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Friday, 30 December 2011

Government does a complete U-turn on talks with anti-dam protestersin Assam

UPDATE - ASSAM ANTI DAM PROTEST-29TH DEC 2011

A large public meeting held at Guwahati, Assam today expressed their support to the ongoing anti-dam movement in Assam. This meeting was attended by various opposition parties, human rights organisations, women bodies, civil society, student organisation, bank unions, trade unions. The meeting condemded Assam government's actions on the peaceful demonstrations. The speakers had asked the Assam CM, Shri Tarun Gogoi and the Indian government to realise the peoples' protest against the mega dams in Arunacha

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Akhil Gogoi <secretarykmss@gmail.com>
Date: 29 December 2011 03:06
Subject: Government does a complete U-turn on talks with anti-dam protesters in Assam
To: napmconveners@googlegroups.com, Roma <romasnb@gmail.com>


For your update from todays newspaper. Also attached photographs
 
Government does a complete U-turn on talks with anti-dam protesters
 
The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) is being helped by Maoists and the entire anti-dam movement is being orchestrated by the ULFA and the Maoists – Tarun Gogoi
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Dec 28: Only recently, the Group of Ministers (GoM) had announced after its first meeting that it was willing to hold talks with anti-dam protesters and break the impasse. But on Wednesday, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi did a volte face of sorts by stating that the anti-dam protesters had to make the first move of coming forward for talks.
Talking to mediapersons after the meeting held on Wednesday at Rajiv Bhavan in Guwahati on the occasion of the establishment day of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), Chief Minister Gogoi, when asked for his reaction on the situation in the North Bank, said: "The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) is being helped by Maoists and the entire anti-dam movement is being orchestrated by the ULFA and the Maoists."
The Chief Minister further said, "The government is not opposed to any democratic movement by any organization. But if under the garb of a movement, law is violated, the government will not remain a silent spectator."
On talks with the anti-dam protesters, he said, "It is the anti-dam protesters who will have to first come forward for talks. It is evident that these protesters do not want Assam's development. The people of Assam are definitely with us. The anti-dam protesters claim that they have the people's support. If that is the case then why did they lose in the last Assembly polls? The Panchayat polls will be held soon. We will see who has the support of the people of Assam – the government or the anti-dam protesters."
The Chief Minister's comments have only made it evident that the government will adopt a sterner approach while dealing with the situation in the North Bank. The possibility of the confrontation between the government and the anti-dam protesters turning uglier also cannot be ruled out.
North Bank has been tense since last Sunday night when police personnel forcefully evacuated anti-dam protesters from their makeshift camps in Lakhimpur district. People in Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts have since been protesting against police operations against anti-dam activists.

 
Maoists, ULFA involved in anti-dam stir: CM

 GUWAHATI, Dec 28 – Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today claimed that Maoists and anti-talk faction of ULFA were involved in the agitation against the construction of a hydro-electric project in Lakhimpur district, reports PTI
"Maoists, anti-talk faction of ULFA and other extremist groups are involved in theprotest. Maoists are helping the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), which is spearheading the stir," Gogoi told reporters here.
"Paresh Baruah (anti-talk ULFA leader) does not want progress of Assam. Agitators do not want development of the state...They want prices of essentials to rise and scarcity of food items," he said.
"But action has to be taken when there is a breakdown of law and order," Gogoi said referring to police action on the agitators during the last two days.
To a query, Gogoi said, "we can hold discussions with the protestors any time...Even tomorrow...If they come forward for parleys. What the experts on dams say has to be accepted by them."
Reacting to the Chief Minister's statement, KMSS General Secretary Akhil Gogoi said, "Tarun Gogoi's claim will only help Maoists and ULFA to establish themselves in Assam".
"People are being regularly attacked when they raise fear that the mega dams will bring more misery to their lives as they are dependent on rivers. Tarun Gogoi is not prepared to listen to the apprehensions of the people," he told reporters at Chauldhowa in Lakhimpur district.



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