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Manipur blockade: Army Chief Dalbir Singh reviews security situation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh arrived in Manipur capital, Imphal on Saturday to review the security situation in the wake of a blockade imposed by the United Naga Council (UNC).General Singh will also visit Assam to review the security situation there. Meanwhile, a curfew from Lamlong Bridge to Pangei area has been relaxed from 6 am to 5 pm. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju had on Friday visited Manipur to take stock of the situation and asked the state government to step up its efforts in restoring normalcy.Earlier, expressing concern over the long blockade of a highway connecting Manipur, the Home Ministry on Thursday rapped the state government for “failing” to discharge its “constitutional” duties in ensuring smooth flow of traffic on roads despite repeated requests.
ALSO READ AAP, Cong should not do politics on Najeeb Jung’s resignation: Kiren RijijuHome Minister, Rajnath Singh also asked Nagaland Chief Minister, T R Zeliang to ensure there is no disturbance in the movement of vehicles passing through his state, as there have been reports of the Naga Students Federation (NSF) calling for a blockade of vehicles in Nagaland.In a stern message to Manipur Chief Minister, O Ibobi Singh, Rajnath said the state is facing an extremely distressing economic situation because of the continuous blockade of National Highway 2.
ALSO READ Centre slams Manipur Govt over economic blockade The blockade in the state was announced by the UNC after the Manipur Government decided to upgrade the Sadar Hills and Jiribam areas to full-fledged districts. Following the state government’s decision on November 1, UNC militants blocked the Imphal-Dimapur and the Imphal-Jiribam highways indefinitely.

Manipur: Christmas to remain sombre as economic blockade enters 53rd day

Caught between an economic blockade, protests and violence that entered 53rd day on Friday and a cash crunch caused by demonetisation, normal life remains paralysed in Manipur as the state faces shortages and escalating costs of essential supplies such as food and fuel. However, with Christmas just around the corner and Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Ministry of State (Home), Kiren Rijiju arriving in Manipur on Friday to analyse the situation, a temporary solution may be in the offer.

Rijiju had a meeting with Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, and it’s expected that the central government may reach out to Naga groups to end the blockade.

A four-day economic blockade was called on 1 November by the United Naga Council as a mark of protest against the state government’s decision to form seven new districts in Manipur. However, it has emerged into an indefinite strike as naga groups continue to oppose the move.

Angry Manipuris in Imphal East district set vehicles on fire in protest against the United Naga Council (UNC)’s indefinite economic blockade on 18 December. PTI

All vehicular movements have stopped on the National Highway-2 since then with the state facing shortages and escalating costs of essential supplies such as fuel and food. There have also been reports of violence.

But following the blockade, as Firstpost reported on 18 December , at least 22 cars, buses and other vehicles were torched in some places in Manipur’s Imphal East district on Sunday by angry residents protesting against the Naga economic blockade and several incidents of militancy targeting security forces.

The state has a history of ethnic tension between the Meitei Hindus (in the valley) and Naga tribes (living in the hills) mostly Christians with the latter calling for the formation of a greater Nagaland. The state government’s decision to form the seven new districts is being seen as a threat to the idea of Nagalim.

On Thursday, Union minister Rajnath Singh rapped the Okram Ibobi Singh-led Congress government and for failing to maintain law and order in the state. According to The Hindu, Singh sent a letter to Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and asked him to “discharge the constitutional obligations with utmost promptness” as “maintaining law and order and essential supplies is the State’s responsibility”.

Earlier, boxing champion Mary Kom had written to the central government urging it to intervene and find a way to end the blockade.

However, Singh has accused the National Socialist Council of Nagaland — Isak-Muviah (NSCN-IM) with which BJP had entered in a peace agreement in 2015, for the ongoing tension.

According to News18, around 70 heavily armed men suspected to be from the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) attacked seven posts of the Indian Reserve Battalion and snatched 20 weapons from the security personnel in Noney district of Imphal on Saturday.

According to local newspaper, The Sangai Express, curfew was imposed on the state following the incident. It has been relaxed in Imphal East district between 4 am to 9 pm since Friday, but curfew remains effective in other parts of the state.

Though, the days following the incident have been calmer, Rijiju may find it tough finding an immediate solution, as according to NDTV, the Naga Students Federation has announced its decision to impose a “total blockade” on all Imphal-bound vehicles, including passenger and goods carriers.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 12:34 IST

Now, Law Ministry to bring tribals under Uniform Civil Code, too

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While debate over Muslim Personal Law is still raging in the country, the Law Commission has now decided to bring tribals under the ambit of the proposed Uniform Civil Code (UCC). Tribals in India have so far governed themselves and decided their own customs through special constitutional rights.Top sources in the commission and law ministry told dna that the commission is soon likely to come up with its second questionnaire seeking public opinion on whether tribals should be brought under UCC.The questionnaire is also likely to have questions pertaining to certain practices that are part of some tribal cultures. Some controversial practices in tribals include wife-swapping and mating of minors.In October, the law panel came out with its first questionnaire, asking citizens to give their views on ending several religious practices and customs that had been branded anti-women in major religions—Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. It sought public views on controversial practices such as triple talaq, polygamy, polyandry, Maitri-Karar and a long waiting period for divorce in Christianity. Maitri-Karar, even though banned by law, is still practised sporadically in Gujarat.Through this, a married Hindu man signs a friendship pact on stamp paper with another woman and brings her home to live together.That questionnaire did not have any specific questions related to tribals but a certain section of the community has already moved the Supreme Court against the UCC. In their petition, they contended that government was making an attempt to impose UCC which will be against their ethos, customs and religious practices. To this, the commission had said they were open to suggestions and objections from tribals.Sources in the commission and law ministry confirmed the development and said that the decision to include tribals in UCC was taken in a high level meeting on December 7. The officials also discussed the desirability and feasibility of a supplementary questionnaire for the purpose of engaging tribals in the debate and the law commission chairman Justice BS Chauhan gave a go-ahead to the idea of second questionnaire, sources said.”Certain constitutional and legal safeguards available to various communities and groups such as Article 371 A, 371 B, article 244 read with fifth and sixth schedule of the Constitution of India, Section 1 of CrPC and section 1 of IPC also needs to be taken into consideration while working on a Uniform Civil Code,” Sources quoted Justice Chauhan from December 7 meeting.Article 371 A gives special status to Nagaland, which houses a significant tribal population while article 371 B grants special status to Assam which again houses many tribes. Nagaland in fact has cultural autonomy in following their traditional practices as Article 371 A bars legislation by Parliament on “Naga Customary law and procedure”.Similarly, the thrust of Article 244, the fifth and sixth schedule is the protection of cultural distinctiveness of tribals across the country.There are total 645 district tribes in the country and the states which have maximum tribal population are North Eastern states, Chhatisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc.According to sources, the panel decided to include tribals in the proposed UCC after analyzing responses to the first questionnaire.Sources said responses to the Commission from Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and West Bangal Chief Ministers Trinamool Congress formed the basis of the idea.The two political parties questioned the fallout of the Uniform Civil Code on the constitutional provisions which provide special status to tribals.Quoting AIMIM’s response to the commission, a source said, “Will a Uniform Civil Code not violate certain provisions of the Constitution. If exceptions may be created for certain groups-then what shall be the basis of such exceptions?”

Manipur ambush: CM Okram Ibobi says attacking police will bring no good

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has said that attacking the police will bring no good and if there are issues it has to be settled through a proper dialogue.”Attacking the police will bring no good. If there are issue it has to be settled through proper dialogue,” Ibobi said at the inaugural function of Tengnoupal and Kangpokpi districts.Deputy Chief Minister, Revenue Minister, Local MLA, village chiefs and other civil society leaders were present during the inauguration of the newly created revenue districts. Of the seven newly created districts, three have been officially inaugurated.Speaking at the inaugural function organised by the Tengnoupal district celebration committee, Ibobi said the districts are being created for the convenience of the administration.Later, Ibobi Singh along with his ministerial team inaugurated the Kangpokpi district.At Kangpokpi, Kuki armed groups operating at the area are stated to be on high alert following the news of the ambush to state force by suspected cadres of the NSCN-IM.The National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) has been openly opposing the creation of the new district.A few days back, the NSCN-IM which is presently ensuing in peace talk with the government of India has threatened serious consequences if the decision for creation of new district has not been withdrawn.

Rechristening Christmas: BJP tweaks ‘good governance day’ for North East, says change not mandatory

The Bharatiya Janata Party, tweaking its political strategy for the North East, has reversed its decision to observe 25 December as ‘Good Governance Day’. The Christian-dominated NorthEast had opposed the central government’s decision of re-christening Christmas Day, and even state units had assured people that they wouldn’t impose Good Governance Day here.

Local units of the saffron party now stand on opposing sides of the debate. Visasoilie Lhongu, Nagaland state BJP president, told Firstpost, “We are being criticised by the church for stepping into religion, by asking Christians to observe Good Governance Day.”

