Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Press Release





We condemn in the strongest words the arrest of Lachit Bordoloi a journalist and civil rights activist from Assam. He was arrested by the Assam police. He is the advisor of the Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (MASS), the convenor of the Peoples Committee for Peace Initiatives in Assam (PCPIA) and the People's Consultative Group that was set up in 2005 to initiate discussions between the Government of India and the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).

The circumstances leading to the arrest followed by the planted stories in the media all point to a larger design of conspiracy on the side of the Indian State to subvert the present initiatives that are developing in Assam as well as among the various communities in the North East.

The media has flashed the story of Lachit being arrested and charged by the police of conspiring to hijack a plane. On the midnight of February 9, 2008, Guwahati police personnel had raided Bordoloi's rented flat in Guwahati, where his wife and daughter were staying alone. He had left earlier that day for a meeting at Tinsukia district in upper Assam. The police personnel seized his laptop and other material and did not offer a seizure form to his spouse.

The media also reported that the Guwahati police had arrested two supposed ULFA activists from the city on February 8-9, 2008. At a press statement, police spokespersons said that the arrested activists were in the city to try and hijack planes and that there were several prominent persons in the city who were helping them out.

What all this indicate is very clear: that the Indian State does not respect the possibility of a dignified resolution of the aspirations of the people of Assam or for that any other community be it the Kashmiris or the Nagas. This is evident from the observation of Lt Gen B S Jaswal, GoC 4 Corps: ''They must come to designated camps, deposit weapons and talk. In 2006 when we had unconditional ceasefire, they took advantage and consolidated and as a result there was mayhem.''

The arrest and then the framing up of someone like Lachit Bordoloi who is a known civil rights activist and journalist and who has been championing the cause of the Assamese people is a clear indicator from the side of the Indian State that they are ready to violate the confidence building that was done as part of the peace initiative process.

This is not something new for the Indian state and its comprador rulers. They have done the same with the Maoists in Andhra Pradesh when they had initiated the dialogue with the state government there in 2002. What came out of the talks was a series of planned murders of the leadership of the Maoist party. The Nagas are still continuing with the dialogue hoping that the Indian State would honour the commitments made at various junctures. The arrest of Lachit Bordoloi should be seen in this context as he had emerged as a mediator between the Assamese people and the Nagas thus becoming a thorn in the divisive strategies employed by the treacherous Indian state.

We once again condemn this arrest as it is breach of the trust that the Assamese people have conferred on the Indian government. It is a design to breach the trust forged between the Assamese and the Nagas in solving their problems among themselves and thus delimiting the role of the divide and rule tactics of the Indian state.

Such people who work for the betterment of their people as well as the common good of the peoples of the North East should not be arrested and kept behind bars as part of the devious designs of the Indian state. He should be unconditionally released.

Raj Kishore
Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)

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