Guwahati, Monday, December 31, 2012
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Assam had its share of highs and lows in 2012
Sanjoy Ray
 GUWAHATI, Dec 30 – The year 2012, although eventful, had its share of highs and lows for Assam.

While the prolonged violence in the BTAD claiming over 100 lives would go down as one of the darkest chapters in Assam history, signing of the Memorandum of Settlement among the Centre, State and both factions of the DHD was one of the highlights from the State’s law and order point of view.

The boat mishap in Dhubri on April 30 in which several people were killed was one of the dark episodes in the year 2012. The dreadful killing of tea planter Mridul Kumar Bhattacharya and his wife inside their bungalow by irate tea labourers in the later part of this month in Tinsukia district drew flak from various quarters.

The havoc created by flood added to the misery of the people this year. Assam witnessed three waves of flood this year with the official figures keeping the death toll at over 150.

In the Health sector, Dengue occurrence and related death raised serious apprehensions on the health preparedness in the State. Recurring incidents of rhino poaching in the forests of Assam drew criticism from all fronts. Nearly 20 one-horned rhino were killed by poachers this year.

Laying down of arms by nine outfits of Assam in the beginning of the year where altogether 668 militants belonging to nine militant outfits of the State laid down arms before the then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was another positive development.

The militant outfits include Adivashi People’s Army (APA), All Adivashi National Liberation Army (AANLA), Santhal Tiger Force (STF), Birsa Commando Force, Adivashi Cobra Military of Assam (ACMA), Kuki Liberation Army (KLA), Hmar People’s Convention (D), United Kukigam Defence Army (UKDA) and the Kuki Revolutionary Army.

However, Assam hit the national and international headlines for all wrong reasons for the July 9 GS Road molestation incident, which brought the State national shame and disgrace.

In sports, the year 2012 gave another Olympian to Assam in the form of boxer Shiva Thapa after Dipankar Bhattacharjee and Jayanta Talukdar. However, both Shiva and Jayanta returned medal less from the London Olympics.

The clinching of 34th Sub Junior National Football championship March this year after a hiatus of 30 years by Assam was one of the highlights.

In the cultural arena, film critic Manoj Borpujari’s winning the National Award for the best film critic was a reason to cherish. Actor Adil Hussain’s rise as a seasoned actor in the Bollywood circuit, especially him winning the best actor award for Unni Vijayan's Lessons in Forgetting at a US festival kept Assam in the reckoning.

Adil was appreciated for his roles in Life of Pi and English Vinglish, which got released this year.

Assam girl directorial debut with Amir Khan starrer Talaash later this year was another development to cherish for the State.

Kinaram Nath Ojha’s selection for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the number of Assamese writers bagging the Sahitya Akademi awards was the top achievements for the State.

In State’s politics, re-election of two-time former Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta as the president of the Asom Gana Parishad in April this year and that too after floating a new party (AGP-P) created hype among the conscious political circuit.

Hosting of the ASEAN Car rally (last leg/flag down) at the end of the year was one of the positives for the State.

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