In Christian-dominated North East, Christmas Day is celebrated in a big way. AFPIn Christian-dominated North East, Christmas Day is celebrated in a big way. AFP

In Christian-dominated North East, Christmas Day is celebrated in a big way. AFP

He added that it was always going to be a tough ask, getting people’s participation on seminars organised on Christmas Day,  considering over 90 percent of the state’s residents are Christians. “We can definitely get a fair number of participants if it is organised on a day other than Christmas,” he added.

Lhongu suggested that the Centre change the date Good Governance Day is observed in states which have a large Christian population.

The Nagaland Baptist Church Council had earlier demanded the NDA government reverse its Good Governance Day notification, saying it would go down in history as a discriminatory move against religious minorities. It had also criticised the NPF-led DAN state government for “betraying the trust of the people, by continuing to adore and glorify leaders who have systematically dismantled the secular fabric of the country”.

The Nagaland state government has still not planned any programmes for Good Governance Day. The Naga People’s Front (NPF), in a central executive council meeting on 29 November, had appealed to the Centre to not impose Good Governance Day on Christmas Day.

Jyoti Kalash, resident commissioner of Nagaland House in Delhi, told Firstpost that he has received no specific instructions in this regard. “It is likely that the Nagaland government will observe a holiday on 25 December as usual,” he said. “Since it is a Christian majority state, and Christmas is the only major festival for the community, it’s unlikely the government will function on that day.”

Kalash, who has been in the present position since a long time, further added that Nagaland also didn’t observe Good Governance Day last year.

Meanwhile, the Mizoram unit of the BJP has moved even further away from the Centre’s diktat. State president of the BJP in Mizoram told the media, “The BJP led government at the Centre had declared 25 December as Good Governance Day to mark former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday. But we want to assure the people of the state that it will never happen in Mizoram. This day will always be Christmas Day here.”

Sources from the party have told Firstpost that the party has been forced to take up this stand because of the stinging public criticism it has faced ever since suggesting the rechristening.

David Thangliana, former journalist and resident of Aizawl, told Firstpost that no one in Mizoram supports the move, as they feel it restricts the religious freedom of Christians.

The Reverend Lalramliana Pachau, one of the Church leaders in Mizoram, further added, “We have not issued any public statement on whether to celebrate Good Governance Day or not. But we are definitely not in favor of it.”

In Arunachal Pradesh, where the party officially supports the Pema Khandu-led government, the BJP released a statement clearing misconception among the people that Good Governance Day will replace Christmas Day. “25 December is a national Gazetted holiday. It will continue to remain Christmas Day for followers of Jesus Christ everywhere in the country, including in Arunachal Pradesh,” the statement said.

The statement came after the Arunachal Christian Forum strongly opposed the move to celebrate Good Governance Day, calling it a strategy to cater to the local demands. The shift in BJP’s stand on Good Governance Day is seen as an extension of the changing political discourse it had employed so effectively in Assam earlier this year. The party moved away from its rhetoric on ‘Bangladeshi infiltrators’ to ‘soft Hindutva’, and clinched Assembly polls in the state.

The present NDA regime at the Centre had said Good Governance Day will be observed across the country on 25 December, to mark Vajpayee’s birthday. The move was heavily criticised by several quarters, since observing this day required government officers and staff to remain present in office on Christmas, a gazetted holiday.

First Published On : Dec 10, 2016 14:48 IST

Demonetization: Against Centre’s mismanagement, not decision, says Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress Party is not against banning of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, but is against the “mismanagement” by the BJP-led NDA government, said Congress spokesperson and Lok Sabha MP Ranjeet Ranjan.Interacting with reporters after attending the fourth day of the Hornbill Festival at Kisama, 12 kms from Kohima, Ranjeet said the BJP government’s claims that demonetization has been imposed to overcome terrorism, fake currency and corruption, was “wrong”.The government is unable to get hold of actual black money and has decided to put over 100 crore people in queues outside banks for their own money, out of which 45 crore are daily wage earners and people belonging to the small business community, Ranjeet said. She claimed that following the imposition of demonetization, the country was losing at least Rs 1.3 lakh crore while the GDP was sliding by two points and the Centre has already spent Rs 13,000 crore on printing of new currency notes. “Is the Government really working to bring out black money or is it merely to harass the public, specially the middle, poor and labour class people” she asked.She lamented that farmers were not getting money for seeds, sowing and harvesting. As the spokesperson of AICC, Ranjeet also called upon Congress workers in Nagaland to mobilise programmes and projects for development of the state.

Arunachal Pradesh: Two soldiers killed, eight injured as militants ambush Assam Rifles convoy

Guwahati: Two soldiers were killed and eight others injured as militants, believed to be from the banned Naga outfit NSCN-K, ambushed a convoy of the Assam Rifles along the India-Myanmar border in Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday, a defence spokesman said.

An Assam Rifle spokesman said the attack took place at Nginu village in Tirap district, in the radius of 20 km from the border.

“Soldiers belonging to the 16 Assam Rifles were returning from a patrol when the heavily armed militants fired at them. While two of them including a JCO (junior commissioner officer) died, eight others were injured. The condition of two of them are stated to be serious,” the spokesman said adding more forces have been sent to launch counter-insurgency operations in and around the area.

“We believe it to be the handiwork of anti-talk faction, Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang militants who have some presence in Tirap district.

On 19 November, a combined team of the NSCN-K and the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) had carried out an ambush on Army personnel in Assam’s Tinsukia district, killing three soldiers and injuring four others.

After this attack, the United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW), which is a joint platform of all the northeastern militant outfits ambushed a group of commandos of 21 Para in Chandel district of Manipur on November 26, injuring five soldiers.

First Published On : Dec 3, 2016 21:20 IST

Arunachal Pradesh: Ambush on Assam Rifles leaves one dead, 9 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An Assam Rifles jawan was killed while nine others were injured when armed militants ambushed an AR convoy near Wakka in Longding district of Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday. The attack took place 20 km from Indo-Myanmar border. Defence PRO Lt Colonel Chiranjeet Konwar said the militants ambushed the convoy of 16 Assam Rifles stationed in the district near Wakka at around 1.45 PM killing one jawan on the spot while injuring nine others.He, however, could not divulge the name of the deceased nor the group involved in the ambush. “Search operation is going on in the area and efforts were being made to evacuate the injured jawans,” he added.Unconfirmed reports from Longding said the ambush was carried out jointly by NSCN (K) and ULFA (Independent) cadres.“A column of 16 Assam Rifles battalion from Wakka was ambushed by suspected NSCN (K) cadres near Nginu village, Tirap district. Coulumn was out since yesterday and while returning came under heavy fire of auto weapons. As per initial inputs, one soldier fatal and one Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and other eight soldiers were injured. They have been removed to hospital for treatment. Condition of four critical,” said a statement from Assam Rifles.Meanwhile, massive search operations for the militants have been launched by the security forces.The NSCN (K) has its presence in the state of Nagaland, besides Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Last year, the NSCN (K) had killed 18 Army personnel and injured several others in a similar ambush in Chandel district of Manipur.With inputs from Pooja Mehta

