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Home > News > Report

Assam orders CBI probe into FCI official's killing

July 16, 2007 16:51 IST

The Asom government on Monday ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation enquiry into the abduction and killing of Food Corporation of India executive director P C Ram in a crossfire between police and the kidnappers, ULFA, on July 11 last.

Ram's body was cremated in New Delhi on Monday as the family alleged that the incident was a "pre-planned" operation to eliminate him. The cremation took place at the Lodhi crematorium after a second autopsy of the body was conducted at LNJP hospital as the family "wanted to prove that Ram was deliberately killed" on July 11 at Borkapanitenga village in Assam.

The government stressed that it would never agree to exchange of jailed militants for the safe release of abducted persons, a condition set by the ULFA for Ram's release.

Announcing the probe at a press conference in Guwahati, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the government was willing to go for even a judicial enquiry if Ram's family demanded.

Reacting to media reports that Ram's son Pravin had alleged that his father was killed on the chief minister's instructions, Gogoi said, "The allegations are baseless and malicious. Mr Ram's death is a tragedy for all of us and we share the grief of the family." He said though the deceased's family had not sent any representation to the government, the CBI probe had been ordered to clarify the doubts.

''I have no objections to any enquiry and want the entire truth to come out,'' he added.

The FCI boss was killed in a gun-battle between the Asom Police and ULFA militants, who had held Ram captive in a house of a farmer in Changsari area near here on the night of July 11.

He was abducted on April 17 and his son and colleagues initially identified an exhumed decomposed body found in Baksa district on June 29 as Ram's.

Gogoi had criticised the Opposition leaders, including Asom Gana Parishad chief Brindabon Goswami and AGP-P chief and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, for trying to politicise the issue.

He also stressed that the government would strictly follow a policy of no compromise over releasing jailed militants to secure the safe release of abducted persons.

The ULFA had demanded the release of two of its leaders Mrinal Hazarika and Pallab Saikia in exchange of release of the FCI Northeast boss.

Gogoi said Pravin had urged him to release the militants, though he had pointed out to him earlier that it was a complex matter and he was not in favour of it.

Union Minister Sharad Pawar [Images] had also discussed the matter with Mr Gogoi and the latter had put across to Pawar the difficulties in meeting such a demand.

Gogoi pointed out that the AGP government, under Mahanta, had released ULFA leaders for securing release of an abducted oil official, but the present government would not bow down to such blackmailing tactics.

(With PTI Inputs)