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ULFA's ultimatum to private TV channel
K Anurag in Guwahati |
January 30, 2007 22:18 IST
"Establish it within a month or go off the air in Assam; otherwise be prepared to face dire consequences" -- is what has been told to North East Television, the largest private TV channel in the Northeast India, by the proscribed United Liberation Front of Assam.
The ULFA threat comes following a story telecast by the channel that alleged that the militant group was willing to call off the boycott of the forthcoming National Games in Guwahati in lieu of money from Assam government.
In a statement issued to the media through the Internet, ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Barua on Tuesday asked the North East Television, to present convincing proof to establish the news-item that it had beamed on January 27.
The ULFA said that it had had taken strong exception to the news-item and warned if the TV channel failed to establish what it had telecast in the news-item in question then it would have to shut down or face serious consequences.
Reacting to the ULFA threat, a channel spokesman said: "It was an unfortunate attack on the media by the ULFA. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had earlier reacted in the same way to the news-item as ULFA commander-in-chief did on Tuesday. It has only established that there is a direct link between the ruling Congress in Assam and the banned ULFA"
The spokesman further informed that the basic content of the news bulletin was: 'There have been mysterious reports about ULFA willing to call off boycott of the 33rd National Games. It is doing rounds in Dispur (the state's capital) that the state government is trying to persuade ULFA to withdraw the boycott call through a business house.'
Earlier, Gogoi, while addressing media persons in New Delhi on January 29, had threatened to sue the channel over the same news-item, which he termed as false and malicious.
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