NATIONAL

Assam Government to recommend CBI probe into death of FCI official

Irreparable loss: Wife of slain FCI official P.C. Ram being consoled by relatives as his body was taken for cremation from their home in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, on Monday.

Irreparable loss: Wife of slain FCI official P.C. Ram being consoled by relatives as his body was taken for cremation from their home in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, on Monday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: PTI

Special Correspondent

Government open to ordering a judicial probe too if family wants one: Gogoi

Guwahati: The Assam Government will recommend a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the death of Food Corporation of India executive director P.C. Ram in a recent exchange of fire between the police and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters here on Monday.

The decision was taken in the wake of allegations that Ram was killed by the police. Describing the charges by Ram’s son and Opposition parties as “baseless and malicious,” he said the Government would also order a judicial probe if Ram’s family wanted that.

Mr. Gogoi declared that he was against trading any arrested person for hostages taken by militants. The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Hiteswar Saikia-led Congress governments released ULFA militants in exchange for top public sector undertaking officials, he pointed out.

The Chief Minister said Ram’s son Praveen and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar requested him to release two ULFA men to secure the FCI official’s release but he told them that it was not easy.

Did the Government have information that Ram was with the ULFA men at the time of the trading of fire?

Mr. Gogoi said there was general information that the FCI official was in the area, but not a specific one that he was in the house where he was found dead.

Accusing AGP president Brindaban Goswami and AGP (Progressive) president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta of playing dirty politics, he dared them to seek a CBI probe into the killing of family members of ULFA men during the AGP regime.

ULFA’s claim

The ULFA, in the latest issue of the English version of its fortnightly journal “Freedom,” has claimed that the bullet marks on Rams’ body indicated that the “occupational forces,” aware of his presence in the house, killed him deliberately.

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