Cheap political stunt to defame Govt and Indian Army: BJP hits back at Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleging that the army has been deployed at two toll plazas in West Bengal without informing the state government, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday dubbed it as a ‘cheap political stunt’ done to defame the government and drag the army into an ‘unnecessary controversy’. Talking to the media, Naidu said it is a mischievous and a dirty campaign launched by some political opponents about a routine army drill in different states of the country. ‘This is an ongoing exercise, collecting data in all the north-eastern states, including Assam, Arunachal, West Bengal, Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. This is by eastern command of the army….this is an annual exercise carried out every year. In the same location, and in the same state, last year the exercise was carried out between 19 and 21 November,’ he said.‘Similar exercise is being carried out in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and in Bihar from 26 October to November 1 under the south western command……… It is a cheap political stunt to defame the govt & drag army into unnecessary controversy with does not exist,’ he added. Launching attack at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for his ‘TRP politics’ comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Naidu said the grand old party is themselves doing politics as they are becoming ‘irrelevant’. ‘What is TRP’ You people are doing TRPs because you are becoming irrelevant. People have rejected your Bandh call, they have rejected your Akhrosh rally, you are divided badly, you don’t have a common strategy, you have n argument to put forth to the country. That is why you are not allowing the house,’ he added.He said that the Congress Party is held band upon committing contempt of democracy. ‘The Prime Minister is the darling of the masses. He has taken a historic and a bold decision, the entire world is appreciating his movement towards digital transfer….they are making unnecessary absurd allegation. The congress is not constructive they are obstructive,’ he added.Army reject Mamata’s claims Army strongly rebutted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s allegations that its personnel were deployed at toll plazas without informing the state government and were collecting money, saying the exercise was being carried out in coordination with Kolkata Police. “This is being done in coordination with local police authorities. The exercise was earlier planned for November 27 and 28. The dates were changed to November 30 to December 2 on a specific request by Kolkata Police due to Bharat Bandh called on November 28,” said GOC Bengal area (officiating) Maj Gen Sunil Yadav.Reacting to the Chief Minister’s allegations he said, “We deny all charges with all contempt.” “Allegations of collection of money by Army personnel are also totally baseless,” the officiating GOC Bengal Area said.Mamata had yesterday alleged that the army had been deployed without informing the state government. “This is unprecedented and a very serious matter”, she had said.She had also claimed that the army personnel were collecting money from vehicles, which they were not supposed to. Maj Gen Yadav said a similar exercise in Eastern Command was carried out in November 2015 at the same places. The Maj Gen said that a recce was conducted with two inspectors of the Kolkata Police at toll plaza on November 27 last.”The issues raised by the police were addressed and were telephonically informed to the police,” he said. The exercise will continue as planned earlier and will end tonight, he said.Army tonight said they are conducting routine exercise with full knowledge and coordination with West Bengal police. “Army conducting routine exercise with full knowledge & coord with WB Police. Speculation of army taking over toll plaza incorrect,” a statement by the Eastern command said on Twitter.”Routine exercise in all NE states. In [email protected] places, Arunanchal @13, [email protected], [email protected], Nagalan[email protected], [email protected], Tripura & [email protected]″, it said. Kolkata Police, however, said they have raised objection to this Army exercise due to security reasons and traffic problem. “Army exercise at Toll Plaza was objected to in writing by Kolkata Police, citing security reasons & traffic inconvenience,” the city police said in a twitter message tonight.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the Army was deployed at toll plazas in different places in the state without informing the state government and termed it as “unprecedented and a very serious matter”. She further said “Whatever reason they are giving is not correct. They are lying. They are changing their reasons time to time. The MHA has the complete data of the vehicles moving in different states in the country”. Earlier, a defence spokesperson said that the Army conducts bi-ennial exercise throughout the country with the aim of getting statistical data about the load carriers that could be made available to the army in case of a contingency.”There is nothing alarming about this and it is carried out as per government orders”, Wing Commander S S Birdi said. The exercise gives an estimate about the number of vehicles passing through a certain area that could be tapped during operations, he said.With inputs from agencies

Bengal: Army says it is conducting routine exercise with police coordination

Kolkata: Army on Thursday night said they are conducting routine exercise with full knowledge and coordination with West Bengal police.

“Army conducting routine exercise with full knowledge & coord with WB Police. Speculation of army taking over toll plaza incorrect,” a statement by the Eastern command said on Twitter.

File photo of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

File photo of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

“Routine exercise in all NE states. In [email protected] places, Arunanchal @13, [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], Tripura & [email protected]”, it said.

Kolkata Police, however, said they have raised objection to this Army exercise due to security reasons and traffic problem.

“Army exercise at Toll Plaza was objected to in writing by Kolkata Police, citing security reasons & traffic inconvenience,” the city police said in a Twitter message on Thursday night.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the Army was deployed at toll plazas in different places in the state without informing the state government and termed it as “unprecedented and a very serious matter”.

She further said, “Whatever reason they are giving is not correct. They are lying. They are changing their reasons time to time. The MHA has the complete data of the vehicles moving in different states in the country.”

Earlier, a defence spokesperson said that the Army conducts biennial exercise throughout the country with the aim of getting statistical data about the load carriers that could be made available to the army in case of a contingency.

“There is nothing alarming about this and it is carried out as per government orders”, Wing Commander SS Birdi said.

The exercise gives an estimate about the number of vehicles passing through a certain area that could be tapped during operations, he said.

First Published On : Dec 2, 2016 09:16 IST

When wings weave a tale

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Every naturalist dreams of witnessing some of the greatest natural history moments on the planet, such as the wildebeest migration, glowing seas or the northern lights. The greatest animal migrations are one of these natural history moments, during which animals migrate together in unimaginable numbers, covering incredible distances across continents every year. The annual Amur falcon migration, from Russia and China to the east African coast via India, is one such sought-after spectacle.Although I’ve had a preview of these huge congregations in Northeast India in the past, it was only this year, in early November that I planned to witness this miracle at its best at the Doyang reservoir in Nagaland, where an estimated 50,000 birds blanket the entire sky.Named after the Amur region of Southeast Russia and Northeast China, Amur falcons breed there in the summer before undertaking the longest recorded sea crossing of 22,000 km to east and south Africa, passing through the Himalayas within a few weeks. A large number of these birds make a quick stop around water bodies, such as in Doyang reservoir in remote Nagaland where roughly two lakh birds must be stopping over a 2-3 week period every year. When they first started showing up in Nagaland, these birds were hunted by the locals. At the time, I played a small role in the Amur falcon conservation project that kicked off in 2013, following reports of these mass hunts in 2012. Pangti village and Doyang reservoir became globally known when within a year the mass hunting stopped entirely thanks to the effort of several organisations.This year, soon after Diwali, I set off for Nagaland with a couple of friends. We had to arrive in Doyang, a tiny village nestled in the hill, the same day as the flight landed in Dimapur to be able to watch the spectacle. We started early the following morning to reach the congregation roosting sites near the beautiful Pangti village. Even before reaching the site, where villagers have built watch towers and tourist reception centers, Amur falcons had already started coming off the roosts and filling up the sky. We were overwhelmed at the sight—hundreds of birds dotted the sky. Soon, we were flabbergasted when we went slightly downhill to a watchtower; the sheer numbers of falcons had taken over every bit of available tree branch and the sky was full of specks of these birds. It took us a while before we returned to our senses and started clicking pictures and shooting videos in a frenzy. A few hours later, we had a delicious local meal while watching the falcons feasting on termites and other insects. After about an hour of feeding, around 50,000 birds returned from all directions by the time it was almost dark. The overwhelming numbers of these falcons, and this once-in-a-year spectacle is enough to stun any person.(The writer is a Mumbai-based naturalist who travels the expanse of India’s pristine wildlife habitats)

NEC cries for funds as new project launch gets affected

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The North Eastern Council is facing acute shortage of funds, hampering implementation of several of its dream projects like setting up of educational institutes, skill development centres and sports academies.”We have so many dream projects to implement, but there is no money. Whatever little money we receive, it has over 99% utilisation. So, we need more money,” North Eastern Council (NEC) Secretary Ram Muivah said.Fund allocation to NEC substantially decreased after 9th Five Year Plan from 5.12% of the total outlays for the North East to 0.03% in the current fiscal, he added. “When NEC was established in 1972, the first year’s fund allocation was Rs 500 crore, which was a big amount then. However, it has increased to just Rs 950 crore in 2016-17.Out of that, Rs 150 crore directly goes to North-East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS),” Muivah said.Besides, every year NEC gives Rs 3 crore to Border Roads Organisation, Rs 47 crore to Alliance Air as Viability Gap Funding for operating flights in loss making routes and Rs 100 crore to North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project for sustainable livelihood programme, he added. “So practically, we are left with only Rs 600 crore in this fiscal. Out of this amount, around 70% goes to ongoing projects or to clear liabilities, which currently stands at Rs 2,100 crore,” he said.That means, only 30% of Rs 600 crore is left for new projects and this amount needs to be divided between eight states,” Muivah added. NEC has nine different sectors under it to work upon, but has not been able to take up any important new project only due to lack of funds, he added. Muivah informed that the North East-specific organisation wants to set up a number of educational centres as per global standards, including an international institute of mass communication and a school of architecture and planning, along with an institute of music, art and theatre.”Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland do not have any medical college. These states have only around 350 doctors each. We want to develop medical colleges there. We also want to develop an iconic skill development centre in North East,” he added. The Secretary said NEC has plans to start a football academy in Nagaland, besides setting up a road research institute in North East as roads in almost all states are washed away every year.He said there are plans to upgrade small airports of the region with Airports Authority of India, implement a mega tourism project and set up convention centres.”However, we are not able to start anything significant. Against such low budgetary allocations, the actual allocations were further reduced.” The actual allocations for the 12th Five Year Plan was only Rs 3,622 crore, which is just 59% of the approved outlay of Rs 6,108 crore, Muivah said..On the other hand, the demand of the constituent states of NEC is on an average Rs 4,800 crore annually. Muivah expressed apprehension that NEC will fall short of serving any meaningful purpose unless “this negative approach is changed”. “We reiterated fund concerns at the 65th NEC Plenary Session this year attended by the Prime Minister.There is a large gap between the resources made available and aspirations of the states.Without a quantum jump in allocation, it will be difficult for NEC to provide funds for core areas and large projects with inter-state or regional character,” Muivah said.

