24 April 2015

Spread of H1N1 Contained in Mizoram

Aizawl, Apr 24 : With no fresh case of swine flu being detected in Mizoram in the last few weeks, H1N1 virus has now been contained although people entering into the state were being screened as a precaution, a senior health official said.

Of the 30 samples sent to Kolkata's National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in February, four were tested positive and all of them recovered completely a fortnight ago after being treated in the state, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) nodal officer Dr Pachuau Lalmalsawma told news agency PTI.

However, as a precautionary measure screening of passengers arriving from outside the state was being conducted at the lone Lengpui airport near Aizawl and at Mizoram-Assam border town of Vairengte for people entering the state through NH-54, he said. The surveillance might be relaxed after this month unless fresh cases or threats are detected in the state, he said.

Sporting Events Help Budding Players Prove Their Talent in Northeast

Imphal, Apr 24 : Altogether 341 black belt holders including 180 girls and 161 boys participated in the 11th edition of the 'Governor's Taekwondo Cup' in Imphal.

The four-day long event was held under the aegis of All Manipur Taekwondo Association (AMTA) in different categories.

After a tough competition, Union Taekwondo Academy from Yumnam Leikai won the championship.

"We are organizing such championship for the welfare of the Taekwondo sports to encourage and improve the players. By organizing more Taekwondo championship will help the players to improve and also will promote the players," said Lamabam Toto Singh, Referee-in-Charge.

"I am happy to participate in the tournament. It will help to improve my skills," said Manichandra, a player.

In Guwahati, the 6th edition of Dr T. AO Memorial Football Championship is being held at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.

All eight Northeastern states are participating in the tournament which is being organized by celebrity management group Private Limited in collaboration with SAI and Assam Football Association and sponsored by the North Eastern council (NEC).

Assam state Sports Minister Ajit Singh inaugurated the tournament.

A large number of football lovers are visiting the venues in Guwahati and Silchar to witness the thrilling championship.

"The basic objective of the tournament is to promote the local talents, only the son of the soil can take part the championship and it is funded by Northeast Council (NEC). Assam, Nagaland, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh will play in Guwahati while Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and Meghalaya will play in Silchar," said Ankur Dutta, Secretary of Assam Football association.

"I'm confident that it will be a very successful tournament. This tournament will help young budding talents of the northeast and they will get a good exposure," he added.

"We get a good experience here. We do not have such kind of facility at home. Even we host games but there is no good infrastructure like they have here in Guwahati," said Talong, a player.

The Northeast region has produced many talented sportspersons, who have represented India at international tournaments.

Such competitions will help the national selectors to identify the talent in various sports.
23 April 2015

Mizoram Readies For Oil Drilling


A natural gas drilling rig
Aizawl, Apr 23: Mizoram is all set to become a part of the hydrocarbon map of the country as the Cachar-Mizoram exploratory outfit of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) is preparing to begin extraction of trapped natural gas in the state's Meidum drilling site in Kolosib district.

Natural gas was detected in Meidum's exploratory well in the middle of last year, after drilling for over two years, but ONGC had estimated only 2.2 billion cubic metres of natural gas at a depth of 3.85km, which made it not commercially feasible.

A senior official of the ONGC's Srikona headquarters today said an initiative named hydro-fracturing process was then used in Meidum well. In a hydro-fracturing module, hard rocks and tricky crevices are softened by heavy machines to extract more gas.


He said it is estimated that 3 billion cubic metres of gas would be extracted from Meidum after this hydro-fracturing drill.

In the last week of February this year, Mizoram's geology and mineral resources minister H. Rohluna, accompanied by M.C. Das, the general manager of Cachar-Mizoram project of the ONGCL, visited the drilling site and announced that work would soon start on an experimental basis.

The ONGC has started work on another well in Mizoram in a virgin drilling site in Zanlawn, 40km north of Aizawl, after NH54, connecting the village with Silchar, was further widened to make room to ferry heavy machinery.

