19 September 2014

Mizoram Home Minister Writes To MP Counterpart in Missionaries’ Arrest Case

Aizawl, Sep 19 : Mizoram Home Minister R Lalzirliana has written to his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Babulal Gaur asking the latter to personally intervene for the five Christian missionaries from Mizoram who were released on bail Tuesday evening after being kept in judicial custody at Khargone for four days and nights for allegedly offering money to Hindus to convert.

In his letter, R Lalzirliana asked the five men be “acquitted and released” as they still face cases against them and that “appropriate corrective action” be served against “the person who lodged the false report for justice’s sake”.

“I have been informed that these missionaries were arrested subsequent to an FIR, lodged by one local resident, accusing [them] of practicing proselytism by offering a sum of Rs 1 lakh to Hindus in an attempt to convert them to Christianity,” the Mizoram Home Minister wrote.

“I was shocked with disbelief on hearing the allegation as I would confidently vouch that the complaints are false and baseless. Christians…are never taught to resort to using any form of material or financial incentives in their mission works and I assure you that missionaries would not use such form of enticement or allure even in the future,” he added.

The five men and the families of two of them have been moved from Sanawad, near where they were arrested, to a Christian compound at Kanapur.

'Northeast Space Centre Not Getting Data From Central Agencies'

Shillong, Sep 19 : The North East Space Application Centre (NE-SAC), set up by the Centre to develop high-tech infrastructure support for the northeastern states, is grappling to obtain required data from central agencies due to the "security threat" perception in the region, an official said Thursday.

"We (NE-SAC) have been struggling to collect data from central and state agencies in in view of the security threat perception surrounding the northeastern states. This reluctance to share data has only put a hindrance for us to implement various programmes, like the Flood Early Warning System effectively," NE-SAC director S. Sudhakar told journalists.

"A centre like NE-SAC, which has been identified for disaster-related issues, should be provided with the database generated by various centres/state departments for analysis and generation of planning inputs, which will help in decision-making and implementation of various programmes more effectively," he added.

The NE-SAC is assisting various central and state departments to use space technology for their planning processes and also enhance the implementation of central schemes effectively to bring economic inclusive growth at the village level.

Lamenting that government agencies were not assisting the NE-SAC, Sudhakar said a system for data sharing should be created that will help in decision-making and implementation of various programmes.

"People are working in isolation. We need an integration of data as the space community has a greater role to play in improving preparedness for various disasters," he said.

The NE-SAC has initiated various programmes, including establishment of the North Eastern Regional Node for Disaster Risk Reduction (NER-DRR), he said.

'Garoland Demand To Continue Even After Peace Accord'

Shillong, Sep 19 : A rebel group in Meghalaya that would next week sign a peace accord with the central government Thursday said it would continue with its original demand for a separate Garoland state.

"We will continue with our demand for the creation of a separate Garoland state (to be carved out of Meghalaya) politically and through non-violence after signing the peace accord with the central and Meghalaya governments," Arist Sengsrang Sangma, spokesman of the A'chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC), told IANS.

The Centre Wednesday announced the signing of the peace accord with two rebel outfits - ANVC and its breakaway group ANVC-B - operating in the five districts of Garo Hills in Meghalaya.

The accord will be signed Sep 24 in New Delhi after a decade of peace negotiations.

"This issue (Garoland) is very much alive as 80 percent of Garo people want a state of their own. Political parties, civil society groups and armed outfit Garo National Liberation Army are demanding the same," Sangma said.

"We will continue to fight for a separate state as central government officials have told us that there is no harm in continuing with our original demand for a separate state but that should be fought through non-violence," he said.

Gogoi urges Rajnath to deploy SSB along Assam-Naga Border

Gogoi also expressed concern over the alleged presence of Nagaland Armed Police in some villages in the disputed area

Guwahati, Sep 19 : Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday urged union home minister Rajnath Singh to initiate immediate measures to deploy Sashtra Seema Bal (SSB) as a neutral force in the affected villages along its border with Nagaland.

