Civil rights activist and editor of Asomiya Protidin Parag Das was assassinated on 17 May 1996 in Guwahati in broad daylight, while picking up his son from school. He played an active role in the formation of the Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti in 1991. At the time of his death he was General Secretary of the organization, committed to the cause of civil liberties and democratic rights in an atmosphere of violence and terror.
Close on the heels of the killing of Parag Das, Z.V.Yaopie, a 45-year-old civil rights lawyer was shot dead brutally in Dimapuron 23 May. He had been filing cases regularly over the last fourteen years, against violations of people's rights. He had just returned home from a meeting with state officials in which he had informed them of his intention to file a writ of habeas corpwsforNagas being kept detained illegally by the army.
Both Parag Das and Z.V.Yaopie, in an effortto reach outto the people of mainland India, recently provided support to a civil liberties team investigating army excesses in the Northeast