The Assam government will institute an award in the name of Kamala Saikia, a journalist who was killed by ULFA militants way back on August 9, 1991, chief minister Tarun Gogoi said here on Tuesday. Gogoi, while presenting his state budget for 2015-16 said the award would be given for excellence in the field of journalism.
Kamala Saikia, also a teacher and freedom fighter, was one of the first journalists to have been gunned down by the ULFA in Assam in 1991. Since then, more than 20 other journalists have been killed by militants and other criminals in the state since then. The ULFA, which had initially remained silent on Saikia’s killing, admitted to have murdered him only 15 years later.
Saikia’s family, whch has gone from pillar to post seeking justice by way of arrest of the culprits and award of punishment according to the law however is yet to get justice. The Journalist Kamala Saikia Memorial Trust however on Teusday welcomed the Assam government’s move to institute an award in his name.
Gogoi, in his budget speech also announced institution of two more awards, one of them being a literary award in the memory of noted Assamese litterateur Syed Abdul Malik. The other award will be instituted in the name of Baskandi Sheikh Ahmed Ali, a religious preacher, for promoting communal harmony, the chief minister said.