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                        Vol.4, No.65 [*] October 29, 1999

                      There is much greatness of mind
                in acknowledging a good turn as in doing it.
                                - Seneca

1  WHY NO BODOLAND?  ECHOES IN PARLIAMENT                [S:25-OCT-99]
   NEW DELHI:   The  demand  for  Bodoland  had  its  echo  in  Indian
   Parliament on October 25.  When President K.R.Narayanan spoke about
   the  government's  decision  to  create  separate  states  such  as
   Vananchal and Uttaranchal in his address, independent tribal member
   from Assam's Kokarajhar constituency Sansuma Khunggur Bwiswmuthiary
   rose to shout, `Why no Bodoland?'
   Another  member  from  Assam  Dr  Jayanta  Rongpi commenting on the
   President's address said that it did not reflect the reality of the
   situation in the Northeast.  He said that the Government  of  India
   owes an explanation as to why they could not implement the promises
   made  during  the  last  address  of  the  President,  in which the
   President promised to set up an upper house in Assam and to  create
   a separate department for Northeast.
2  AHRC CASE AGAINST NDFB CHAIRMAN                       [S:29-OCT-99]
   GUWAHATI:  Acting on two separate complaints filed by the widows of
   Naik  P.Arunachalam  and  Sepoy  Alphone, both of the Second Madras
   Regiment,  who  laid  down  their  lives  in  attacks  by  National
   Democratic  Front  of  Bodoland  (NDFB)  militants, the Assam Human
   Rights  Commission  (AHRC)  registered  a  case  against  the  NDFB
   chairman Ranjan Diamary for violation of human rights.
   The  two  widows,  in  their  petitions had said that the cruel and
   untimely death of their  husbands,  had  left  the  family  totally
   shattered and disoriented, and no compensation could fill the void.
   Meanwhile,  in  another  case,  the  commission  directed the Assam
   Government to pay compensation of Rs.1000 to journalist Naba  Kumar
   Das of Orang.
   GUWAHATI:   Nagaon  police  arrested an upper division assistant of
   Public Works Department (PWD), one Durga Mazumdar, after he  misled
   police  to  enable  a  group  of  armed  ULFA  militants,  who  had
   mistakenly kidnapped him, to escape  from  the  police  dragnet  in
   When  armed militants knocked at the door of Jitendra Kumar Saikia,
   assistant executive engineer of PWD on the  night  of  October  27,
   sensing trouble, Saikia escaped from the rear door and entered into
   the Deputy  Commissioner's  residence nearby.  Mazumdar, who was at
   Saikia's residence at that time, was taken hostage by the militants
   who fled in a Maruti Gypsy.
   Soon  afterwards, a police party tailed the vehicle and stopped it.
   On  questioning,  Mazumdar  under  the  circumstances,   told   the
   policemen that  the  militants  were  `friends'  of  his  son.  The
   abductors released Mazumdar at Nehru Bali and escaped.   Police  is
   interrogating Mazumdar to ascertain his role in the incident.
   TEZPUR:   Members  of the Tezpur Nagarik Mancha staged a three-hour
   sit-in strike in front of the Sonitpur Deputy Commissioner's office
   demanding immediate release of two youths who had been abducted  by
   unidentified gunmen on September 28.  The members also demanded the
   disclosure  of the progress of the investigation and details of the
   magisterial probe into the abduction.
   Meanwhile, Naba Kumar Chetia, District Magistrate of Sonitpur, by a
   notification,  extended  the  date  of  submission of report of the
   magisterial inquiry into the alleged kidnapping to November 7.
   Earlier, the Asom Yuba Chatra  Parishad  (AJYCP)  had  refuted  the
   Government  contention  that  the ULFA-MASS-KASS and the AJYCP axis
   has been engineering the public protest movement in connection with
   the abduction of the two youths Rajiv Koch and Rajesh Mishra.    
   It felt that the government has purported this to be the confession
   of Babli Bora, an ULFA cadre, arrested on October 23, as  published
   in  a  section  of  the  press, the AJYCP has called the confession
   baseless and false and termed it as a conspiracy  to  entangle  the
   AJYCP with the ULFA.
   SIBSAGAR:  The historic Dorika stone bridge on the  Dhodar  Ali  in
   Sibsagar  has  been  closed  for  vehicular traffic from October 21
   following damage to one of its  pillars.    This  has  resulted  in
   disruption  of  communication  on  the Sibsagar-Sonari road causing
   rise in the prices of essential commodities.
   It may be mentioned that Swargadeo  Pratap  Singha,  an  Ahom  king
   constructed the stone bridge over the river Dorika, three kilometre
   from Simaluguri.   The bridge is 904 feet long, 14 feet wide and 16
   feet high.  Stone bridges and culverts built during the Ahom period
   are still in use in many parts of Sibsagar.
   GOLAGHAT:  A  seminar  on  biodiversity  conservation  organized by
   Society  for  Environmental  Education  of  Northeast  (SEENE)   at
   Golaghat  on  October  27 brought together three of the traditional
   medicine experts from in and around Golaghat.
   Munindra Shyam of Balipathar in Karbi Anglong is known to many  and
   thousands  remain  grateful for healing fractured bones with secret
   medicinal shrub.  He claimed to have cured at least 20,000  people,
   and gave records of 10,000 persons who took his medicine.
   Shyam says that he would like to transfer his knowledge  to  anyone
   willing  to carry out the tradition, since the increasing number of
   visitors to his home has disrupted his normal life.  He  takes  the
   difficult route to collect the plants from the nearby forest, as he
   believes  that  planting of medicinal plants will bring ill-luck to
   the owner.
   Kamaleswar  Handique  of  Thuramukh near Golaghat gives anti-rabies
   medicine made of underwater plants.  He claims to have offered  the
   medicine to more 10,000 dog-bite victims, and none of them reported
   having suffered from rabies after taking the medicine.
   Resident of Santipur in Golaghat town, Purnanda Gogoi is well known
   for his  herbal  medicine  for  Jaundice.    Medical practitioners,
   doctors also acknowledge that the medicine actually works.    Gogoi
   have  been practicing this traditional method of cure for more than
   25 years.
   The SEENE,  an  NGO  for  environmental  conservation  is  actively
   involved  in  protecting  and cultivating medicinal plants that are
   available in the Nambor forest.  Already 45  bighas  of  land  have
   been  sanctioned to SEENE by the Assam Government for establishment
   of a botanical garden in Golaghat.  Secretary of the NGO, Phanindra
   Gogoi, while talking to  Assam  Online,  said  that  work  for  the
   ambitious project has already been started.
   JORHAT:  Jorhat  Cine  and Cultural Society is organizing a special
   screening of Dr Bhabendra Nath Saikia's latest film `Kalsandhya' at
   Prabharaj cinema hall on November  11.  Based  on  the  problem  of
   militancy  in  the  State, Kalsandhya is the first Hindi film by Dr
   Saikia. Ashis  Bidyarthi,  Debashri  Roy,  Nipon  Goswami,  Pranjal
   Saikia,  Taufik  Rehman,  Jatin  Bora, Baharul Islam, among others,
   played major roles in the movie.

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