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Citizens’ meet on fate of Nagaon Paper Mill
 JAGIROAD, Sept 19 – The Jagiroad unit of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) on Sunday convened a citizens’ meet at the Community Hall here to discuss a number of important issues, including the fate of the Nagaon Paper Mill in the face of alleged rampant corruption at the mill and anti-social activities in and around the town and the alleged indifferent attitude of the police.

The meeting, chaired by the president of the AASU unit, Jitumani Pathak witnessed the participation of members of the local civil society, who criticised the authorities concerned for “turning a blind eye” to the rising crimes here.

Recently, bulk SMS messages with obscene images were received by many citizens here. The meeting, while coming down heavily on the police for their failure to nab the businessman who had been accused of being at the root of all this, resolved to move the highest police authorities to voice the public grievances in this regard.

Another issue, which got the utmost importance in the meeting, was the present grave financial situation afflicting the Nagaon Paper Mill, a unit of the Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC) Limited, situated here. The meeting, after a thorough discussion, unanimously agreed that the financial crisis is basically the result of the rampant corruption prevalent in various departments of the mill. The meeting also voiced its concern that the employees, along with thousands of other people of the locality who are directly or indirectly dependent on the activities of the industry, will undergo immense sufferings in the event of any further decline in the position of the mill.

In view of such a situation, the meeting resolved that the AASU unit would send a memorandum to the Prime Minister, who is also a Rajya Sabha member from the State, to draw his attention towards the alleged corruption in the mill and to seek a CBI probe into the matter.

With regard to other issues, which figured in the meeting, a number of citizens also expressed their ire over the failure of the HPC mill to shoulder its corporate social responsibility well. They pointed out its irregular funding of the Kendriya Vidyalaya for payment of salaries to its staff in spite of an MoU with the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan in this respect.

The meeting also resolved to fight for a definite solution to ensure the permanent existence of the school with the support of the AASU and other prominent public bodies.

The meeting was addressed by Atanu Sarma, secretary, Asom Unnati Sabha, Ghanendra Nath, president, Morigaon district AASU unit, Abanti Borah, executive member, AASU, and Basanta Bora, former assistant secretary, Morigaon district AASU unit.

Earlier, the AASU unit also reiterated its demand for shifting of the headquarters of the HPC Limited from Kolkata to Assam without any delay. In this regard, to a specific question asked by this correspondent, the secretary of the unit said: “The HPC as a corporation comprises two wholly-owned units that are situated in Assam. The rest of its projects are only subsidiary units. So, our demand for shifting of the headquarters from a different State is highly justified.”

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