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“Secret Killings of Assam”, A Human Rights Document

In the late 1990s, after an attempt at a peace process with the banned ULFA had fallen through, a series of ‘secret’ killings had taken place in Assam, the targets being relatives of ULFA leaders and cadre. The allegation was that a band of ‘secret killers’ backed by the state government was targeting these innocent people, their only crime being relatives of insurgents, to put pressure of ULFA to come forward for negotiations. The Justice K N Saikia Commission, set up by the government to probe into the killings after two other similar commissions fell through, gave a voluminous report on the series of killings after a long inquiry. Like the reports of many such other inquiry commissions across the country, this report too has not been acted upon. This book is a compilation of the most famous and the most horrific cases of secret killings, sieved from the witness accounts contained in the Saikia Commission report. The effort by three journalists from Assam – Mrinal Talukdar (UNI-Guwahati), Utpal Borpujari (Deccan Herald-New Delhi) and Kaushik Deka (India Today-New Delhi) – is to bring, in a comprehensive manner, the nature of the incidents to the outside world which more or less remains oblivious to this sordid series of political killings, victims of which were innocent citizens.