[Assam] AGP MPs blame Army for instigating clashes

Pradip Kumar Datta pradip200 at yahoo.com
Thu May 17 22:36:10 PDT 2007

AGP MPs blame Army for  instigating clashes


By Ron  Duarah
 DIBRUGARH, May 17 – Lok Sabha today was startled by the Zero Hour  mentions by MPs Dr Arun Kumar Sarma and Sarbananda Sonowal that it was some Army  officials who were fomenting communal hatred, leading to group clashes at  Doomdooma last Sunday, ending in the death of seven people. The two MPs demanded  an adjournment motion over the issue, but was rejected by the Lok Sabha Speaker.  They then rose to speak during Zero Hour, where they accused certain Army  officials of instigating the clashes. They also said the Assam government has  "totally and miserably failed" to handle the situation and demanded Central  action to maintain law and order in the state. The MPs said the highway blockade  was "largely attended, spontaneous and a democratic protest against security  high handedness during counter insurgency operations in Assam." They also called  on the Centre to immediately resume the process of peace talks with the militant  ULFA. 

Dr Sarma and Sonowal stated in a press note that the killing of  Buddheswar Moran on May 5 led to a week long highway blockade at Doomdooma and  falling victim to "mismanagement and chaotic handling of the situation by the  police and civil officials, leading to the death of seven more  innocents."

Sonowal, later speaking to this correspondent today, said:  "The Army has made it a habit of killing innocents and later apologizing." He  cited the cases of Ajit Moran, six-year-old child Debojit Moran and lately,  Buddheswar Moran, to justify his comment. Three days after Buddheswar Moran was  killed in cold blood, the General Office Commanding of the Dinjan-based Dah  Division of the Army, Major General N C Marwah told newsmen at Tinsukia that his  killing "was unfortunate", and that an internal inquiry will be instituted to  find out the facts. He assured the Army inquiry to be swift and  impartial.

With thousands of the civilian population sloganeering that  Buddheswar Moran was not a militant, the Army has found itself in a spot. One  piece of information that is emanating from Doomdooma is that the Army has  lately obtained a document signed by some residents of Buddheswar Moran's native  village, Bishnupur (12 kms from Doomdooma town), certifying that he was hand in  glove with the militants. Of course, leaders of various groups, including PCPIA,  AASU, AJYCP and others say this is not correct, and that the villagers may have  signed under duress. With such contradictory versions abounding, it is difficult  to find out the truth, as of now. One hopes the Army's own internal inquiry  would unravel the truth and make this information public, instead of having it  filed away as "classified" or under some provisions of the Armed Forces (Special  Powers) Act or the Disturbed Areas Act, whereby civilian transgression into  security matters is frowned upon.
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