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Publicity drive for Bodo pact

Feb. 15: The Tarun Gogoi government has set in motion its publicity machinery to negate fears among the non-tribal communities that their rights could be compromised in the Bodoland Territorial Council.

The government today directed the deputy commissioners of Lower Assam to give maximum publicity to the latest Bodo accord. Copies of the pact signed on Monday was faxed to the seven deputy commissioners for circulation of its contents among the masses, said home commissioner B.K. Gohain.

The deputy commissioners were instructed to set up peace committees in areas under their jurisdiction for building confidence among the people.

In the third measure initiated by Dispur, the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT), one of the signatories to the accord, has been requested to restrain its activists from displaying their arms in public. The BLT had said that its cadre would surrender their arms once an interim council was formed.

The formation of the interim council is being discussed at the ongoing three-day annual conference of the All-Bodo Students’ Union in Banargaon in Kokrajhar district.

Dispur has been forced to take these steps following an outbreak of violence in the Bodo belt and the 36-hour bandh called by the apex non-Bodo organisation — Sanmilita Jangosthiya Sangram Samiti — protesting at the fresh accord. The bandh, which severely affected life, ended at 5 am today.

The samiti has threatened to impose a 100-hour economic blockade on the day the official notification for constitution of the territorial council is issued.

Gohain said adequate safeguards have been incorporated in the memorandum of settlement signed between the BLT, the Centre and the state government.

Two rebels killed

Two militants of the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) were killed today in an encounter with the army at Khoirabari under Gosaigaon police station in Kokrajhar district.

Army sources said troops of the Red Horns division intercepted the rebels at 12.30 pm. Two 9 mm pistols and 27 rounds of live ammunition were recovered from the slain rebels.

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