Demonetization: People in northeastern states welcome PM Modi’s move against black money

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The central government’s move to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination currency notes evoked mixed reactions with the common people generally welcoming it in Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and some other places in northeast India.Although markets and other businesses in different parts of the state witnessed low-key activity due to the demonetization, most praised it as a step towards freeing the country of black money.From exchanging the demonetized 500 and 1,000 rupees notes to depositing and withdrawing cash, people were seen in long queues outside cash deposit counters and ATMs in Assam’s Guwahati city after Prime Minister Modi’s decision to ban the existing 500 and 1000 rupee notes that took the entire nation by surprise. Understandably, people had to face problems but they lauded the step of the government. “This is a huge success for the government for us and the entire nation. But the government should have given us time so that people would know the use of money during such hard times. I too have cash with me to deposit but let’s see what will happen. It would be miracle for us if something good happens out of it,” said a local from Guwahati.In the remote north-eastern province of Arunachal Pradesh, ATMs and banks were flooded by people, however, they were of the view that it was a short-term pain for a long-term gain. “Decision is good. For one to two months general people will face great difficulties but that is for time being . I am sure it will reap great benefits for us. It is definitely for the good of the public because these will great difference in the development scenario of the country,” said a local from Arunachal Pradesh. “It is a great initiative undertaken by our PM. Public’s money are all used as black money and not for the welfare of the people but such initiative is helping people to get back their money,” he added.In Manipur, security was beefed up as people in large numbers rushed to the banks to exchange notes and deposit cash. People were allowed to enter the banks in batches for depositing the amount. Patience wore thin after standing in long queues as depositors especially senior citizens were seen lining up since 6 am on Friday morning. “It is good but for people like us who only keep small amount of money for daily use will be very difficult. Now if we need to buy certain things from shops, shopkeepers are not accepting it as the 500 and 1000 notes are no more legal. The decision by Modi is good but abrupt as for common people it has really become a difficulty,” said a senior citizen Robin from Manipur.In Nagaland, security was beefed up outside bank branches as people struggling to buy daily items lined up to get Rs 100 currency notes. “My daughter is getting married this month but we are unable to do any kind of preparations. Shopkeepers are not accepting old notes it is creating great difficulties for us. I am sick. It is really creating problem for us. Could not express my problem in front of anybody,” said a local from Nagaland.In Tripura, people supported Modi’s bold step saying the absence of large-denomination notes will make it harder for people to hoard black money. “For time being some public will be affected of course but as a whole public and country will be benefited. To stop black-marketing this is going on for the last few months. This step is good and perfect,” said a local from Tripura.The government move is part of its efforts to tackle the triple menace of black money, fake currency and terror financing. It will not only curb the menace of black money, but will also help the government in improving its finances which can be used for public spending.

Earthquake with 5.0 magnitude hits northeastern states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale on Tuesday morning rocked the northeastern states.There were no reports of any casualties or damage.The tremor was felt at 7.40 a.m. with an epicentre located in Assam’s Karimganj district bordering Bangladesh, reported IANS quoting an official of the Regional Seismological Centre.Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur – are considered by seismologists as the sixth major earthquake-prone belt in the world.

2 jawans injured after IED explosion in Manipur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two jawans from the India Reserve Battalion (IRB) have been injured after an IED explosion took place on Sunday in Hundung area in south of Ukhrul district in Manipur, reports IBtimes.National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) are suspected to be behind the attack.CM Okram Ibobi Singh will visit Ukhrul on Monday for the launch of some developmental projects.

Border dispute: Assam, Nagaland CMs to hold meeting at Kaziranga today

Mon, 17 Oct 2016-10:20am , Guwahati , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a goodwill gesture, Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal and his Nagaland counterpart TR Zeliang will on Monday hold a meeting at Kaziranga. Assam Home Commissioner LS Changsan has said that several ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Chief Secretary, DGPs from both the states will participate in the meeting. She said that the meeting will be a part of initiative to bolster friendship between the two states. Both the states have had long pending border dispute. Changsan said that in coming days, such meetings are also expected to be held with other states of the north east. Both the Chief Ministers will also issue a joint statement after the meeting.

AIMIM decides to reply to Law Commission’s questionnaire on Uniform Civil Code

Hyderabad: Stating that Uniform Civil Code is not good for the country, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday said his party would nevertheless reply to the Law Commission’s questionnaire.

File image of Asaduddin Owaisi. PTI

File image of Asaduddin Owaisi. PTI

Owaisi said that while he respects the decision of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board to boycott the questionnaire, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) as a political party had decided to respond to the questionnaire.

The Hyderabad MP, who is also a member of the board, said the AIMIM took the decision despite the questionnaire being heavily loaded in favour of Uniform Civil Code.

Talking to reporters, Owaisi reiterated that Uniform Civil Code was not good for diversity and pluralism of this country.

He said that in a country with different religions, cultures and languages, a Uniform Civil Code will not help.

“Can there be an agreement on inheritance according to Mitakshara and Dayabhaga schools? Can we take away cultural rights which Constitution has given to Nagaland and Mizoram?” he asked.

“Every community or caste in India whether it is Hindu, Muslim, Dalit, tribal Christian or Sikh has its own culture. This country celebrates the diversity of culture and religion.

“Those who want to impose Uniform Civil Code are deliberately not understanding the beauty of pluralism. You cannot impose one culture one language on the country,” he said.

He also wondered why Muslims were being denied Hindu undivided family tax rebate and asked if this was not gross violation of right to equality and right to freedom of religion.

Owaisi said the government wants polarization through efforts to impose Uniform Civil Code. He alleged that it also wants to divert people’s attention from its failures on all fronts.

He hoped that other communities would also understand that this was the real agenda of the government and not development or revival of the economy.

“Surveys show 84 percent Hindu girls who marry are in the age group of 10-16 years but they don’t want to talk about this. They just want to blame Muslims and do polarization,” Owaisi said.

The MP wanted to know why the government was focusing on one directive principle and not another which says that there should be a law banning alcohol.

“There is empirical evidence that more than one lakh people are dying every year under influence of alcohol.”

He said the government had completely failed to revive the economy.

“The industrial output is negative. The last five years have seen highest unemployment. The dollar has touched Rs 70. In the recent auction of spectrum, the government had set a target of Rs 5.5 lakh crore but got only Rs.5,000 odd crore. These are the questions which nobody asks.”

Government approves Rs 1,660 crore highway projects across 8 states

The 454 km highway project will cover Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Sikkim, Meghalaya and Nagaland. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government, on Friday, approved Rs 1,660 crore worth of highway projects in eight states including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Assam. “The standing finance committee (SFC) on Friday cleared eight projects worth Rs 1,659.96 crore for 454 km length for eight states,” a road transport and highways ministry official said.Of the eight projects, five will be undertaken on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode.The other states covered by the projects cleared are in Andhra Pradesh, Tripura Sikkim, Meghalaya and Nagaland. The project for Uttar Pradesh pertains to upgradation of 37 km stretch of Allahabad-Mirzapur section of NH 76E at a cost of Rs 219 crore, while Rs 323 crore Maharashtra project involves upgradation of Malewada to Chimur stretch on NH-353E.The Andhra Pradesh project covers widening of Machilipatnam to Avanigadda section on NH- 214A under National Highways Development Project (NHDP). In Tripura the Rs 172 crore project pertains widening to two lane with paved shoulder on Churaibari Agartala section of NH-44 while Sikkim will see construction of 1000 metre length viaduct at Rangpo on NH-31A. There will be two-laning of Nongstoin – Shillong Section of NH-44 and Nongstoin – Rongjeng – Tura road while in Nagaland the project aims at four-laning of Dimapur to Kohima Section of NH-39.The Assam package contains shifting of Electrical line and operational cost for compensation trees for construction of Dhola – Sadiya Ghats Bridge.

