ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Assam: Siege Within


Even as Assam's beleaguered chief minister, Prafulla Mahanta, sat closeted in New Delhi, deep in discussions with central government ministers on the worsening situation in Assam, news of yet another massacre filtered in. Suspected United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) militants struck again – killing over 25 people, in the Upper Assam district of Tinsukia. The attack followed the same pattern of barbaric, indiscriminate ferocity – their targets non-Assamese settlers, mainly workers from Bihar and Marwari businessmen, sparing not even their women and children. It was the sixth such attack in as many weeks and each time the government has been caught napping despite its usual assurances.

As before, the reactions of the government and the main opposition party followed an unvarying pattern. Mahanta accused the Congress of covertly supporting the ULFA. He alleged Tarun Gogoi, the state Congress president, of seeking ULFA help to bolster Congress's chances in the assembly elections due early next year. The Congress for its part demanded immediate imposition of president's rule, blaming the government for the state's deteriorating law and order scenario.

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