oppn parties Gangs Rule Again In Upper Assam

News Snippets

  • The Army conducts an operational alert exercise in eastern Ladakh
  • The IAF reopened the Vijaynagar advance landing ground, an airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
  • Amit Shah says he never sought to impose Hindi
  • Government bans the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in India
  • Mamata Banerjee seeks an appointment with Home Minister Amit Shah today
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi in what she later described as a government-to-government meeting
  • Supreme Court sets a deadline of October 18 for completing the hearings in the Ayodhya case
  • Pakistan rejects India's request for use of its airspace when PM Modi flies to the US later this week
  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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.