Permits for foreign travellers visiting northeast will now be valid for 2 years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Special permits, that are now required to enter into the restricted areas of certain states of the Northeast, will soon be eased for foreign travellers travelling to India. The tourism ministry has written to the home ministry and it is understood that the latter will ease the process for registrations of these permits. The duration of these permits will also be extended to two years from the existing one year. Currently, a foreigner needs a protected area permit (PAP) to enter Arunachal Pradesh and certain parts of Sikkim. In Arunachal Pradesh, a foreigner cannot exceed stay for more than 30 days, it costs $50 to acquire a PAP and it needs to be registered from the Foreigner’s Regional Registration Office in India. Restricted Area Permits (RAPs) were eased in Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland in 2013, but travellers need to register themselves at the local Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) of the districts they land in, within 24 hours of arrival. RAPs are still required in certain parts of Sikkim among the Northeastern states. Tourism secretary Vinod Zutshi told dna that travel trade bodies were keen on extending the validity of these permits from the existing one year to five years as they were worried about the yearly renewal. “The home ministry deliberated over the issue and noted, rightly so, that the validity of these entry permits can be extended to a period of two years. The travel body’s concern, too, were valid as foreigners can easily plan ahead if the validity of the permits are longer than a year,”said Zutshi. Pronob Sarkar, president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, says that in the last meeting the travel trade bodies had with the tourism ministry, on July 13, 2016, several points were taken up. “RAP for Arunachal Pradesh for foreign nationals is also a big issue in terms of fees, and requirements. The amount varies from time to time and the time limit of issuing a RAP is never known. Also, a single person cannot get the RAP,” said Sarkar. He added that Manipur and Nagaland had withdrawn PAP for foreigners, but on a yearly basis, and that they can be reintroduced if the state feels any need.Sarkar said that some of the talking points in the meet were also the need for commercial drivers in every state to pay road tax and that the government should introduce a single registration process. Forex is also an issue with only Guwahati, Kaziranga and Dibrugarh (all in Assam) having registered agents. Bad roads, network connectivity, reluctance to give out bills, are also some of the issues. Jeep and elephant safari rates are also not fixed by the Department in Kaziranga National Park, which is a major tourist destination, said Sarkar. This means that on most days due to a last moment change, the travel bodies pay from their own pockets.In 2014, Sikkim registered the highest number of foreign tourist arrivals with 49,175. However, it fell by 21.75% in 2015 with 38,479 arrivals. Tripura registered the highest growth rate of 30% between 2014 and 2015 with 26,688 and 34,886 arrivals. “There is huge interest among foreign travellers to visit Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and other Northeastern states, but the facilities in poor condition does not encourage movement of leisure tourists from abroad or from within India,” he said.
FTA (foreign tourist arrivals)
Growth (%age) Arunachal Pradesh
5,204 5,705 9.63 Assam
21,537 24,720 13.78 Manipur
2,769 3,260 17.73 Meghalaya
8,664 8,027 -7.35 Mizoram
921 798 -13.36 Nagaland
2,585 2,769 7.12 Sikkim
49,175 38,479 -21.75 Tripura
26,688 34,886 30.72

Centre to develop northeast for tourism potential; ?1000 crore sanctioned

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To tap into the resourceful and untapped tourism potential of the seven states of the Northeast, the Union ministry of tourism has sanctioned projects over ?1000 crore in the region. With most of the Northeast’s scenic locales lying un-utilised, the ministry is now speeding work in various projects in the seven states.Several of the proposed projects come under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD schemes. Both were announced in July this year to push the inflow of foreign and domestic tourists. For the Swadesh Darshan scheme, the government has set aside ?3,200 crore, of which ?1,000 crore has already been approved for the Northeast circuit.Under the schemes, the ministry wants to develop several areas under a particular circuit. Apart from the Northeast circuit, Ramayana circuit, eco tourism circuit, desert circuit, etc, are other sectors.Some of the schemes include projects to bring in more pilgrims during the annual Ambubachi Mela and Durga Puja at Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati under the PRASAD scheme, an adventure sports project in Nagaland, the Hornbill festival in Nagaland, lake-based projects in Loktak in Manipur, and other prominent lakes in the region, helipads in Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland, apart from tourism facilitation centres and last mile connectivity.”Eco tourism has a lot of potential in the area with the region’s rare orchids, indigenous music and sports, and its famed handicrafts. There are also several distinct tribes, each with an unique identity,” said Vinod Zutshi, secretary of the tourism ministry. “This year, we are holding the International Travel Mart in Imphal in November to coincide with the Sangei festival.”

Tremors felt in Haryana, NCR

Mon, 22 Aug 2016-05:09pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A medium intensity earthquake measuring 3.5 on Richter scale hit Haryana on Monday, with tremors being felt in the national capital and neighbouring areas too. According to the National Centre for Seismology, a unit of Ministry of Earth Science, the epicenter of the quake was in Mahendragarh. The quake occurred at 2:50 PM at a depth of 10 kms. However, there were no immediate report of loss to life or damage to property.Mahendragarh is nearly 120 kms from the national capital. Earlier in the day, a medium intensity earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter Scale hit Kohima, the capital of Nagaland at 10:58 AM.

Isak Chisi Swu passes away; status of Naga peace accord uncertain

Isak Chisi Swu, a veteran of many long marches to China with bands of Naga rebels, has died and left his comrade Thuingaleng Muivah in a bit of a legitimacy crisis.

Those of us who have seen the NSCN functioning closely know “Uncle Isak” was more into praying. He did offer his opinions on critical issues, but all knew who called the shots: None other than Muivah.

But the NSCN is a divided house, much like the entire Naga separatist movement and the faction that Isak and Muivah led was called the IM faction after their initials. This is easily the strongest NSCN faction and the government has been negotiating with it since 1997 for a final settlement of the Naga problem.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessing the exchange of historic peace accord between Government of India & NSCN (IM) in New Delhi on 4 August. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessing the exchange of historic peace accord between Government of India & NSCN (IM) in New Delhi on 4 August. PTI

But this faction is largely made up, both its leadership and fighters, of Tangkhuls, who are Nagas living in eastern Manipur, mainly the Ukhrul district. Muivah is from Somdal village of this district and most of his comrades — Rh. Raishing, Phungting and Angelus Shimray — are from the Tangkhul tribe. Muivah’s faction rivals like Khaplang, Khitovi Sema, Khole Konyak, Wangting Ao and P Thikhak all allege that his is a Tangkhul outfit with little legitimacy in Nagaland.

Isak Swu, a Sema Naga and a Naga National Council (NNC) veteran, gave the NSCN (IM) that legitimacy in Nagaland. Now that fig leaf is gone.

For Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government, much is at stake. By signing the “framework agreement” with the NSCN (IM), the government, like others before it, has accepted the primacy of the IM faction in the Naga peace-making process. That causes much heartburn.

If the Modi government can now work out a final settlement on the basis of the “framework agreement”, it will have to ensure that this is acceptable to all factions. That is when both Muivah and Modi will miss “Uncle Isak”. He was the one leader in the IM faction who could open a dialogue with the other factions, specially using his contacts in the Naga Church.

Against this, Muivah is a leader of many marches to China and survivor of many battles but is also a deeply divisive figure in the Naga separatist movement — not the least because he authored a party document where he chest-thumped the Tangkhuls as “revolutionary patriots” and the Angamis leading the NNC as “reactionary traitors”. Many Nagas feel he has much too much Chinese communist influence in him.

Isak represented the softer side of the faction and was perhaps its only hope in effectively selling an accord that might finally have been signed with the Centre.

The Modi administration is already on thin ice because the other factions are not formally in the peace process and the Khaplang faction has already stepped up violence to undermine it. The central government has to realise that signing an accord with a faction may be good for some quick publicity, but its test lies in marketing it to all factions. With Isak gone, that will not be easy.

Jharkhand Maoists acquiring lethal M-16 rifles

Officials of National Investigation Agency (NIA), who are probing arms smuggling in north-eastern states, have come across evidence that suggests Maoists operating in Jharkhand have been supplied with sophisticated M-16 rifles. dna has learnt that officials of anti-terrorism squads (ATS) and special task forces (STF) from almost half-a-dozen states have been called for a meeting with NIA’s top brass which is to be held in the first week of July.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The agenda of the meeting is to discuss the latest development and possibility of a joint force comprising NIA sleuths and officers of the state police with an expertise to counter multi-state arms smuggling.Official sources said that the sophisticated weapons are sourced from Nagaland and get transported to the armed CPI (Maoist) in Jharkhand by arm syndicates which are operational in multiple states. The agency, according to sources, is now in talks with ATS and STF of Nagaland, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand to chalk out a strategy from stopping the highly-sophisticated weaponry from reaching cadres of CPI (Maoist) operating in Jharkhand.The development has raised concerns within state and central intelligence agencies officials as the American-made sophisticated weapon can seriously effect operations of the security forces posted in Jharkhand where they are fighting an ultra-left armed movement.According to official sources, NIA sleuths have managed to identified individuals allegedly involved in the smuggling of M-16’s. The individuals, who are likely part of a single syndicate, belong to Punjab, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Nagaland. The agency is likely to share the information on these individuals with the state police in the coming week. Sources further said that investigators have come across transactions of 30-40 lakh rupees made into accounts of certain individuals who were already in radar for their alleged illegal activities.Official sources also said that Munger in Bihar, is somewhat becoming an important transit point owing to its existing illegal arms markets. Munger is also home to several freelancers known for servicing and repair of sophisticated weapons such as M-16’s. Agency is also looking at the possibility of the M-16’s in non-working condition being sent to Munger for servicing followed by its distribution in pockets where Maoists continue to operate.The CPI(Maoists) had quite a presence in remote regions of Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh, as well as in Bihar and areas in the borderlands of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Odisha, but owing to anti-left operations of the security forces, their cadre strength has seen a steep decline. The armed group, formed in 2004 and headed by General Secretary Muppala Lakshmana Rao, aims to overthrow the Indian state and has claimed that it is waging a ‘people’s war’. Among the latest attacks of the armed group was the 2013 ambush of a convoy of Indian National Congress in Bastar which resulted in deaths of Mahendra Karma, the founder of a private militia Salva Judum.Karma’s group, which was backed by Chhattisgarh government in July 2011, was declared to be illegal and unconstitutional, by Supreme Court of India and ordered to be disbanded. CPI(Maoists) were also responsible two major ambushes on security forces in 2010. The same year in February women cadres of CPI (Maoist) killed 24 personnel of the Eastern Frontier Rifles at Silda in West Bengal and two months ambushed and killed 75 paramilitary personnel.In August 2014, the Ministry of Home Affairs has stated it might depute 2,000 personnel from the Naga Battalions of the Nagaland’s Indian Reserve Battalions (IRB) to counter Maoists in Bastar.

