[Assam] Spell it out Tarun Gogoi, what is the TRUE amount in this ‘huge petroleum reserve’? Assam has THE right to know.
barttabistar at googlemail.com
Wed Jul 11 06:08:55 CDT 2007
Ram's safety top priority: Gogoi
>From Kalyan Barooah
NEW DELHI, July 10 – While asserting that top priority would be accorded to
ensure Dr PC Ram's safety, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said a policy decision
has to be taken by the State Government in consultation with the Central
Government on outlawed ULFA's demand for release of two of its cadres in
exchange for the FCI executive director's release. Talking to this newspaper
soon after meeting Ram's family here this morning, the Chief Minister washed
his hands off the controversy over identification of the body. "The onus was
on Ram's family to identify him. When his son came and identified him, we
had no option but to go along with the family, though initially we also had
our doubts," said Gogoi.
"We had never confirmed on our own that the body belonged to Ram, until his
family said yes," he asserted.
When Ram's family led by his wife Padmavati, son Pravin and others called on
Gogoi at his Teenmurty Marg House, the Chief Minister also enquired whether
they were certain that the caller was indeed Ram. The executive director,
meanwhile, again called his family on Sunday and reiterated ULFA's demand,
family sources said.
"While we will talk to the Central Government soon, our priority is to keep
Ram alive. We have to take a policy decision keeping all factors in mind,"
However, pressure on the State Government is likely to mount in the coming
days, as the family is busy mobilising support for safe release of Ram.
ULFA has demanded release of Mrinal Hazarika and Pallav Saikia, two of its
Gogoi, who got back home this morning at around 3.30 am, met Ram's family
before flying back to Guwahati. APCC president, Bhubaneswar Kalita was among
the first few callers to meet Gogoi and brief him about the developments in
The Chief Minister, meanwhile, gave Ram's family a patient hearing but
refrained from making any commitment. He said that he has to consult the
Centre before deciding on ULFA's ransom demand. The family understandably
was not all that pleased and later rushed to Union Agriculture Minister,
Sharad Pawar's house, only to be called tomorrow morning.
About the flare-up on Assam-Nagaland border, the Chief Minister said first
priority is to restore peace at the border and ease tension. "Once I get
back to the State I will discuss it and then will take a decision," he said.
One of the options before the State Government is to again move the Supreme
Court, where a case is pending on the inter-State boundary dispute. The
State Government may ask for a restraint order against Nagaland Government.
The Apex Court had appointed a committee to settle the inter-state boundary
The Nagaland Government is insisting that historically the disputed areas
belonged to Nagas, while Assam Government, rejecting the contention, is
claiming that area on the basis of the constitutional demarcation.
The Chief Minister said first priority is to restore normalcy and let
tempers cool before making any new move.
Meanwhile, Gogoi who held a couple of investors meeting in UK and US said
his tour was successful, as a number of investors have shown interest in
Assam. "We are focusing only on a few selected sectors," he said.
The foreign investors, Gogoi said, were mostly keen on investing in the
petroleum sector. "Since Assam has a huge petroleum reserve, they were keen
to invest in the sector," he said.
The other sectors are the State's waterways and tourism. "I have invited
them to Assam and see the opportunities available in the State," he said.
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