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Governor plays down insurgency

Kokrajhar, Aug. 7: Assam governor Lt Gen. (retd) Ajai Singh said except for some “stray incidents” in Upper Assam, there were no insurgency problems in the state. He reiterated that the overall situation was peaceful and the few incidents in Upper Assam were purely a “law and order” problem.

“There is no insurgency in Assam. The situation is normal in Central and Lower Assam. The only law and order problem is happening in Upper Assam, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Sivasagar which are very close to Nagaland and Myanmar,” Gen. Singh said. He was talking to the media last evening here at the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) headquarters at the end of his two-day visit.

He said the recent incidents of grenade attacks in Upper and Lower Assam could not be termed as acts of insurgency as they were nothing more than a law and order problem.

“Insurgency is in Manipur. There is no insurgency in the state of Assam. The situation in the state has greatly improved. People are now able to move about freely on the streets and even stay out till late at night. Unlike the nineties, people don’t live in fear any more. This has paved the way for return to normalcy,” he said.

On the question of the Ulfa and NDFB’s reported eagerness to hold discussions with the government, the governor said the reports had no truth and he had read about the matter in newspapers only. “How can talks begin when these outfits have no inclination to talk' If they are really willing they should come forward and show some interest. Come to me and I will take them to the discussion table,” he said.

Commenting on reports of the NDFB having close ties with the Nepalese Maoist group, Singh replied that he was ignorant about the development. “I have is no intelligence input that the outfit has links with Maoist extremists.”

Appeal to Kalam

The All Assam Central Semi-central Employees’ Parishad has sought the intervention of President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on the issue of non-payment of salaries to the employees of Central Inland Water Transport Corporation.

General secretary of the parishad Bhubaneswar Barman said employees of the corporation had not been paid their salaries for the past six months.

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