AGP distances from any responsibility for 'secret killings'
Guwahati, Nov 18 (UNI) The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), whose second term at Dispur witnessed 'secret killings', today distanced itself from any responsibility whatsoever for the events that had cost them the power seat and said any party worker found to be involved, will be held responsible only individually.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, AGP president Brindabon Goswami said,''If anyone is found guilty, he will be responsible individually. The party is not related to the secret killings in any manner.'' The Justice K N Saikia and Justice S N Sharma Commission reports in the killings of ULFA kin during 1998-2001, known as 'secret killings', allegedly by government-hired killers, were tabled in the state Assembly on November 15.
The Saikia Commission report had indicted the then Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who was also in-charge of the Home ministry, and police hierarchy for the killings.
Though Mr Mahanta had led an AGP government at that time, he was subsequently expelled from the party for anti-party activities and now heads a new party, AGP (Progressive).
Referring to Mr Mahanta's indictment, Mr Goswami said, ''He will have to defend himself, he is answerable to the people of Assam and cannot ignore it. He is no longer a member of our party and we don't have anything to say about him.'' The AGP chief also said exemplary action would be taken against any party member found guilty, including former minister Nurul Hussain, who has been named in the Saikia Commission report.
''We have convened a party senior leaders' meeting on November 21 and after consulting them and taking legal opinion, we will initiate action,'' he added.
On the 'collective responsibility' of the then-state government for the secret killings that the Saikia Commission report mentioned of, Mr Goswami said the party has asked for views of legal experts before making any statement.
He, however, stressed that the AGP would comment on the Saikia Commission report and its acceptability only after seeking thorough legal opinion.
He maintained that the killings were in gross violation of the Constitution granted Fundamentals Rights and human rights and said, ''In this regard, we are of one opinion with the Commission's observation that the killings did take place in utter violation of the very 'right to live' of a person.'' The AGP chief added that Mr Mahanta was warned by party members on various occasions to take concrete steps to stop the killings but he had failed to deliver.