Opp walkout over NC Hills violence

GUWAHATI, Jul 1 : The Budget Session of the Assam Legislative Assembly today started on a stormy note with the members of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF) staging a walk out in protest against the refusal of the Speaker to admit an adjournment motion of the-law-and order situation in North Cachar Hills. Immediately after the Question Hour, the members of AGP, BJP and AUDF wanted to move an adjournment motion on the situation in NC Hills, but the Speaker Tanka Bahadur Rai said that as the State’s Budget for the current financial year would be presented today, he would allow the movers of the motion to speak on its admissibility on July 1. Leader of the Opposition Chandra Mohan Patowary said that no rule disallows moving of an adjournment motion on the day of presentation of the Budget.

The members of AGP, BJP and AUDF then rushed to the well of the House to protest the Speaker’s decision and later they staged a walk-out.

Meanwhile, in a written reply to a question by Girindra Kumar Baruah (AGP), the Forest Minister, Rockybul Hussain, who was replying on behalf of the Chief Minister, said that altogether 206 persons including 159 civilians and 47 security personnel were killed by the militants in NC Hills during the period from January, 1995 to May 30 this year. During the same period, 43 militants were killed and 376 were arrested, while, three militants managed to escape from jail. He said that 215 houses were burnt down during that time.

Hussain informed the House that at present, militants belonging to the DHD(J) and NSCN are active in the hill district. On the steps taken by the Government to bring the situation in NC Hills under control, he said that 22 companies of Army and 59 companies of Assam police battalion and paramilitary force personnel have been deployed in the district, while, the IGP in charge of the Special Task Force is camping in the district. The Government has initiated steps for upgrading four police outposts to police stations and to create eight new police outposts, while, the forces in the district have launched operations under the Unified Command structure. Senior officers of the State Government and Assam Police are frequently visiting the hill district to take stock of the situation, while, officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs also paid several visits to the area.