26 November 2014

Mizo Govt Pays Over Rs 1 Crore Penal Interest

Aizawl, Nov 26 : The Mizoram government paid more than Rs 1.07 crore penal interests under Urban Local Body (ULB) to the implementing agencies due to late release of fund by the state finance department during 2010-11 to 2014-15 as documents from the Centre for the purpose reached late, Finance Minister Lalsawta told the Assembly today.

Lalsawta, replying to a question from Lalruatkima of the opposition Mizo National Front (MNF), said that General Basic Grant and General Performance Grant under the ULB fund were to be transferred to the accounts of the implementing agencies within ten days as per the guidelines of the 13th Finance Commission's Awarded Grants.

"It was almost impossible for the finance department to transfer the ULB fund to the implementing agencies like the AMC during the time-frame as a plethora of problems were there in clearing the files," he said.

He said that the finance department received the documents of release of grants after ten days of dispatch from the Centre.

He said the Treasuries also sometimes withheld the release of fund due to the fear that there would be overdraft as the financial position of the state had been precarious.
25 November 2014

Mizoram's Literacy Rate 91.33 Per Cent

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRD2oYfU8L-vHxTmwsc_RA-niBN0PRZJ5DhQjekowHei3SJeYksAizawl, Nov 25 : The literacy rate of Mizoram stood at 91.33 per cent making it the third most literate state in the country after Kerala and Lakshadweep, a state minister said.

The highest literacy rate was achieved by the central Mizoram's Serchhip district at 97.91 per cent followed by Aizawl district at 97.89 per cent, state School Education Minister H Rohluna told the state Assembly here.

The lowest literacy rate was at southernmost Lawngtlai district at 65.88 per cent followed by Mamit district on the Mizoram-Bangladesh-Tripura border and south Mizoram's Lunglei district at 84.93 per cent and 88.86 per cent respectively, he said.

He added that concerted efforts were made to increase the literacy rate of the state, especially in the districts of Lawngtlai, Mamit and Lunglei districts by appointing animators and coordinating with NGOs and evangelist teachers working under different churches in the remote areas.

Hindi teachers without salaries for 7 months in Mizoram

Hindi teachers without salaries for seven months in Mizoram Mizoram school education minister H Rohluna.

Aizawl, Nov 25 : Hindi teachers under Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) numbering 1,305 have not received their salaries for seven months, Mizoram school education minister H Rohluna said on Tuesday.

In a written reply to Vanlalzawma of the Mizo National Front (MNF) in the state assembly, Rohluna said that the Hindi teachers did not receive salaries since April till October this year and the salaries were being paid in November.

He said that the salaries could not be paid as the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development could not give sanction on time.

He said that workers under the state mission of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) could not get their salaries since August this year.

He added that there were 4,245 workers including 3,007 teachers working under the state mission of the SSA.
24 November 2014

Crime Against People From Northeast India Rises Steadily: Police Data

Rise in incidents of crime against North East people in Delhi

New Delhi, Nov 24 : 
Crime against people from North-East in the national capital has witnessed a steady rise with Delhi Police receiving 650 calls related to crime this year.

According to data compiled by Delhi police, till November 15 this year, it has received a total 847 calls out of which 645 calls were related to crime.

Police converted 139 of these into FIRs. The number of FIRs stood only at 74 from the people of this region last year.

The highest complaints numbering 259 were received from South Delhi district followed by South East which stood at 53.

The lowest number of calls, six, were received from North East Delhi district. The number of complaints received from other districts were, North West - 44, South West - 40, North - 35, West - 32, East -19, Central - 15, New Delhi - 15, Outer - 10, Crime & Railway - 8 and Out of Delhi - 8.

When it comes to police station wise data Vasant Vihar got the most 58 calls followed by Safdarjung Enclave - 48, Kotla Mubarakpur - 23, Malviya Nagar - 21, and Mukherji Nagar - 20.

These are all areas with considerable population from the North-East. There were 159 cases related to quarrel which topped the list. 56 cases of eve teasing were reported while there were 22 cases of cyber crime/racial discrimination through social media etc.

13 cases were of molestation while six cases of rape and four cases of attempt to rape were also reported. Last week, three youths from the Northeast were found dead within 48 hours in the city.

A 32-year-old PhD scholar from Manipur was found murdered with his neck slashed at his home in south Delhi’s Kotla Mubarakpur area on Wednesday night. The deceased was identified as Keashung Zingram Kengo who had completed his Ph. D from Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

In another incident reported from Malviya Nagar area, a Manipuri student was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his residence on Thursday morning. The same night, another youth from North-East had died after he apparently fell from the staircase at his home in Munirka area in south Delhi.

He was in an inebriated condition when the incident took place.

Attack on Northeast People Out Of Information Gap: Assamese Filmmaker

Journalist-turned-filmmaker Utpal Borpujari feels violence against people of north east in some parts of the country is due to "information gap" and "misconceptions" even as he expressed the need to make conscious efforts to bridge this deficit.

Borpujari's documentary on Naga folk, 'Songs of the Blue Hills' is critically acclaimed in the Indian Panorama section at ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here. "There is a huge gap of information regarding North East.

We have often seen using words like mainstream India for the states which are not from North East. There is lot of misconception about the North Eastern states," Borpujari told PTI. Terming the attacks on the people of north east as "unfortunate", Borpujari underlined the need to bridge the information gap by making conscious efforts pan-India.

"In fact, there should be conscious efforts like including information about the North East in school curriculum," the 46-year-old filmmaker said.

'Songs of the Blue Hills' is produced by Delhi-based Centre for Cultural Resource and Training (CCRT), which has also started a special initiative to educate people about the north eastern culture.