Protesting Manipuri students claim brutality by Delhi cops

Hashokim Kamkara’s searing memory of the events of Tuesday night is being surrounded by six or seven policemen, and being kicked and punched on all sides. Yet, his humour hasn’t left him.Sitting at the Nagaland House after being released from the Chanakya Puri police station, Hashokim remembers the swear words raining along with the blows. “This constable kept on punching me. He said, ‘Neta banne ka bada shaukh hai tumhe’. I crawled on my feet and begged the ASI to help me, he simply ambled away to let the constables beat me up further,” says Hashokim.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Manipuri Tribals Forum Delhi along with several other tribal groups had gathered outside the Manipur House to register a protest against CM Okram Ibobi Singh and his delegate who were in Delhi to meet home minister Rajnath Singh to expedite the three anti-immigrants state bills for the Inner Line Permits. The students demanded that the CM and the counsellors come out. The broke one of the gates, and were first attacked by Manipur Rifles officers, and then by CRPF. In the ensuing fight, over 50 protestors and several policemen were injured. The police rounded several protestors and took them to the Chanakya Puri police station. Those who were injured were taken to Dyal Singh Hospital, or RML, or Safdarjung. “After the initial medical treatment, most of the protestors were taken into custody. They were released an hour ago,” says Th Vipuni, former president of the Poumei Students Union, Delhi. He was lucky to have escaped in time.MFTD convenor Mavio wasn’t that lucky. He was one of the first few to have broken into the compound. “Stones were thrown at us the moment we got in, and we were soon roughed up by several policemen. The protestors, too, retaliated using bottles first, and then stones. Many ran to the Dhaula Kuan metro station,” says Mavio. “I saw many girls being hit, too. There are reports that some girls were molested, too.” Prominent BJP leader from Nagaland Linda Newmai, who spoke to Kiren Rijiju to help release the protestors from the jail, says such atrocities must be condemned.

Maharashtra: Spotting of Amur falcon near Nagpur sends a wave of joy among birdwatchers

The recent sighting of the migratory Amur falcon at the Umred Karhandla wildlife sanctuary near Nagpur has enthused the wildlife aficionados and birdwatchers. A massive conservation effort is on to protect the raptor, which was threatened due to indiscriminate hunting in the north-east.Prafulla Sawarkar, an education officer with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), said last week that he saw an Amur falcon in the early hours at the sanctuary. “Soon after entering the park, I saw the bird sitting on a tree and clicked a few snaps. It flew away immediately,” said Sawarkar, who undertakes environment education activities and training programmes in the protected area for students, youths and women.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He added that the bird was a rare sight in the region. Before this, a raptor was spotted in the Pench tiger project in 2015.Birdwatcher Dr Anil Pimplapure, who is also the founder member of the Maharashtra Pakshimitra Sanghatana, said Amur falcons traversed through Vidarbha and central India region. “The number of sightings is rising as conservation efforts have led to a reduction in hunting,” he said.Amur falcons breed in Mongolia, northern China and southeastern Siberia. Traversing a long and perilous route, they migrate to South Africa via northeastern states such as Nagaland to spend the winters. The massacre of the bird for food in Nagaland had sparked off concerns, leading to poaching being banned in 2013. Three Amur falcons – Naga, Pangti and Wokha – were tagged with satellite chips in 2013 to track their migration routes.”This individual is an adult female, supposed to be on its return migration from southern Africa to their breeding grounds in China and Mongolia (Amur region). Amur falcons are only passage migrants in India. They only stop for a short while in northeast India, especially Nagaland and surrounding regions, in tens of thousands to feed and fuel up for their journey towards southern Africa,” said Mumbai-based avid birder and naturalist Saurabh Sawant, adding that the bird was briefly also seen sporadically around Mumbai.”Interestingly, not much is known about the migration, ecology and behaviour of these falcons, and great scientific efforts such as satellite tracking, have to be undertaken to understand the nuances. All this makes sightings like these extremely important for our understanding of these falcons and the necessary conservation efforts,” he said.

Check: for Nagaland HSLC (Class 10) Result 2016 declared at

The long wait of candidates who appeared for the class 10 examinations under the Nagaland Board of School Education (HSLC) is finally over . The result has been declared now! Lakhs of students who had appeared for the exam, can check their results on the official website –,<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students can also take printout of their result for future reference.The results for Class 12 has also been declared. How to check the results:The students can access the websites mentioned above.Enter your roll number and date of birth in the respective fields.Click on ‘submit’.The students can download the PDF files of their results for future references.About the board:Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE), is primarily responsible for promotion and development of secondary education in Nagaland. It was established by an Act of the Nagaland Assembly legislative Assembly on November 15, 1973. It started functioning from 1st October, 1974.The examinations conducts HSSLC, Class 11 promotion exam, HSLC exam, Class 9 final examination and JEE exams.Best of luck to all the candidates!

Check:, for Nagaland HSLC (Class 10) Result 2016 to be declared soon

The long wait of candidates who appeared for the class 10 examinations under the Nagaland Board of School Education (HSLC) is almost over. The result will be declared soon on Tuesday.Lakhs of students who appeared for Class 10 exams now have to wait for just few hours to know their results.Those students who had appeared for the exam, can check their results on the official website –,<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students can also take printout of their result for future reference.The results for Class 12 are also likely to be declared today.How to check the results:The students can access the websites mentioned above.Enter your roll number and date of birth in the respective fields.Click on ‘submit’.The students can download the PDF files of their results for future references.About the board:Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE), is primarily responsible for promotion and development of secondary education in Nagaland. It was established by an Act of the Nagaland Assembly legislative Assembly on November 15, 1973. It started functioning from 1st October, 1974.The examinations conducts HSSLC, Class 11 promotion exam, HSLC exam, Class 9 final examination and JEE exams.

NBSE HSLC Result 2016: Check, for Nagaland HSLC (Class 10) Result 2016 to be declared today on May 3 at 12 Noon

Lakhs of students can heave a sigh of relief as the Nagaland Board of School Education (HSLC) is going to declare HSLC Class 10 Results today at 12 noon.Those students who had appeared for the exam can check their results on their official website.About the board:Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE), is primarily responsible for promotion and development of secondary education in Nagaland. It was established by an Act of the Nagaland Assembly legislative Assembly on November 15, 1973. It started functioning from 1st October, 1974.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The board conducts HSSLC, Class 11 promotion exam, HSLC exam, Class 9 final examination and JEE exams.Here’s how you can check your results:1. Visit or Click on ‘Class 10 Results’3. Enter your roll number and date of birth in the respective fields.4. Click on ‘Submit’5. Your result will be flashed on the screen.6. Students can download the PDF files results and take a print out for further references.Good luck!

Nagaland HSLC (Class 10) Result 2016 is likely to be declared tomorrow on May 3

The long wait of candidates who appeared for the class 10 examinations under the Nagaland Board of School Education (HSSLC) is almost over. The result will be declared tomorrow, on May 3, 2016. Last year, the board published it on April 30.So just a matter of one day for candidates to know the much anticipated results. Result of class 12 exam will be also published tomorrow. About the board:Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE), is primarily responsible for promotion and development of secondary education in Nagaland. It was established by an Act of the Nagaland Assembly legislative Assembly on November 15, 1973. It started functioning from 1st October, 1974.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The examinations conducts HSSLC, Class 11 promotion exam, HSLC exam, Class 9 final examination and JEE exams.How to check the results:The students have to access the websites which are mentioned below. Students need to keep their roll number handy as it along with date of birth needs to be entered.It is adviced that they take a printout of the result for future reference. Here are the websites where students can access their results. , of luck to all the candidates.

25,000 women died due to dowry in India between 2012-14: Govt

Around 25,000 women were either killed or committed suicide due to dowry harassment by their in-laws between 2012 and 2014, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Friday in the Lok Sabha. Also, 30,000 cases of dowry were registered during the same period of time, she said in a written reply on implementation of Dowry Prohibition Act.”As per National Crime Records Bureau data, a total number of 8233, 8083 and 8455 cases were registered of dowry deaths in the country during 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively,” the Women and Child Development Minister said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Similarly, 9038, 10709 and 10050 cases were registered under Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 in the country during 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively, she said. The Minister said all states except Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram and Nagaland, where the dowry system is not prevalent, have appointed Dowry Prohibition Officers.”The government regularly conducts awareness programmes and public campaigns on various laws related to women including Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 through workshops, fairs, cultural prgrammes, seminars, training programmes,” she said.Advertisements are also regularly brought out in print and electronic media to spread awareness on women rights and laws laws, the Minister said.