He said in the course of time the corporation would also start drilling in Hortoki drilling site. The ONGC has so far identified two sites in that village, which he added, could be another hydrocarbon-bearing area in north Mizoram.

No Proposal To Ban Cow Slaughter in Northeast India: BJP

Shillong, Apr 23 : There is no proposal to ban cow slaughter in the eight northeastern states, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said on Wednesday.

However, the Bharatiya Janata Party's government in other states will review the situation and take relevant decisions, he said.

"In some states, ban on cow slaughter has been there for several decades now. In a number of states, it is not there, including all the states of the northeast, because of the demographic situation here," the BJP leader, who is of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) background, told journalists here in the Meghalaya capital.

"We are not proposing any such ban (on cow slaughter) here," asserted Ram Madhav, who accompanied party president Amit Shah during his maiden visit to Meghalaya.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh and union Minister Maneka Gandhi recently favoured a complete ban on cow slaughter across India.

Meanwhile, Shillong-based civil society group Thma U Rangli-Juki (TUR) staged a protest near the Meghalaya BJP office over a reported proposal to ban beef and cow slaughter.

"We will not allow the government to impose such a drastic law. Beef is one of our delicacies and it has many nutrients for us hill people. We will not allow anyone to impose any law on us," TUR leader Kyrsoibor Pyrthuh said.

Acknowledging the protest, Ram Madhav said: "It is a democratic country. People can protest. But the reasons for their protest are misplaced. The BJP is committed to the unity and integrity of the country."

"India is a country of many religions. Pluralism is at the heart of this country. Every religious community will live in this country with utmost peace and safety and security. The government will ensure that," he said.

Asked about the plan to strengthen the party in the northeast where the BJP does not have much presence other than in Assam, he said: "We are attaching great importance in the development of this entire region."

"As a party also, we are supporting our government's initiatives to strengthen the economy of this region by supporting directly from the Centre as well as creating avenues with a number of neighbouring countries also."

Ram Madhav said: "We are committed to the development of the northeast and that is why our president (Shah) and our party are taking a lot of interest, and that is why we are here."

Kiren Rijiju in Dock for Afspa Extension in Arunachal Pradesh

Kiren Rijiju

Guwahati, Mar 23
: With protest against the extension of Afspa Act getting louder in frontier state of Arunachal Pradesh, the role of Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju  has come under the scanner of the PMO.

Disclosing that decision was taken without any consultation with the state government and other security agencies, sources in the Centre said the home ministry is prepared to roll back their decision of extending Afspa in 12 bordering districts of Arunachal Pradesh, but looking for a face-saving escape route.
The protest became louder after three women of Jullang village accused that Armymen molested them on April 6. And, in reaction, Mr Rijiju tweeted, “It was a drama. Army is not even present in that area, forget about harassment”, to more embarrassment of the department.

----

The Centre’s decision to extend the enforcement of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, to 12 districts of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam and Nagaland, has sparked sharp reactions.

A consultative meeting organised by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union on AFSPA held in Itanagar has unanimously decided to constitute a Joint Coordination Committee to carry forward the movement against AFSPA.

The JCC spearheaded by AAPSU will comprise of leaders from various organisations, NGOs and prominent persons in the state. The committee will conduct state-wide awareness campaigns on AFSPA, followed by mass democratic movements, informed AAPSU leader Kamta Lapung.

The AAPSU will also submit a memorandum to the Arunachal Pradesh government and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Although the meeting welcomed the assurance given by Union Minister of State Home, Khiren Rijiju to partially roll back AFSPA from Arunachal Pradesh, JCC in coordination with the North East Students Organisation will continue to campaign for total repeal of the Act.

AFSPA has been in force in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of Arunachal
Pradesh up to 20 km inside from the inter-state boundary with Assam. But the latest decision of the Centre to extend AFSPA enforcement to 12 more districts of the state has angered the people of the state.

The Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh has stated that the Centre did not consult it before deciding on extending AFSPA to other districts.

