GUWAHATI, Feb 24 � The horrific sight of Pranab Boro resorting to self-immolation in front of the State Secretariat here in support of the demand for land settlement rights, rattled the people of the State today. The incident occurred at a time when the Chief Minister was about to initiate the process of granting land settlement rights to those landless people who have been occupying Government land in the city for over 10 years.
Editor of Assamese daily Ami Asamor Janagan Sanjib Goswami has lodged an FIR with the Dispur Police Station calling for legal measures against Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) president Akhil Gogoi under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for abetting suicide. Goswami alleged that the KMSS president incited Boro to commit suicide by setting himself ablaze.
Freelance journalist Pranabjit Doloi has also lodged an FIR against Akhil Gogoi, alleging that for the past three days he had been inciting the common people and that resulted in the tragic death of Pranab Boro today. Doloi also pleaded for action against Akhil Gogoi under Section 306 of the IPC.
Professor Archana Sarma of the Gauhati University Economics Department described the incident as extremely unfortunate. The administration should have been prepared to preempt the situation. Both the Government and the leaders of the movement have equally failed in this case. This is a sheer instance of capitalising on the people�s woes by both the parties, she said.
Noted environmental scientist Prof Dulal Goswami has called upon the leaders spearheading the people�s movements to take utmost care so that the agitations led by them do not cause loss of life and property. The Government should also have the capacity to preempt the emerging situations in a manner that befits the democratic system, observed Prof Goswami.
The issue of safeguarding the ecological integrity of the hills surrounding the premier city has been mixed up in this case with the genuine right of a citizen to have a shelter. This is because of the failure of the leaders concerned to formulate a holistic policy to strike the right balance between safeguarding ecology and meeting the need of shelter of the citizens, regretted Prof Goswami.
However, All Assam Tai Ahom Students' Union (AATASU) president Pranjal Rajkonwar has condemned the State Government, holding it responsible for the incident and demanded resignation of the Revenue Minister. The Revenue Minister should assume responsibility for this sad incident and step down, he said.