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Remembering Parag Kumar Das

Parag Kumar Das was the person who paved a new way for journalism in Assam. He was the one who transformed journalism into activism. The firebrand journalist cum activist exposed the corruption of the government and gross human rights violations in the name of anti-insurgency operations. Therefore, there were many heinous efforts to silence this courageous voice. On May 17, 1996, Parag Das, then Executive Editor of the assamese daily Asomiya Pratidin’ was killed in broad daylight in Guwahati while he was heading towards his residence with his his son. Unfortunately, after more than two decades of his murder, the family of Das is yet to get justice.

He lived only for 35 years, but within such a short span of life he became a genuine voice of the people. He had ordinary life style, but his journey was truly extraordinary. Being a brilliant student throughout his academic career, Parag Das could have lived a lavish life doing some white collar jobs. But such a flamboyant life never attracted him.  He ranked 4th position both in Matriculation  and Pre-University (science) exams. Das did his graduation from ST. Stephen’s College and Post-graduate from Delhi School of Economics. He left the job of General Manager at Guwahati Stock Exchange to become the Executive Editor of ‘Asomiya Pratidin’.  

Parag Kumar Das was a regular columnist for The Sentinel, an English daily. He was the Editor of ‘Budhbar’, a weekly which began its publication in March, 1989. After the closure of Budhbar, he brought out another magazine named ‘Aagan’ in 1994.  Both in  Budhbar and Aagan he highlighted the cases of human rights violation by the security forces. He exposed the nexus between the government and surrendered militants in carrying out these sinister activities. Journalist Das reported extensively on the incidents of rape by the Indian Army. Das criticised the Indian state’s claim over the resources of Assam.  On the other hand, he was critical of the ULFA too. Journalist Das vehemently criticised the misdeeds of the outfit and the aberration of their struggle.

Because of his strong criticism of the Indian state and uncompromising attitude, Parag Das had to encounter different kinds of harassment.  He was arrested under National Security Act and TADA Act in 1992 and 1993 respectively. On the other hand, his book titled ‘Swadhinotar Prastab’ was banned by the government.  But such supressive measures couldn’t stop his pen. Consequently, journalist Das had to sacrifice his own life. He was brutally killed in the heart of the city for his honesty and integrity. But Parag Kumar Das will  always be remembered for his journalism of courage and sacrifices he made for it.

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Rinkumani Pathak's picture


bikash bora's picture

Where can I get the following books by paragda? 1.swadhinatar posts 2.rastradrohir dinlipi 3.mok swadhinata lage 4.swadhin oxomor arthaniti 5.ami hi months noisily 6.nisiddha Kalam aru anyanya

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Assam bleeds before Assembly polls; 8 BSF jawans killed, 5 Congress men injured

15 Mar 2011 - 8:17pm | AT News

Assam bleeds again. Bombs and bullets threatens to bury the hope of peace in the poll bound state. After a brief silence, the anti-talk faction of NDFB and ULFA roared again. Eight BSF personnel were killed and 5 Congress men have been injured in two seperate strike by the banned insurgent outfit on Monday.

At least eight BSF personnel were killed and the same number injured on Monday in an ambush by the anti-talk faction of National Democratic Front of Bodoland in Kokrajhar district. Th e Bodo outfit used automatic weapons to ambush the convoy of the BSF in remote Ultapani forest area near the Indo-Bhutan border.

The BSF jawans were killed on the spot, five others succumbed to their injuries on way to hospital. Some of the eight injured jawans were rushed to the Hospital at Bongaigaon, while others were taken to Kokrajhar civil hospital for treatment. The deceased have been identified as Bijoy Kumar, S K Sharma, Arabinda Dere, Bolaram Lamba, Santa Ramthree, Naresh Kumar, Kuber Bora and Hira Singh.

A combing operation have been launched by the security forces, including the Army along the Indo-Bhutan border, to nab the culprits. The patrol was on way from Bangladoba in Chirang district of Assam to Ultapani in Kokrajhar when it was ambushed.

Hours after this attack, ULFA lobbed a powerful EID at the Rajiv Bhawan in Guwahati leaving 5 perosns injured. The incident took place at around 6-55 in the evening with a huge sound when party spokesman Mehdi Alom Bora was sitting at his chamber. Kalyan Gogoi, Akhsyay Rajkhowa and Ranjan Bora were also left injured in the blast. Mehdi Alom Bora’s condition is critical who is undergoing treatment at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who arrived in Guwahati from Delhi rushed to the GMCH immediately after the incident and visited the injured persons. Gogoi also visited the incident spot and instructed the district administration to firmly deal with the situation. Several other political parties also have criticized the banned insurgent outfit for the blast.

Meanwhile, ULFA has claimed the responsibilities of the blast and threatened to continue these attack. In an e-mail statement sent to media, Commander in Chief Paresh Baruah said that this attach is simply a message to Congress. The blast took place a day after the ruling party announced the names of 118 candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls.

It may be noted that ULFA threatened to target the Congress parties in rank and file for splitting the outfit. But the government downplayed the threat.

Woman attacked with blade

14 Jun 2017 - 8:38pm | Robertson Tanti

A woman was attacked by sharp blade by a group of unidentified miscreants at midnight of 13 June, the woman has been identified as Rashmita Tanti (50) wife of Kandhara Tanti an inhabitant of Budlapara Chowk under Dimakuchi PS of Udalguri district. It is informed that a group of men came in and attacked while she was asleep. The victim has been severely injured and has been rushed to Tangla PHC for treatment by local people and police. The attacked is still a mystery for the police and local villagers.

Truck driver killed in militant firing

13 Aug 2011 - 8:08pm | editor

A truck driver was killed and four others have been injured when suspected Karbi Peoples Liberation Tigers rebels opened fire on the borders of Karbi Anglong and Golaghat district on Saturday. The incident took place at around 5-30 in the morning on the National Highway No 37 in Bokakhat. The militants were firing from the Karbi Anglong side on a truck and another vehicle. The truck driver died on the spot, while the four passengers of the other vehicle were injured, two of them seriously.

Eleven other people who were coming from Sivasagar on a Bolero were injured as they tried to flee the firing site in panic. The two seriously injured are senior leaders of Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad. The incident took place when normal life was hit in Karbi Anglong by a 60-hour bandh called by the KPLT.