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Citizens demand round-table meet

A citizens' meet organised by the Journalists' Forum, Assam (JFA) on Thursday demanded a round-table conference among various ethnic groups in Assam to discuss their demands, which, in some cases, appear to be conflicting.
The meeting held at the Guwahati Press Club, was organised in connection with the unfortunate incident of November 24 in the Beltola-Dispur area of the city and its aftermath.

The citizens, who included noted litterateur Nirupama Borgohain and veteran journalist Dhirendra Nath Chakravarty, said in a resolution that the demands, if considered separately, might lead to further misunderstanding in an already polarised society. Hence, the plea for a round-table conference.

In another resolution, the meeting, with JFA president Rupam Baruah in chair, called upon the people in general and the media in particular to remain vigilant against the divisive forces who are working overtime to drive a wedge between various sections of the people. It also urged the media to exercise extreme restraint while covering the incident and its aftermath.

The citizens demanded of the Government to fix responsibility for the collapse of the administration on that day and mete out exemplary punishment to those found guilty. They also urged the authorities to punish those who instigated and indulged in vandalism and murderous assaults against innocents, and pay adequate compensation to the victims.

Earlier, Pradip Thakuria and Arupjyoti Das, eye witnesses of the incident, related their first-hand account of the day. Those who spoke at the meeting included former M.L.A. Ajoy Dutta, senior journalists Hiten Mahanta, Dileep Chandan, Nava Thakuria, Biman Hazarika, Divas Phukan and Greater Guwahati Cable Operators" Association president Rajesh Sarma.

Sent by Ranen Kumar Goswami on behalf of Journalists' Forum, Assam

Photo: Senior Journalist, Dhirendra Nath Chakraborty, addressing a Citizen’s Meet organized by Journalist Forum, Asom at Guwahati Press Club, on Thursday, regarding the last Saturday’s Beltola tragedy where hundreds of Adivasi activists were injured. PIX BY LAL SINGH

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