived a bullet  injury  and  a
   100  metre  fall  downhill after armed gunmen shot at him, and left
   him for dead.  Ananta Kalita, who is also the  local  president  of
   the Asom Jatiytabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), was kidnapped by
   a  gang  of  around  ten armed youths from his home on the night of
   September 16.

   Later,  Mr  Kalita  was  taken  to  the  Assam   Police   battalion
   headquarter  at  Kahilipara in Guwahati where he was grilled by one
   Mr Gogoi, identifying himself to be a senior police officer of  the
   operation unit.      The  youths  also  threatened  him  with  dire
   consequences if he failed to disclose the whereabouts of  two  ULFA
   cadres, Diganta Sarania and Rupjyoti Boro.
   Later Mr Kalita was blindfolded and taken to Jorabat on  the  night
   of September  18 where he was forced to climb the hill.  The youths
   then shot at him from close range.  The bullet, which  pierced  his
   left  cheek  and  went out through his temple, made him unconscious
   and he rolled down the hill for about 100  metre  below.    On  the
   morning  of  September  19, he was rescued by a Mizo family at 5 am
   while they were proceeding  to  Shillong  from  Guwahati.    He  is
   presently   undergoing   treatment  at  the  Guwahati  Neurological
   Research Centre.
   Meanwhile, the Assam Police in a press statement  on  September  20
   clarified  that  the  police was not involved in the episode in any
   manner, and said that the allegations were made deliberately at the
   behest of some vested interest to malign the image  of  the  police
   department.   The police stated that they provided protection to Mr
   Kalita and made arrangements for his treatment when  they  came  to
   know about the incident.

   The AJYCP sources said that the Hajo police  officer-in-charge  had
   frequently  pressurized  Mr  Kalita to `surrender' himself and join
   the newly-formed youth wing of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). He was
   earlier arrested on May for alleged links with the ULFA  but  later
   released  on  bail  on  June  8  after  the police failed to gather
   concrete evidence to establish their claim.

   Dissident AGP leaders Bhrigu Kumar Phukan  and  Atul  Bora  charged
   Chief  Minister  Prafulla  Kumar Mahanta of presiding over a `mafia
   raj' and organizing `secret killings' in the  State.  They  alleged
   that  the  attempt to eliminate Ananta Kalita has finally blown the
   lid off the Mahanta government's attempts to hush up the fact  that
   it had been organizing the secret killings all over the State. They
   demanded the immediate resignation of Mr Mahanta on moral ground.
   AOL adds:   A UK-based human rights group, Assam Watch has appealed
   to the Chief Minister of Assam for safety and protection of  Ananta
   Kalita.   `Mr  Kalita  surviving  to  tell  the tale makes him very
   vulnerable regarding his security and safety of life.    Therefore,
   Assam  Watch  would  like  to  request  your  appropriate action to
   prevent any further harm to Mr Ananta Kalita and wish to seek  your
   personal reassurance to its effect', it stated.
   It  further added that, `as this is the first time that someone has
   escaped death orchestrated by the police, who have been alleged  to
   have  been involved in numerous such murders, Mr Ananta Kalita must
   be given access to the media, particularly the International  ones,
   to  make  statements  freely.'  The appeal was released through the
   Internet by Dr Mukul Hazarika, Coordinator, Assam Watch (UK).

2  NO FURTHER DIVISION OF ASSAM, SAYS BJP                [S:20-SEP-99]
   GUWAHATI:  Contradicting the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU)'s claim
   that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in favour of  creating  a
   separate  state  of  Bodoland,  the  Assam unit of the BJP made its
   stand clear that it was totally against the further vivisection  of
   Party spokesman  Jayanta  Dutta  denied  any  commitment  from  the
   central leadership of the BJP in this respect, and said that though
   BJP was committed to solving the vexed issue, it was opposed to the
   further division of the State.

   DHUBRI:   BJP  candidate  for the Dhubri Lok Sabha constituency, Dr
   Pannalal Oswal was kidnapped by suspected ULFA militants along with
   three party workers when  they  were  returning  from  an  election
   meeting at Bilasipara on the night of September 19.

