• Short Summary


    Pressure has been growing in India for the government to dissolve the recently-elected assembly in the state of Assam.

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    1. GV Elephants parading through crowd 0.03
    2. GV Rajiv Gandhi surrounded by crowds 0.10
    3. GV Crowd shouting Gandhi's name 0.14
    4. GV Rajiv Gandhi on rostrum 0.18
    5. GV PAN Crowd listening 0.26
    6. SEMI CU & PULL BACK Gandhi addressing rally 0.37
    7. GV AND GV PAN Rostrum; crowd listening (2 shots) 0.56
    8. GV & SV Students coming out of Rah Ghat (Gandhi memorial) (2 shots) 1.07
    9. GV & SV Students on way Assam shouting and singing (2 shots) 1.31
    10. GV INTERIOR OF Opposition meeting with people listening 1.36
    11. SEMI CU/GV & SV Former Foreign Minister Mr. Vajpayee speaking and crowd listening (3 shots) 2.14

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: NEW DELHI, INDIA

    Pressure has been growing in India for the government to dissolve the recently-elected assembly in the state of Assam. There were large-scale outbreaks of religious violence in the run-up to the state elections when the indigenous Assamese - in the majority - protested at the inclusion of Moslem Bengali immigrants on the electoral roll. Led by militant students, Assamese tribesmen attacked hundreds of villages, hacking and stabbing several thousand people to death and burning and razing scores of homes. Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless. The Assam state elections were a landslide for the ruling Congress (I) party, which took 65 of the 74 seats. Fewer than two per cent of the Assamese voted in the elections. In an effort to strengthen national unity, Rajiv Gandhi, eldest son of Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, addressed a rally in New Delhi on April 13. Many people had walked to the city from outlying districts, and estimates of the attendance ranged from twenty to fifty thousand. Mr. Gandhi, a general secretary of the Congress (I) party, said that it was a time for national unity, despite the strains in Assam. A group of 30 students left the city from the Gandhi Memorial on bicycle for the state capital of Gauhati to try and bring the country together. Opposition politicians, including the former Foreign Minister, Mr. Vajpayee, condemned the Assam elections and the mass violence which followed. They demanded the dissolution of what they called the illegal assembly and called for a solution to the problem of illegal immigrants from Bengal. The meeting was also addressed by Mr. Dinesh Goswami, a member of the Assam assembly. Bhrigu Kumar Phukan, secretary of the All-Assam Students Union, said there could be no peace as long as there was unrepresentative government.


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