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Monkey business in corridors of power

Dogs hounding legislators and monkeys trying to grab cell phones of political leaders are a common sight at the Assam Assembly, reports Rahul Karmakar.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2007 01:57 IST
Rahul Karmakar

Dogs hounding legislators and monkeys trying to grab cell phones of political leaders are a common sight at the Assam Assembly.

Legislators cutting across party lines have sought respite from stray dogs in the high-security Assembly and the adjoining MLAs’ residential complex.

Several MLAs recount tales of packs of 80 or 90 stray dogs chasing them during their morning walks in the VIP complex. Speaker Tanka Bahadur Rai says he has to put up with dogs following him around in the corridors of the Assembly.

“Dogs littering the Assembly verandah is disgusting,” Rai said. Veterinary Minister Khorsing Engti has assured him of action.

Guneshwar Das, an Asom United Democratic Front legislator, pointed out how monkeys have been assaulting people in Raha, the constituency in Nagaon district he represents.

Binanda Saikia, Congress legislator, said, “Monkeys in Mangaldoi also seem to fancy mobile phones, snatching handsets from passersby.”

Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, too, complained of monkey menace in his Jalukbari constituency.

Forest minister Rockybul Hussain said, “We have constituted a committee to look into the problem with senior forest officer RP Agarwala heading the panel.

“Monkeys are a major worry in this city too,” said Assam State Zoo DFO, Narayan Mahanta, a member of the ‘anti-monkey’ committee. The zoo, incidentally, is quite close to the Assembly and people in the neighbouring residential areas have been complaining of diseases transmitted from primates, he said.