   Dr Oswal  and  the  party  workers,  the  chairman  of  the  Dhubri
   Municipal  Board,  Mr  Kalayan  Purkayastha,  the  secretary of the
   Dhubri District Congress committee, Mr Prakash Agarwala  and  party
   member  Kanchan  Choudhury were stopped by suspected ULFA activists
   on national highway 31 and  abducted  Dr  Oswal. 
   The militants, however, freed the three party workers  later.    It
   may  be  mentioned  that  Dr  Oswal, who was provided with personal
   security guards, did not take them during poll campaigns.
   GUWAHATI:   The  ULFA  has claimed that they have no links with the
   assassination of top SULFA leader Mriganka Chaliha on September 16.
   From the ULFA's publicity wing  Swadhinata  Phukan  told  UNI  over
   phone that they were in no way connected with the incident.
   Meanwhile, police have rounded up 15 people, including  some  SULFA
   youths, for  interrogation  in  connection  with  the case.  Police
   suspect that the killing Mriganka, involved in  the  infamous  coal
   trade of Beltola in Guwahati, was as a result of business rivalry.
   GUWAHATI:  A prominent SULFA leader, Tilak Bishnu Talukdar, who was
   also  actively  involved in the wholesale fish trade at Paltanbazar
   in Guwahati met his tragic death when the gun he had snatched  from
   his  security  guard to intimidate a truck driver at Satribari area
   in the wee hours, accidently went off killing him on the spot. 
   The security guard and Tilak were in an inebriated condition, after
   they  drank  heavily to celebrate the Vishwakarma Puja the previous
   day, when the incident took place.  Police  arrested  the  security
   Mr  Talukdar  had recently switched over to producing telefilms for
   Guwahati  Doordarshan.  It  may  be  recalled  that  one   of   his
   colleagues,  a  SULFA man named Rana was shot dead in an accidental
   firing when another SULFA man fired shots to celebrate the marriage
   of Talukdar at his residence about four years ago.
   JORHAT:  A group of about 50 armed  miscreants  coming  in  several
   Maruti Gypsies created havoc in the residence of one Baturua Das of
   Pathalial village  on  September 15.  Local people suspect that the
   miscreants, who opened indiscriminate firing around the house  that
   night, came  in  search  of  an  ULFA activist.  They ransacked the
   house of Mr Das and took away fifteen ducks.  Police  suspect  that
   they also took an ULFA activist with them.
   RANGIYA:   The  Indian  Army  will  soon  launch its own website to
   counter the cyberwar launched by the banned United Liberation Front
   of Asom (ULFA) against it on the Internet.    The  General  Officer
   Commanding  (GOC)  of  the  21  Mountain  Division,  Major  General
   B.K.Baponna said that Army experts were working relentlessly on the
   details of the procedure of launching the website.    He,  however,
   refused to  divulge  when  it  would  actually  come  up.   The GOC
   expressed the hope that the  Army  would  be  able  to  effectively
   counter the ULFA on the Internet.

