The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fasting women moved to GMCH

Guwahati, March 31: The arrested wives of six missing Ulfa militants, who are currently on a fast-unto-death, were shifted to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) today after they refused to take food at the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital (MMCH).

The wives of the six Ulfa militants, who went missing in Bhutan three years ago, were arrested late on Thursday night.

“They were shifted to GMCH since advanced medical facilities are not available at MMCH,” a government source said.

Dispur has directed police and the civil administration to ensure that the condition of the fasting women does not deteriorate further.

Additional superintendent of police (city) Rajen Singh said they were shifted last night following advice from doctors.

The fasting women are demanding information about their husbands, who went missing during the anti-Ulfa operations in Bhutan in 2003.

GMCH superintendent P.K. Ojha disclosed that though four of the six women were suffering from minor dehydration, their condition was stable. “There is no immediate cause for concern as their health condition is stable,” he said.

The six women — Malini Ingtipi alias Hema Hansipi, Anima Devi, Gyanmona Moran alias Shyamoli Gogoi, Menoka Chetia alias Minakshi Borborua, Juri Neog and Kavita Chakrabarty — were given medicines and intravenous fluids at the GMCH today, though they refused to take food.

Policemen swooped down on the site of their indefinite hungerstrike in the wee hours of Friday and herded them into MMCH when their condition started deteriorating. All of them have been on a fast since March 21.

The Assam government today reiterated its appeal to the fasting women to withdraw their indefinite hungerstrike. Dispur also urged Ulfa to come for unconditional talks.

Government spokesman Ripun Bora, in a press communiqué, said chief minister Tarun Gogoi would not allow the women to end their lives through a fast-unto-death under any circumstances.

While describing Ulfa’s criticism of Gogoi for dismissing suggestions of the plebiscite as unfortunate, Bora said for the past three years, the state government was in touch with the Centre in order to find out the fate of the missing Ulfa rebels.

“The chief minister has reiterated that he will do everything possible within the Constitution to end the impasse,” Bora added.

He said Dispur has also demanded that Delhi take up the matter with the Bhutan government.

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