Congress MLA given showcause notice for consuming alcohol in ‘dry’ state Bihar

The Congress Party on Tuesday issued showcause notice to Vinay Verma, the Narkatiaganj Congress MLA, who was caught on camera drinking alcohol.According to reports, in the video, the Narkatiaganj MLA can be seen offering liquor to his guests.He is seen even naming certain brands of India-made foreign liquor which, he said, were available with him.According to the Bihar Excise Act, sale, consumption and even offering liquor to anyone is an offence. Any person offering liquor is liable for imprisonment from ten years to life and fine of Rs. 1 lakh to Rs.10 lakh.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bihar Government had on April 5 banned the sale of alcohol, thereby following the footsteps of Gujarat, Nagaland and Mizoram.The Bihar Government gets revenue of nearly Rs. 2,000 crores from the sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). The state government earned revenue of around Rs. 4,000 crores from country liquor sales in 2015-16.

Maharashtra government set to introduce gender budgeting

Maharashtra government is set to introduce “gender budgeting” that will ensure 50% benefit of gender neutral schemes to reach women. The women and child development department is scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UNICEF women and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for working out on the detailed budget plan.As per sources, to begin with the government is expected to pick up five departments and three of their major schemes for implementation as pilot project. “We have not yet decided on departments and schemes. The main aim is to ensure that the benefits of schemes like scholarship, pension or other subsidies which are gender neutral should reach women in as many numbers as men,” said a senior officer.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the union ministry for women and child development (MWCD), the rationale for gender budgeting arises from recognition of the fact that national budgets impact men and women differently through the pattern of resource allocation.”Women, constitute 48% of India’s population, but they lag behind men on many social indicators like health, education, economic opportunities, etc. Hence, they warrant special attention due to their vulnerability and lack of access to resources. The way government budgets allocate resources, has the potential to transform these gender inequalities. In view of this, gender budgeting, as a tool for achieving gender mainstreaming, has been propagated,” claims the ministry’s note on gender budgeting.Maharashtra, however, is one of the last states to implement it. In 2013, the former UPA government had asked all the state governments and Union territories to implant the same. Taking this forward, in 2005 MWCD organised three regional workshops, in collaboration with UNDP, to share and discuss the strategy of the government on gender budgeting and gender mainstreaming.Subsequently, many state governments like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, Kerala, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have adopted for gender budgeting.What is gender budgeting?Gender budgeting is a powerful tool for achieving gender mainstreaming so as to ensure that benefits of development reach women as much as men. It is not an accounting exercise but an ongoing process of keeping a gender perspective in policy/programme formulation, its implementation and review. GB entails dissection of the government budgets to establish its gender differential impacts and to ensure that gender commitments are translated in to budgetary commitments. States that have implemented it already are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, Kerala, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

After earthquake in east India, PM Modi speaks to CMs of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday spoke to Chief Ministers of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland after an earthquake struck these states.

“PM @narendramodi spoke to CMs of Assam & Manipur regarding the earthquake in the region,” said a tweet by the PMO.

“PM @narendramodi spoke to the CM of Nagaland regarding the earthquake in the region,” said another tweet later.

An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale shook the northeast, several parts of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and even Delhi and NCR.

There was no immediate report of any casualty or major damage.

The epicenter of the quake was in Myanmar, some 100 km off the India-Myanmar border.

In Guwahati, some people reported cracks in buildings while there was power outage for some time in Shillong.

Tremors were also felt in the northeastern states of Mizoram and Nagaland.

All the northeastern states are categorised under zone V in the country’s seismological map and are considered highly vulnerable.

What goes around comes around: President’s Rule in Uttarakhand a not-so-gentle reminder of Congress’s polity

New Delhi: The state of Uttarakhand has been placed under President’s Rule, within two months of dismissal of the Arunachal Pradesh government on 26 January.

Dismissing Harish Rawat’s regime in Dehradun under Article 356 of the Constitution appears to be yet another addition to the catalogue of constitutional sins committed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government at the Centre.

By doing so, Modi has followed the footsteps of the Congress reign at the centre. Yet, he had promised a different kind of polity.

The provisions of the Article 356 ─ giving sweeping powers to the central government ─ is essentially aimed at restoring constitutional propriety after breakdown of governance in a state, Justice VR Krishna Iyer had once observed.

But settling partisan scores seems to have become the order of the day under the present disposition.

Abuse of Article 356, though, is nothing new in Indian politics. A few BJP leaders have tried to build up an argument that the Congress had no business to talk about constitutional decorum as the grand old party had several times dismissed non-Congress governments across the country and era.

“Congress is forgetting how many state governments it has dismissed in the last 60 years,” Bharatiya Janata Party leader Justice VR Krishna Iyer said.

In 1992-93, the PV Narasimha Rao government at the Centre dismissed four BJP governments ─ in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh ─ following the demolition of Babri Masjid on 6 December.

After the Rao regime dismissed the Nagaland government led by Vamuzo in 1992, the chief minister said that the imposition of President’s Rule did not surprise him. “After all, the Congress has always considered itself as imperial power and treated the states as colonies,” the late Vamuzo was quoted as having said.

Harish Rawat. Getty Images

Harish Rawat. Getty Images

In 2005, during Manmohan Singh‘s regime, Goa Chief Minister Manohor Parrikar ─ now the Defence Minister – was dismissed by Governor SC Jamir.

Incidentally in 1990, Jamir, then Nagaland Chief Minister, was himself dismissed by Governor M. M. Thomas after 12 ruling Congress legislators defected from the Congress camp.

Like Rawat, Jamir had demanded trial of strength in the assembly and had managed the backing of the Speaker, late TN Ngullie.

However, Governor Thomas, during the VP Singh regime at the Centre did not summon the assembly and had even declined to meet two Congress observers, Rajesh Pilot and SS Ahluwalia, saying the views of Congress MPs were not required on a political situation in Nagaland.

Even a government led by hardcore socialist Chandrashekhar at the Centre was no different. In 1990, it dismissed the DMK ministry of M Karunanidhi in Tamil Nadu, despite lack of any adverse report from the state governor, to seek support from Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress which was wooing Karunanidhi’s rival, J Jayalalitha of the AIADMK.

Ironically, the Congress party is now at the receiving end of the imperial character of governance, protesting “murder of democracy”.

That brings to fore the debate whether Article 356 allowing the Centre to dismiss state governments should have some legal restraints.

By its action, the Modi government and the Bharatiya Janata Party have put other Congress governments ─ in Manipur, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Karnataka on notice – that it will practice the same art that the regime before it did.

Modi may do well to recall that the 2014 the mandate was also about ushering in change in way of politics.

Voters may have hoped that a proponent of development would care about constitutional propriety since the BJP is fond of talking about “Cooperative Federalism” with the states.

But their action in Uttarakhand, and Arunachal Pradesh, seems to have belied that hope.


Assam Rifles not being withdrawn from Myanmar border

Shillong: Home Minister Rajnath Singh has ruled out the withdrawal of Assam Rifles from the Indo-Myanmar border and its replacement with another paramilitary force, saying no such decision has been taken yet.

File image. ReutersFile image. Reuters

File image. Reuters

“We have not taken any decision yet. Whenever we take any such decision, we will let you know,” he told reporters here, on the sidelines of a ‘Sainik Sammelan’ organised on the occasion of the 181st Raising Day of Assam Rifles.

There have been reports that the central government may entrust the task of guarding this border to another border guarding force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). Border Security Force (BSF) was earlier being considered for the task and it had also prepared an assessment report in this regard.

India and Myanmar share an unfenced border of 1,643 km adjoining Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (398 km) and Mizoram (510 km) and permit a “free movement” regime up to 16 km across the border.

Assam Rifles, raised in 1835, functions under the operational command of the Union Home Ministry. The Home Minister is on a two-day tour of Meghalaya.


