The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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PCPI seeks date with Kalam
- Army brass meets Nipul’s father

Guwahati/Dibrugarh, Oct. 14: The People’s Committee for Peace Initiatives (PCPI) has moved Dispur for an appointment with President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam seeking suspension of army operations in the state, even as the army went into a damage-control mode to prevent a repeat of a Kakopathar-like incident.

Kalam reaches Guwahati late tomorrow evening from Bangalore on a three-day visit to the Northeast.

Lachit Bordoloi, one of the chief co-ordinators of the PCPI and a member of the Ulfa-constituted People’s Consultative Group, said in Guwahati that that they had moved the Kamrup (Metro) administration on Thursday for an audience with the President — the supreme commander of the armed forces.

“We would like to convey to him the general mood here. The people of Assam believe that resumption of army operations have virtually derailed the peace process. We want him to revive it. Despite the President’s hectic schedule we are hopeful of getting an audience,” Bordoloi said.

He did not, however, disclose PCPI’s plans if Dispur turns down their request.

Kamrup (Metro) DC Avinash Joshi said the request had been forwarded to the home department, which is processing the same. “We haven’t received anything as of now,” Joshi said late this evening.

Kalam will fly to Imphal on Monday morning and then to Mizoram. After attending a function at Silchar University on Tuesday, he will fly to Guwahati to attend three programmes. He leaves for Delhi the same evening.

Sources in the chief minister’s office said tomorrow being Kalam’s birthday, Tarun Gogoi will wish him with a birthday card while Governor Lt Gen. (retd) Ajai Singh will host a dinner at the Raj Bhavan.

Meanwhile, the army today went into a damage control mode to prevent further outburst of public rage following reports of third-degree torture on Nipul Saikia. It not only apologised but also handed over Rs 20,000 in cash to Moneswar Saikia, Nipul’s father.

GOC of the Dinjan-based 2 Mountain Division, Maj. Gen. N.C. Marwah, today reached Nipul’s village and publicly admitted “that one of his men had committed a mistake and he would face strong action”.

He was accompanied by Brig. Arun Bali, commander of the Laipuli-based 181 Mountain Brigade and Col Yashpal Singh, commanding officer of the 11 Guards Regiment.

The GOC said the army would do everything possible for Nipul.Deputy superintendent of AMCH Amrit Baruah said Nipul's condition has improved.

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