Borpujari, whose earlier documentary 'Mayong: Myth/Reality' had made waves, said that movies based on the north east can help a lot in providing knowledge about this part of the country and dispelling stereotypes. He candidly said that his journey towards shooting 'Songs of the Blue Hills' started in oblivion.

"When I conceptualised the subject, I knew very little about the Naga folk music. When I went to Nagaland it was a journey to discover myself. I realised that a large number of people from Nagaland are pursuing music," he said.

Borpujari said he stumbled upon the fact that Nagaland is the only state in the country where government has formed a task force to ensure that people take music as a profession only during making of the documentary.

Longest Railway Tunnel in Manipur

By Sobhapati Samom

Imphal, Nov 24 : The Tupul-Imphal Railway tunnel in the on-going Manipur railway project (Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal) could be the longest railway tunnel in the country, according to a spokesperson of the Northeast Frontier Railway (Construction Organisation), Guwahati.

“But it could be confirmed whether the tunnel would be the longest in the country only when the construction work is completed,” the spokesperson said over phone.

The Tupul-Imphal Railway tunnel (tunnel number 12) is presently projected as the longest tunnel (10.75 km) amongst 46 tunnels which will cover a total distance of 54.5 km on the 111 km-long new railway line in the State, according to reports.

The 11.2 km long Pir Panjal Railway tunnel which passes through the Pir Panjal Range of middle Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir which is a part of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project, is India’s longest railway tunnel. The tunnel has reduced the distance between Quazigund and Banihal. Till November 20 this year, as many as nine tunnels have been completed along Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal rail project covering more than 11 km in the new railway line, NF Railway sources added.

Interestingly, out of proposed 148 bridges including four tall, five major and 139 minor bridges, the proposed railway bridge (number 164) near the proposed Noney station along the railway line would be the tallest girder rail bridge in the world with a height of 141 metres.

The anticipated cost of the bridge which is expected to consume 5.1 lakh cement bags (2,55,000 quintals), 75,000 quintals of structural steel, 60,000 quintals of reinforced steel and 22,000 mild steel plates, is Rs 280 crore. At present, the tallest railway bridge is 139 metres high Malarijeka Viaduct in Montenegro in Europe. Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal railway line which is estimated to cost Rs 5,996 crores, is targeted to be completed by 2018 while the 84 km Jiribam-Tupul sector is projected for completion by mid-2016.

Thousands Rally Against Jihadis, 'Bangladeshi Infiltrators' in Assam


All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has demonstrated across Assam against the presence of jihadi forces and alleged Bangladeshi infiltrators.

Assam Blind School Student Allegedly Beaten Up, Forced To Drink Urine, Almost Strangulated to Death By Roommates

By Samudra Gupta Kashyap

Guwahati, Nov 24
: A 14-year-old student of a reputed residential blind school in Assam has been forced to quit following alleged torture including forcibly made to drink his own urine. With this incident coming to light two months after it allegedly occurred, state chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Sunday directed institution of magisterial inquiry into it.

The incident allegedly happened on September 26 in the Sreemanta Sankar Mission Barhampur Blind School in Nagaon district in central Assam, with Deba Tati (14) saying six of his roommates accused him of passing urine in the room, following which they beat him up, forced urine into his mouth and then tried to even strangulate him with a bedsheet.

“Six boys first accused me of urinating inside the hostel room, and then beat me, after which they even forced me to drink urine. They also tore my bedsheet and said they will tie a noose around my neck,” Deba Tati told The Indian Express over the telephone from his residence in Tezpur. Barhampur is about about 65 kms from Tezpur, and the blind school – the oldest in the entire Northeast – run by Sreemanta Sankar Mission was set up in 1955.

He said he screamed for help, but nobody came to his rescue. “Luckily, I resisted the noose and managed to save myself. They however continued to threaten me for the next two days and said even the media cannot come to save me,” Deba said. A lady caretaker who looks after the boys’ hostel does not stay in the hostel at night.

While the incident allegedly happened on September 26, Deba left for home two days later when his mother Hema Tati went to bring him home for the Durga puja holidays that began on September 28. “It was only after reaching home that he told us everything and said he won’t go back to school again,” his mother said. The co-educational blind school has about 60 students from Class I to X, with boys and girls lodged in two separate hostels.

Deba’s parents, father Bhairab Tati and mother Hema Tati, are both daily-wage labourers. While Deba had lost his eyesight after a chicken pox infection immediately after birth, his eldest sister Bani got married after dropping out from Class V. His younger sister Pompi, a Class IX drop-out also works as a daily-wage labourer.

The entire episode came to light only on Friday when the family got a telephone call from a teacher of the school asking Deba to return because the annual examination was drawing near. “The family approached me and insisted that I accompany them to drop the boy in the school. When I enquired why, they told me the whole story.

“When I further inquired why they had not revealed this for so long, they said they were not sure what exactly to do,” said Tuntun Borah, a neighbour and an anganwadi worker who finally informed the media about it.

“We came to know about the incident only through the television news yesterday evening,” said Kamakhya Prasad Sarma, secretary of the Sreemanta Sankar Mission, a Nagaon-based organization that had pioneered education for the blind way back in 1950.

“On rushing to the school (which is about 10 kms from Nagaon), one of the teachers admitted to the incident, but could not explain why the matter was not reported to us,” Sarma told The Indian Express from Nagaon today.

A three-member delegation of the Mission led by Sarma went to Tezpur, met Deba and his parents and requested them to send the boy back with assurance that such incidents would not occur again. “But the boy is still scared. We have meanwhile ordered an internal inquiry. One of the six boys Deba mentioned to us in confidence admitted to having assaulted him and forced urine on him,” Sarma said.

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