oppn parties Gangs Rule Again In Upper Assam

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  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
  • Shiv Sena not to attend the NDA meeting on 17th November, says break up "a formality"
  • Shiv Sena says that the confidence the BJP is showing about forming the government in Maharashtra is based purely on its expectation of getting numbers through horse trading
  • Anil Ambani resigns as director of the bankrupt Reliance Communications
  • India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 150 rums inside three days in the first Test. Indian pacers excel after Mayank Agarwal's double century
  • Sena-NCP-Congress work out a common minimum programme, will form the government soon and it will last 5 years, says Sharad Pawar
  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upholds the decision to withdraw the charitable status of Young India, making it liable to pay Rs 145 in income tax. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra are the majority shareholders in the company
  • CBI raids offices of Amnesty International across India
  • Supreme Court quashes NCLAT order against Arcelor Mittal and paves the way for the company to take over ailing Essar Steel
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says concerns of telcos will be addressed and no company will close down
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Gangs Rule Again In Upper Assam

By A Special Correspondent

It started with the gruesome murder of six Bengali-speaking people in Tinsukia district of Assam. Now it has escalated into a full scale operation. The Ulfa, Sulfa (the so-called 'surrendered' Ulfa) and other assorted groups are back in business. New recruitments to these banned outfits are on the rise. Mashal (torchlight) rallies and other muscle-flexing events are conducted frequently. They are spreading a reign of terror designed to make the business community loosen their purse strings through fear.

In quick succession this week, first the manager of Timonhabi Tea Estate in Sonari was kidnapped, then a businessman from Lanka was asked to pay Rs 30 lakhs or face the consequences and finally, a grenade blast was triggered in a shop at Demow in Sibsagar district of the state. There is still no news of the kidnapped manager while the person who made the threat call in Lanka has been arrested by the police as the businessman had the courage to report the incident. The blast in Demow killed a customer and the brother of the shop owner.

It seems that Assam is moving back in time. The current incidents bring back the chilling situation witnessed in the eighties and nineties when abductions, murders and ransom demands were the order of the day. It also seems that change of government has no effect on these bands of marauders whose basic aim is to collect as much money before the government crackdown.

The business community in upper Assam is confused and dismayed that the government is not taking any steps to nip the problem in the bud. They say that once these gangs smell the scent of money, it will be very difficult to contain them. Easy money attracts unemployed youth in droves and newer gangs sprout every day. These gangs adopt newer strategies to milk the largely non-Assamese business community. The police have to be proactive in taking steps against these gangs. But for this to happen, the business community needs to shed its fear and report even the smallest of incidents.