“Necessary suitable directions may be passed to the government of Nagaland and SSB authorities for ensuring early return of the affected families from the relief camps,” he said in a letter to the union minister. Gogoi pointed out the urgent need to rehabilitate the displaced persons at the earliest as delay to their homes “may further aggravate the law and order situation in the state.... Sooner the people return to their villages, the better it is for maintenance of the law and order situation.”

The chief minister also expressed concern over the alleged presence of Nagaland Armed Police in some villages in the disputed area and requested Singh to ensure withdrawal of the forces from the villages immediately. He also reviewed the prevailing law and order situation along the Assam-Nagaland border with senior officials at his official residence last night, officials in the chief minister’s office said.

Officials of the home and political department and Assam police informed the chief minister that some Naga villagers backed by NSCN militants were creating obstruction in the process of rehabilitation of the displaced persons, thus creating a sense of insecurity and panic among villagers.

Eleven persons were killed along the Assam-Nagaland border in Golaghat district since 12 August and nearly 10,000 people had taken shelter in relief camps. Of them 5,700 have so far returned to their villages while 4,167 are still in the camps, the officials said.

18 September 2014

Are You Chinese, Peng Asks Northeast Students

New Delhi, Sep 18 : China's First Lady Peng Liyuan today mistook a group of students from the northeast India as Chinese only to be told by them that they were Indians.

          
As Peng entered the Tagore International School, she was greeted by students wearing Indian traditional costumes. She noticed a group of students, including few from the northeast who greeted her "Ni Hao" (How are you?).
         
Mistaking the northeast students as Chinese, she stopped and asked one of them, "Ni sh zhonggu rn" (Are you Chinese?).

The translation is ""你是中國人?"
         
"Bu. Woh shi Indu ren. (No, I am an Indian)," Albert Ginsangmuam K (12), a class VII student, responded confidently.
         
Hailing from Manipur, Albert, wearing a kurta, said he was nervous about the first interaction with Peng and he had not expected her to speak to him.
         
"I know a bit of Chinese, but I was a bit nervous. What if I made a mistake? What would have the school said?" Albert, along with many of his classmates, has taken up Chinese language course.

No North-easterners To Serve China President in Ahmedabad, Why?

Sinlung Says: We are just wondering why? Are the people from Northeast not Indian enough? or India is afraid Chinese president will see them as its citizens?


By Kuldeep Tiwari

The Gujarat police don't want any untoward incident to mar the Chinese president's visit to Ahmedabad.

Keeping the objective in mind, the police have asked the management of the hotel where Xi Jinping will be staying to ask its staff from northeast India to keep away from the venue on Wednesday.

According to reliable sources, the police don't want anything or anybody to make a bad impression on Xi Jinping.

"So, they have asked the management to communicate verbally with its north-eastern staff and those from Tibet and ask them to stay away from the venue," sources said. It should be noted that the mall and hotel staff, even those from the north-east, had been issued passes. But they have since been told to keep away from the venue.

Likewise, a police source said, "In order to avoid any conflict the police have asked the north-eastern and Tibetan staff at Hyatt hotel and AlphaOne Mall to stay away from the main venue where the function will take place."

The source added that the police might have taken the steps to avoid mistaking north-easterners as Tibetans.

However, both - the police and the managements played it safe and refused to answer any questions related to the development. When contacted, Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP) Special Branch Vikas Sahay said, "I am very busy, we will talk later." Officials at Grand Hyatt hotel also refused to comment on the issue.

BIZ AFFECTED

Meanwhile, cops have asked AlphaOne to close the mall to general public on September 17. As per an estimate, this could cost them a loss of about Rs 35 lakh.

However, the mall has already started feeling the heat. The police, on Monday, had cordoned the entire mall and surrounding roads for security purposes.

