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2011: A peaceful but mournful year for Assam

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Sun, Dec 18, 2011 04:42 hrs

Guwahati: Insurgency took a backseat as Assam witnessed a peaceful year during which the Tarun Gogoi- led government was re-elected for its third consecutive term and talks process with the ULFA gathered momentum but the state lost two of its doyens -- singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika and writer Indira Goswami.

Agitation against mega dams spearheaded by Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and the All Assam Students Union (AASU) besides border issues with Nagaland and Meghalaya and also handing of adversely possessed areas along the international boundary with Bangladesh kept the state in headlines.

The state went into mourning in November when Hazarika and Goswami passed away within a span of 25 days following prolonged illness. Hazarika's immense popularity was evident as life came to a standstill with mourners filing past the maestro's body for three days which compelled the state government to postpone the cremation.

Goswami, whose writings were poignant portrayal of constant struggle to overcome pain and suffering of both self and others, took the initiative of persuading the banned ULFA to come forward for dialogue. Her efforts may not have yielded immediate results but they definitely paved the way for the ongoing talks process.

The Congress returned to power after a relatively violence-free election in the state, the first time in decades. The party's twin planks of peace and development paid off as it won 76 of the 126 assembly seats (up from 53 in the outgoing assembly) while its ally BPF won 14 seats.

AGP managed to win just 10 seats and the minority- dominated AIUDF unseated it as the main Opposition party winning 18 seats.



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