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Peace round the corner: Patnaik

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, Feb 1 � The final session of the 12th Assam Legislative Assembly started on a stormy note today with the Opposition members disrupting the speech of Governor, JB Patnaik. Amidst noisy protests from the Opposition members, the Governor only read out the first two paragraphs and the last paragraph of his 49-page speech and the speech was accepted as read.

As soon as the Governor said that Assam witnessed a transformation in all spheres of life since 2001, the Opposition members jumped to their feet protesting the statement and alleged that �Assam only witnessed transformation of corruption� during the tenure of the present Government.

Leader of the Opposition Prafulla Kumar Mahanta pointed out that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) revealed large-scale irregularities and alleged that despite repeated assurances, the Government is yet to entrust the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with the responsibility of probing all the irregularities in North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council.

Other Opposition members also started shouting slogans against the Government and a few members also rushed to the well of the House displaying placards against the Government. Amidst the din, the Governor read out the last paragraph of the speech to complete the formalities.

Meanwhile, in his speech, the Governor said that permanent peace in Assam is round the corner. The perception of the state has changed and Assam has become not only a destination for leisure but also for investment. The State has received investment proposals worth Rs 34,000 crore in the industries sector since 2001 as against only Rs 2,000 crore received during the period from 1996 to 2001, he added.

Patnaik said that the multi-pronged strategy adopted by the Government to deal with militancy paid rich dividends and a number of militant groups have already come forward to solve their problems through talks. He hoped that the ULFA and the anti-talk faction of the NDFB would also come forward for talks by shunning the path of violence. To create a congenial atmosphere for talks with the ULFA, necessary measures were taken to facilitate release of the leaders of the outfit from jail and they have already been released on bail. During the year 2010, the security forces apprehended 980 militants including several top ranking ULFA militants and the president and the deputy commander in chief of the anti-talk faction of the NDFB. The forces also recovered 442 weapons, he said. He also pointed out that the level of violence in Assam came down and last year only 56 civilians were killed by militants, which is the lowest in the past 15 years.

The Governor attributed the success of the operations against militants to the serious and continuous attention paid by the Government to modernise the police force and the force is now equipped with sophisticated weapons, modern communication facilities etc.

On the implementation of the Assam Accord, the Governor said that the State PWD has completed the work assigned to it relating to construction of roads and fencing along the Indo-Bangla border except for 0.175 kilometre of roads and 0.893 kilometre of fencing relating to approaches to five bridges, which is targeted to be completed by March this year. He said that a Cabinet sub-committee has been set up to make recommendations for removing the difficulties and to simplify the process of updating the National Register of Citizens of 1951 so that no genuine Indian citizen is harassed and no foreigner is allowed to stay in Assam illegally. He said that for detection of foreigners, the number of Foreigners� Tribunals has been increased from 11 in 2006 to 36. The revival of the Ashok Paper Mill is proposed through the establishment of a Greenfield paper project, he added.

In his speech, the Governor also gave a detailed account of the schemes and achievements of different departments of the Government and said that during the current year as many as 87 new schemes, projects and programmes have been taken up under the Chief Minister�s special package.

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Peace round the corner: Patnaik

GUWAHATI, Feb 1 � The final session of the 12th Assam Legislative Assembly started on a stormy note today with the Opposition members disrupting the speech of Governor, JB Patnaik. Amidst noisy protests from the Opposition members, the Governor only read out the first two paragraphs and the last paragraph of his 49-page speech and the speech was accepted as read.

As soon as the Governor said that Assam witnessed a transformation in all spheres of life since 2001, the Opposition members jumped to their feet protesting the statement and alleged that �Assam only witnessed transformation of corruption� during the tenure of the present Government.

Leader of the Opposition Prafulla Kumar Mahanta pointed out that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) revealed large-scale irregularities and alleged that despite repeated assurances, the Government is yet to entrust the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with the responsibility of probing all the irregularities in North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council.

Other Opposition members also started shouting slogans against the Government and a few members also rushed to the well of the House displaying placards against the Government. Amidst the din, the Governor read out the last paragraph of the speech to complete the formalities.

Meanwhile, in his speech, the Governor said that permanent peace in Assam is round the corner. The perception of the state has changed and Assam has become not only a destination for leisure but also for investment. The State has received investment proposals worth Rs 34,000 crore in the industries sector since 2001 as against only Rs 2,000 crore received during the period from 1996 to 2001, he added.

Patnaik said that the multi-pronged strategy adopted by the Government to deal with militancy paid rich dividends and a number of militant groups have already come forward to solve their problems through talks. He hoped that the ULFA and the anti-talk faction of the NDFB would also come forward for talks by shunning the path of violence. To create a congenial atmosphere for talks with the ULFA, necessary measures were taken to facilitate release of the leaders of the outfit from jail and they have already been released on bail. During the year 2010, the security forces apprehended 980 militants including several top ranking ULFA militants and the president and the deputy commander in chief of the anti-talk faction of the NDFB. The forces also recovered 442 weapons, he said. He also pointed out that the level of violence in Assam came down and last year only 56 civilians were killed by militants, which is the lowest in the past 15 years.

The Governor attributed the success of the operations against militants to the serious and continuous attention paid by the Government to modernise the police force and the force is now equipped with sophisticated weapons, modern communication facilities etc.

On the implementation of the Assam Accord, the Governor said that the State PWD has completed the work assigned to it relating to construction of roads and fencing along the Indo-Bangla border except for 0.175 kilometre of roads and 0.893 kilometre of fencing relating to approaches to five bridges, which is targeted to be completed by March this year. He said that a Cabinet sub-committee has been set up to make recommendations for removing the difficulties and to simplify the process of updating the National Register of Citizens of 1951 so that no genuine Indian citizen is harassed and no foreigner is allowed to stay in Assam illegally. He said that for detection of foreigners, the number of Foreigners� Tribunals has been increased from 11 in 2006 to 36. The revival of the Ashok Paper Mill is proposed through the establishment of a Greenfield paper project, he added.

In his speech, the Governor also gave a detailed account of the schemes and achievements of different departments of the Government and said that during the current year as many as 87 new schemes, projects and programmes have been taken up under the Chief Minister�s special package.

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