A team of the state BJP led by president Tai Tagak met several senior party leaders, including MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju in New Delhi to apprise them of the people’s stiff opposition to extension of the Act.
22 April 2015

MNF Presses For Outlawing Bru Democratic Front of Mizoram

Aizawl, Apr 22 : Opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) today said if the Hmar People's Convention (Democrats) is declared unlawful organisation, the Bru Democratic Front of Mizoram (BDFM) should also be outlawed.

Former Rajya Sabha member and core committee member of the MNF Lalhmingliana said the BDFM had been indulging in illegal activities along the Mizoram-Bangladesh-Tripura border areas in Mamit district.

Lalhmingliana said the BDFM cadres working together with the NLFT based in the jungles of Bangladesh, had abducted a large number of people for ransom including non-tribals working in the state.

The MNF and other major opposition parties in the state agreed with the state government to outlaw the HPC(D) outfit, responsible for killing three policemen while ambushing a state Assembly committee on government assurances team on March 28 last near Zokhawthiang along the Mizoram-Manipur border.

The meeting of the all political parties convened by state home minister R Lalzirliana on April 13 had unanimously agreed that the Union Home Ministry be approached to declare HPC(D) as an unlawful organisation.

The MNF party representatives in the all-party meeting expressed opinion that the BDFM should also be outlawed as they were indulging in abduction of many innocent people, which was regarded as an act of terror by the international community, Lalhmingliana added.

Northeast Students Racially Abused in Bangalore

By Mohit M. Rao


Two journalism students from Arunachal Pradesh were racially abused by four people at Shantinagar Bus Stand on Tuesday evening.
While the youth was also allegedly assaulted, his cousin sister was sexually harassed. The two, who migrated to the city two years ago for their undergraduate studies, were returning home when they were accosted by two people around 8.45 p.m..
“They started sexually harassing me. They were smelling of alcohol, and shouting out dirty comments in broken English,” said the girl who was riding pillion on the two-wheeler. When her cousin stopped the vehicle and removed the helmet, the abuse turned racial.
“They pushed him around and slapped him for no reason. Two others joined them, with one of them claiming to be the son of the commissioner. ‘I am very powerful, you don’t know what I can do,’ he started to say,” the girl told The Hindu .
The duo then called the police, and when no policeman turned up, they took to Twitter to register their complaint on Police Commissioner M.N. Reddi’s handle, @CPBLR.
While advising the two to contact the divisional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Reddi tweeted, “It is utterly false [the claim of an assaulter that he is the Commissioner’s son]. Somebody has told lies… Whoever they are, will be duly punished.”
The students then orally informed the Ashoknagar police about the incident.
Fear
The two are now fearing a backlash. “The assaulters are barely a few metres from our house. We do not know what they will do when they find out we have complained,” they said.
This isn’t the first time the two have faced racial abuse in the city. Persistent harassment has seen them change four houses in nearly two years.
While the youth was also allegedly assaulted, his cousin was sexually harassed

Indian Tourism Minister Travels To Northeast India


Dr Mahesh SharmaDr Mahesh Sharma
India’s Minister for Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma, has completed a trip to the country’s remote northeast.

Dr Sharma visited Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland on the two-day trip, to discuss new and potential tourism projects in the states.

On the first day of his visit on 17 April, the minister held a meeting with Shri Nabam Tuki, the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, to discuss his plans for the state’s tourism industry, including a the development of a new regional tourism circuit.  Dr Sharma also pledged the government’s support to develop the infrastructure and facilities required for tourism in the region.

He also paid a visit to the Adventure Camping site and Tourist Lodge in Bhalukpong, Arunachal Pradesh – a project sponsored by Ministry of Tourism as a part of its focus on sports and adventure tourism.

The official trip continued to visit Nagaland and Manipur on 18 April, where Dr Sharma laid the foundation stone for the new Regional Convention Centre of North-East Zonal Cultural Centre (NEZCC) at Dimapur.

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