Why should you not be considered public authority: CIC asks MP, MLA

Is a legislator a public authority liable to furnish information sought from them under the Right to Information Act? The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued show cause notices to a BJP MP and a Nagaland MLA, in separate cases, seeking their explanation why they should not be declared “public authority” to answer people’s queries under the RTI Act.The Commission has also issued a notice to the BJP President to explain the party’s position, being a public authority.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One of the cases relates to BJP MP from Machhlishahr in Uttar Pradesh Ram Charitra Nishad, who did not furnish his caste certificate as sought by an RTI applicant. “The Commission finds that the information sought is held by Ram Charitra Nishad, MP who thinks it reasonable to give him an opportunity to present his views as to why the Commission should not consider him as public authority and direct him to furnish information,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said.Issuing show cause notice to the BJP President, Acharyulu said it is required under principles of natural justice to provide an opportunity to the political party which was declared as ‘Public Authority’ by a full bench decision of Commission dated June 3, 2013, to explain why it should not be directed to give information as sought by the appellant. In the other case related to Nagaland MLA Neiphrezo Keditsu, an RTI applicant had sought from Bangalore-based Rajiv Gandhi University of Health and Sciences, date and year of enrolment for the MBBS course of the legislator who claims to have obtained a degree from the institute.The applicant also sought a certified copy of the MLA’s provisional degree certificate. The applicant submitted that Keditsu has been giving contradictory statements by claiming that he was a doctor at one time while at other time he claims to be a businessman, etc.

Teacher shot down in Manipur by suspected NSCN-IM terrorists

Suspected terrorists belonging to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) fraction shot down a teacher at Aimol village in Manipur’s Chandel district on Monday. According to initial reports, the terrorists resorted to heavy firing post the incident. The situation is said to be tense in the area. The government had on September 16 last year declared the NSCN-K, responsible for explosions, ambushes and bombings, as an unlawful organisation for a period of five years. The NSCN was formed on January 31, 1980, by Isak Chisi Swu, Thuingaleng Muivah and SS Khaplang opposing the ‘Shillong Accord’ signed by the then NNC (Naga National Council) with the Indian Government. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Later, differences surfaced within the outfit over the issue of commencing a dialogue process with the Indian Government and on April 30, 1988, the NSCN split into two factions, namely the NSCN-K led by SS Khaplang, and the NSCN-IM, led by Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah.

Now, posters in Jadavpur University demand freedom for Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland

Kolkata: A day after pro-Afzal Guru slogans were heard in the prestigious Jadavpur University, its campus was on the boil on Wednesday as posters “seeking independence” for Kashmir and demanding ‘freedom’ for Manipur and Nagaland were put up by some students, and subsequently torn by a rival group shouting “Bharat Mata ki jai”.

Vice chancellor Suranjan Das dismissed Tuesday’s slogans eulogising parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru Aas the handiwork of “fringe elements” and ruled out any action including calling in the police. However, police said the matter was being “thoroughly investigated”.

The posters appearing on Wednesday morning were purportedly put up by a group which called itself “Radical”.

“Hum kya chahe, Azadi/Kashmir ki Azadi/Manipur ki Azadi/Nagaland ki Azadi” (We demand independence/Kashmir’s independence/Manipur’s independence/Nagaland’s independence), said one poster.

Another empathised with Afzal Guru and 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon, both of whom have been hanged.

“If the Gujarat mass murderers, those who hanged Afzal Guru and Yakub Memon are patriots, and if the students of Kashmir seeking independence are anti-nationals, then we are all anti-nationals.”

A third poster referred to a quotation of Mao Tse Tung and declared: “We are in favour of freedom fo all oppressed people.”

Some of the students took out a rally denouncing the “fascist” Narendra Modi government and decrying the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and the atrocities “brought down” on JNU students by the BJP and other arms of the “Sangh parivar”.

“I don’t think this is a secessionist slogan. If I am an Indian citizen, I have freedom of expression. People of Kashmir are being tortured every day. If they want freedom, I support it. I don’t think this is an anti-national step or slogan,” said Zubi Saha, a member of Radical.

A little later, another group of students carrying the tricolour and shouting “Bharat Mata ki jai” went round the campus and even staged a sit-in outside the university’s administrative building Aurobindo Bhavan.

They shouted slogans demanding exemplary punishment for those indulging in “anti-national” activities and raising secessionist slogans in the campus.

The group — though small in number — then tore up the pro-Guru, pro-Memon and other posters supporting independence of Manipur and Nagaland and condemned the pro-Guru slogans heard on Tuesday.

Instead, they put up posters condemning the Radicals.

“We are from Jadavpur University. We don’t support anti-nationalists,” a poster said.

Some of them also cried “Pakistan murdabad, Hindustan Zindabad”.

Angry over the tearing of posters, the first group then took out a big rally that went around the campus, alleging the posters were torn by those with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad connections.

Meanwhile, the vice chancellor claimed certain “fringe elements” had indulged in the pro-Guru sloganeering on Tuesday and called it “insignificant”.

“Some individuals had convened the rally. That rally was not officially convened by the students’ union. They have told me,” Das told the media here.

“I have seen in the media that a large section of students who were present in the rally, including some of the office bearers of the students union, have unequivocally said they have completely disassociated from these anti-national slogans. They are not supporting it,” added Das.

“If in a rally, some fringe elements gave certain slogans, then that is inconsequential. If some fringe elements have given such slogans, then condemning the entire student body and maligning the image of the university is also unexpected and inconsequential.”

The context in which they had rallied was to show solidarity with students nation-wide for the right to express themselves, clarified Das.

He ruled out lodging any police complaint, saying university was a place for rational thinking and free speech.

Police said they were looking into the matter.

“Though no case has been lodged, we are thoroughly investigating the matter. If we find legal action is needed we will act,” a senior Kolkata police officer told the media.

The BJP said those who raised “anti-India slogans” at Jadavpur University deserved a “good thrashing”.

“What has happened is highly condemnable. It’s a shame that some students raised anti-India slogans. Very soon, come people will give them (Jadavpur students) a good thrashing, which they deserve. It is only then that they will understand the true value of nationalism,” said BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha.

Meanwhile, a number of Left student unions brought out a rally demanding release of Kanhaiya Kumar in solidarity with the students in JNU.

The CPI-M backed Students Federation of India, CPI supported All India Students Federation and the Revolutionary Socialist Party’s arm Progressive Students Union were among those who took part in the rally from College Square to the Y Channel in the city centre.


After pro- Afzal slogans, posters in Jadavpur University demand ‘freedom’ for Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland

A day after pro-Afzal Guru slogans were raised in Jadavpur University (JU), posters demanding ‘freedom’ for Kashmir, Manipur and Nagaland were found in the campus.”Hum kya chahe – Azadi. Kashmir ki Azadi. Manipur ki Azadi. Nagaland ki Azadi (We demand freedom. Kashmir’s freedom. Manipur’s freedom. Nagaland’s freedom),” one of the posters said. All such posters were signed by a group called ‘RADICAL’. Both the student unions and authorities have distanced themselves from such posters.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”These are some fringe elements. I met the students union leaders in the morning and they told me that they disassociate themselves with all anti-national slogans,” Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das said. Slogans in favour of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru were raised at a rally on Monday taken out by JU students to express solidarity with JNU students protesting the arrest of their leader Kanhaiya Kumar for alleged sedition. Das said he saw some student union leaders also walking in the rally yesterday in which pro-Afzal slogans were raised.”As a Vice Chancellor, it is my responsibility to see that the students get their right to protest, their freedom of speech and expression is protected,” he said. On whether the university would make any police complaint on this issue, he said the question did not arise. “In university, the police has no role. I will never call police in the campus,” Das said.Students’ union Forum of Art Students leader Sounak Mukherjee said the majority view of the students was not reflected in the posters. “We are against it,” he said. In the meantime, two opposing groups of students brought out rallies in the campus.The smaller group shouted slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and voiced their concerns against yesterday’s torch rally. They shouted slogans against eulogising Afzal.As a counter to this, other students also brought out a rally. JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on sedition charges for allegedly raising anti-national slogans in the university campus recently. The arrest sparked massive outrage among students and criticism from non-BJP parties.

Four militants gunned down along Assam-Arunachal border

The security forces gunned down four militants at Lohit District near Assam and Arunachal Pradesh border on Tuesday morning.Out of the four slain militants, three belong to the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) (NSCN (K)) while one belongs to the United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) (ULFA (I)).The security personnel have also recovered one AK-56 rifle and two pistols in the operation.The operation is still underway.

Restore special category status, augment fund: Tarun Gogoi to Arun Jaitley

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today requested Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for restoration of the special category status to the state and raise central assistance for it in the coming Union Budget.In a letter to Jaitley, Gogoi pleaded for restoration of the centrally-sponsored schemes and releasing of pending Central Sales Tax compensation due to the state.He also urged Jaitley to earmark appropriate budget provision to enable the state get royalty on crude oil, VAT and other taxes on the actual market price and not on the basis of heavily discounted sale price.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides restoration of the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy 2007, Gogoi urged him to incorporate a special package for promotion and development of the MSME sector.The Chief Minister requested the Union Finance Minister for a special package for the flood victims and embankment protection works.He also sought special packages for development councils and for development of areas adjoining Assam-Nagaland border.Gogoi also requested Jaitley for special packages for protection of one-horned rhinos, for establishment of skill development centres in all the 219 development blocks and special assistance for modernisation and upgradation of state police.