Restricting vehicles from entering the mall is like asking people to stay away from the mall as there is hardly any parking space available in the surrounding area, sources said.

This is affecting mall's footfall and business. Likewise, the Hotel Hyatt also won't be able to admit new guests in the hotel from September 16 night till the Chinese President is in residence.

On September 17, the hotel will have to keep their restaurant and cafe closed for the outsiders/visitors for security reasons.

5 Mizoram ‘Evangelists’ Freed On Bail

By Adam Halliday 

Aizawl, Sep 18 : Five members of Mizoram Missionary Society arrested last week from Khargone, Madhya Pradesh, for allegedly offering money to a labourer to embrace Christianity have been released on bail and escorted to safety. The missionary workers were released Tuesday night after being taken into custody on September 12. The society has been working in the state for 27 years.

The missionary society has dismissed the charge that its members were offering Rs 1 lakh to the labourer to convert to Christianity, claiming the missionaries get a monthly stipend of only Rs 6,500 and that they cannot afford to offer such a large sum of money.

Seven people, including two women, from Mizoram had been held under the MP Freedom of Religion Act on September 12 for allegedly offering money to Sunil Prajapati to embrace Christianity in Badwah of Khargone district. While Badwah police claimed that Sunil was the complainant, others said local VHP and Bajrang Dal activists had taken up the matter with police.

The women were released on the same day, but five male members were taken into custody. They have been identified as Vanlalsawma (45), K Lalropluanga (35), Thangsangliana (22), R Laldinfela (21) and Zonunmawia (20).

Lalropluanga told The Indian Express over phone that there was no complainant and that police had reached the spot after being called by local Bajrang Dal workers. The society members were on way to hold a prayer meeting in the house of a villager, but even before they entered the house they were stopped by some people and handed over to police, Lalropluanga said.

In-charge of Badwah Police Station V S Parihar said the five Mizo missionaries were “only involved in evangelism” and that they had been active in Khandwa for a long time.

Nine years ago, three other Christian missionaries from Mizoram had been booked in a similar case in Betul district, but were acquitted seven years later. While defining its work as “direct evangelism”, or going door-to-door and talking about Christianity, the Aizawl-based society said its “core” work involves running Ebenezer English Medium School in MP’s Burhanpur district. It currently has 262 students and 17 teachers, most of them Korku and Rathia tribals as well as Dalits.

“BJP MPs, MLAs and sarpanches have always been supportive,” the society added. However, it described Khargone as a relatively “hostile” area where Catholics have borne the brunt of attacks.

Nagaland Police Unearth illegal Tax Network run by NSCN(IM)

By Samudra Gupta Kashyap

Guwahati, Sep 18 : Three weeks after the newly appointed Governor of Nagaland constituted a high-powered committee to probe illegal taxation in the state, the police have unearthed an organised network, controlled by NSCN(IM) cadre, who were illegally taxing transport and commercial vehicles. The network also involved 17 transport and goods companies.

The police action comes a year after NGOs and tribal bodies launched a statewide movement to check illegal ‘taxes’ imposed by different groups.

Dimapur Police additional SP Wati Jamir said the network was run from the offices of different transport and goods carrier companies. The anti-extortion team of the police said the racket ran into crores of rupees. Several persons have been taken into custody and offices of all companies under scanner have been shut down.

“Based on specific inputs, the investigating team Monday raided and searched the office of one M/S Freight Carriers (India) Pvt Ltd in Dimapur, which led to the recovery and seizure of 43 illegal lorry challans for trucks plying on the Guwahati-Imphal route through Nagaland,” Jamir said.

The police found that the challans had the signature of one John, a NSCN(IM) cadre. The managers of the company, Rajbir Sharma and Vikash Sharma, were taken into custody.

During questioning, the two managers admitted that “taxes” were collected from all Manipur-bound transport trucks by issuing the challans on the direction of the NSCN(IM) cadres.

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