   DIBRUGARH:    Professor  G  Hargopal,  head  of  the  human  rights
   department of the Central University, Hyderabad and a leading human
   rights activist of the country today said that Delhi will  have  to
   accept  that  India  is  a heterogeneous country which has a varied
   cultural and social fabric.
   He said that in our system of governance, the  top  bureaucrats  do
   not  have  the  foggiest idea of the country's Northeast region and
   attributed this to the perceived alienation of the people here from
   the concept of Indianness.
   Speaking on insurgent movements and role of human rights bodies  at
   the  Dibrugarh  University,  he  said  that for the youth of today,
   contradictions are getting more accentuated  with  several  avenues
   before  them.  He  called  upon  the  youth  to  bravely  face  the
   contradictions and decide on their future accordingly.
   He asked them not to take  anything  for  granted,  and  cited  the
   example  of  Mahatma  Gandhi, who never visited the princely states
   during the freedom movement, thinking that these  are  always  with
   the  struggle.  Here,  the Mahatma was proved wrong, because due to
   absence of any freedom struggle in the princely states,  these  (eg
   Hyderabad) had to be annexed by force after August 15, 1947.
   GUWAHATI:  The `government of Twiprakingdom' led  by  the  National
   Liberation  Front of Twipra (NLFT) is seriously concerned about the
   distorted news item carried by a local Bengali  daily  of  Tripura,
   Doinik Sambad on August 12, in which it has mischievously presented
   Mg  K  Mwkthang, secretary general of the NLFT, as to have claimed,
   through a fax message the responsibility of kidnapping four  senior
   Rashtriya  Swayamsevak  Sangha  (RSS)  leaders on August 6 in Dhola
   district of Tripura.
   `NLFT, for the interest of general public and all concerned,  would
   like  to  make  it categorically clear that its Royal Borok Army is
   not at all involved in the incident, as  such  unlawful  activities
   are  against  its  constitutional laws.' It also clarified that the
   affairs relating to press notes is dealt by the publicity wing  and
   not by the secretary general, as claimed by the newspaper.
   GUWAHATI:   Nagaland Chief Minister S.C.Jamir said that the Oil and
   natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) should work on a `partnership' basis
   with the State Government and not on the basis of  normal  royalty.
   He  said  the  land  rules  in  the  tribal State was protected and
   different from general category States, when asked why there should
   be a different set of rules for the State.
   Addressing a press conference in Guwahati, Jamir accused  the  ONGC
   of `illegally  extracting oil' from the State.  `Initially a permit
   was issued to the ONCG to explore possibilities of oil reserves  in
   the State  which  was  renewed  every year', he said. 
   But  later  on  when  oil  was  struck at Champak, the ONGC started
   extracting huge amount of oil, which it claimed was for the purpose
   of `testing' only.  Based on complaints by the  local  people  that
   huge  amount  of  oil  has  been  extracted, the Government ordered
   closure of the rigs, the Chief Minister said.
   MORIGAON:  The Board of Secondary  Education,  Assam  (SEBA)  which
   withdrew  Geography  as  a  compulsory  subject  in  1973  from the
   secondary schools of Assam accepting the suggestions from  National
   Council   of   Educational   Research  and  Training  (NCERT),  and
   introduced a new subject combining geography, history  and  civics,
   deprived  the  students from learning neither geography nor the new
   subject in a better way.
   While delivering a popular talk  on  the  topic  --  `Relevance  of
   Geographical  Education  in  present  Assam', organized by Morigaon
   College on September 10, retired Professor of Gauhati University Dr
   Mohammed Taher, stressed that  Geography  is  a  vital  subject  to
   understand the  civilization  of  mankind.   He emphasized upon the
   need of studying the subject, for  the  young  generation  must  at
   least know their country to understand the national motto `unity in
   diversity', physically.
12 DEOPAHAR DECLARED RESERVED FOREST                     [S:21-SEP-99]
   JORHAT: The historic Deopahar in Golaghat district has finally been
   declared a reserve forest by the Assam Government  in  response  to
   consistent  demand  raised  by  a  large  body  of  non-govermental
   organizations concerned with the environment. The  reserved  forest
   will  cover  an  area of 135 hectares of forested land. Deopahar is
   known as the home of wild tuskers and several other rare species of

13 NAMGHORIA OF KOKADONGA PASSES AWAY                    [S:20-SEP-99]
   NAOBOICHA:  Padmeswar  Barua  (65),  the  Namghoria  of  the  local
   Kokadonga village Namghar breathed his last inside the Namghar at 6
   am on  September  15.    Barua  had  been  a lifelong keeper of the
   Namghar since  his  boyhood  and  discharged  his  responsibilities
   piously.  He  had  been a gayan too.  The village people took out a
   procession to the cremation ground, with his body on  shoulders  to
   the accompaniment  of  religious songs and music.  He leaves behind
   two sons and two daughters.
Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]
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