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North East News

Friday, August 17,  2001

Updated at Friday, August 17, 2001 at 03:18:19 PM IST




Prafulla Kumar Mahanta resigns over the charge of second marriage

Guwahati, August 17 : Former chief minister of Assam, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta resigns from post of president of Asom Gana Parishad over the charge of second marriage. The controversy starts when an employee of the Assembly secretariat, Sanghamitra Bharali, claimed in a newspaper interview on Thursday that she married party chief Prafulla Kumar Mahanta at a temple in Mumbai. Prafulla Kumar Mahanta refuted the claim terming it as a design of character assassination.

In an interview, published in Wednesday’s edition of the Assamese weekly Sadin, Bharali claimed that Mahanta had married her on March 11, 2001, at a late-night ceremony at the Ganesh temple in Mumbai’s Versova locality.

She claimed in the interview that Mahanta’s security officers, including superintendent of police Moses, and then minister for rural development Sahidul Alam Choudhury were present during the ceremony that took place according to Gujarati Hindu rites between 11 to 1 on the night of March 11-12. “After the rituals, we had dinner at my apartment in Andheri. Then around 2.30 am (on March 12), we drove to The Oberoi. We stayed at the hotel’s Kashmiri suite before Mahanta flew to Delhi on March 13,” the weekly quoted Bharali as saying.


Meanwhile Prafulla Kumar Mahanta vehemently denied the charge. In an interview with a news portal, Mahanta said: “This is a clear attempt at character assassination. The Congress could be behind this game.” Asked whether his family life has been affected by this, the AGP president said: “Such wild charges will affect the lives of any normal person. I have asked my lawyers to look at the legal aspects.” The AGP office bearers, who met to discuss the issue, had absolved Mahanta of the charges. But, it is not immediately known what the party could do after the lady in question has given an interview claiming that Mahanta had indeed ‘married’ her.

Mahanta’s wife Jayashree Goswami, a former Rajya Sabha MP, stands by her husband. “We are aware of a deliberate campaign against us. I am married to him for the past 14 years, and I know that he is innocent.” The party leadership of the AGP, as of now, is solidly behind Mahanta.
(August 17 : 3 PM)


ULFA’s no to peace-negotiation

Imphal, August 17 : The banned organization, the United National Liberation Front of Asom said that the organization did not agree with the peace negotiation proposed by some of intellectual community. In the latest issue of fortnightly newsletter Freedom released yesterday, the editorial of the newsletter defined its stand. In the editorial entitled possible headway to peace the ULFA said that it probably better understands the quest for peace of the people in the war torn society of Assam rather anybody else should not be misunderstood by any corner of the society. It seems to be anonymous with their perception towards peace with some remarks directed to them by the spearheading intellectual community of Assam. The editorial also said that the ULFA would like to put forward their view to the most revered intellectual community that ‘please don’t try to cover up the real cause of the conflict in the name of its resolution otherwise the resolution will be only a word of ten alphabet rather than a permanent political implication’. ULFA can’t agree with those mentor’s suggestion of so-called peace-negotiation, said the editorial. The editorial believed that the intellectual community would be wise to dig up from top to the bottom of the somber cause of the conflict cutting across their all-existing personal affiliations that will only help to hammer out a peaceful solution but never by a loud call what ever genuine it may be.

In the news section, the newsletter reported that like in Assam, the IOF (Indian Occupation Force) has been going to introduce the same notorious chapter of fratricide in Tripura in the name of containing the ongoing freedom struggle by means of using the renegades. The ULFA also charged the poaches of killing wild elephants. The newsletter reported that poachers have killed nearly a hundred of wild elephants at Namery wild life sanctuary, a heaven of nearly 1200 Asiatic wild elephants since the last month using poisonous fodder. It seems totally impossible for any ordinary poacher to enter in the wild life sanctuaries because of the security cordon of IOF (Indian occupation forces) to keep free those sanctuaries from the ULFA and NDFB guerrillas. Hence it is widely believed that the occurrence of such a pathetic and brute incident is possible only with the help IOF, reports the newsletter.
(August 17 : 10 AM)





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