20 August 2014

Border Row: Manipur Petrol Pumps Gone Dry

By Iboyaima Laithangbam

Huts were set on fire at Old Ralan village along the Nagaland-Assam Border on August 13, 2014. Photo: Special Arrangement.
Huts were set on fire at Old Ralan village along the Nagaland-Assam Border on August 13, 2014.
From Tuesday morning all petrol pumps in Manipur have gone dry. Petrol was not available since late Monday night. However some oil pumps in and around Imphal sold a few litres of diesel on Tuesday morning.
Oil pump owners said that no oil tanker has arrived at Imphal as a result of the indefinite blockade against Nagaland by the students and activists at Golaghat district of Assam. This is in protest against the killing of 12 villagers, missing of 4 others and torchings of several hundreds of houses in the district by the Naga miscreant suspected to be militants.
Though the activists say that there is no blockade against Manipur, the drivers are not sticking out their necks. The highway which is the lifeline of Manipur passes through Golaghat and Nagaland state. Fear is that frenzied villagers may attack the drivers and oil tankers mistaking them as those of Nagaland.
Most of the consumer items have also vanished from the market.
Life saving drugs are in short supply. The Chief Ministers of Assam and Nagaland had left the ball in Centre’s court saying that it should intervene. In the meantime, the Manipur Chief Minister is keeping a deafening silence despite the fact that the people are at the receiving end.
Following the mob attack against the Assam Chief Minister and his entourage, no minister or high official is visiting the affected district. No minister and official from Nagaland have also visited the border areas.

Irom Sharmila Must Be Released, Says Court, Rejects Attempted Suicide Charges

By Alok Pandey

Irom Sharmila Must Be Released, Says Court, Rejects Attempted Suicide Charges

Activist Irom Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike for 14 years
Imphal, Aug 20 :  Irom Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike in Manipur for 14 years, must be released, a local court said today, rejecting charges of attempted suicide against her.

Irom Chanu Sharmila, 42, has been on a hunger strike since November 2000, in protest against a law that gives the army sweeping emergency powers in the northeastern state.

She has been kept in a room at a government hospital and force-fed by tubes through her nose. For years, visitors needed permission from the Manipur Home Secretary but this changed after the National Human Rights Commission objected.

Her release will mean that she can't be force-fed anymore, which, her supporters say, could endanger her life.

After years of struggle, the activist appeared disillusioned as she spoke to NDTV about her anticipated release.

"My own supporters are not letting my protest proceed on the right path," she said.

Sharmila claims that her protests have been hijacked by the very people in charge of her campaign, the Just Peace Foundation, who, she says, don't even allow her to donate money from her international prizes to causes of her choice.

She began her fast days after 14 people were shot in Imphal, allegedly by personnel of the Assam Rifles. Newspapers published graphic pictures of those killed, which included a 62-year-old woman and an 18-year-old National Bravery Award winner.

Three days later, she was charged with attempt to suicide. She was 27.

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, described by critics as draconian, allows soldiers legal immunity when they are operating in "disturbed areas" - states dealing with separatists or insurgents. Soldiers are allowed to make arrests without warrants or raid any location.

Activists allege the law has been misused and has led to gross human rights violations.

Irom Sharmila was not allowed to vote in this year's election because the law does not allow any citizen in custody to cast a vote.

Govt Creates Separate Manipur, Tripura Cadres for IAS, IPS

New Delhi, Aug 20 : The government has created separate cadres of Manipur and Tripura for IAS, IPS and IFoS officers.

Earlier, Manipur-Tripura acted as a joint cadre for officers of all India services (AIS)--Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS).

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has also come out with a draft list of allocation of separate cadres of Manipur and Tripura to these officers.

The move comes following a recommendation from a committee headed by DoPT Secretary.

"It is recommended that the AIS officers would be allocated or distributed on the principle of 'as is where is' basis, which means that the determinant factor would be the current posting of the officers.

"In case of those officers who are not in the cadre right now, the determinant factor would be their last place of posting in the joint cadre of Manipur-Tripura," the Committee has said.

As per the draft distribution list, 91 IAS, 60 IPS, 44 IFoS officers (including promotees) are to be allocated to Manipur. Likewise, 73 IAS, 50 IPS and 57 IFoS officers (including promotees) are to be allocated to Tripura, the DoPT order said.

The Committee, which was formed after the passing of the North Eastern Areas (Reorganization) Amendment Act, 2012, had as members Chief Secretaries of Manipur, Tripura, Special Secretary (Internal Security), Ministry of Home Affairs, Inspector General (Forest-cum-Special Secretary), Ministry of Environment and Forests and Joint Secretary in the DoPT.

"Any factual error in the distribution or any representation may please be brought to the notice of Department of Personnel and Training latest by August 25, 2014," it said.
19 August 2014

Thenzawl in Mizoram to be named ‘Handloom City’

Thenzawl, in the state of Mizoram will be named a Handloom City, a government official said.

Parliamentary Secretary, Joseph Lalhimpuia announced this recently, when on a visit to the Handloom Complex under Industries Department in Thenzawl, Mizo News reported.

Located 43 kms from Aizwal, the state capital, Thenzawl is an important hub of traditional Mizo handloom industry, which produces rich and colorful varieties of Mizo traditional textiles.

Lalhimpuia said the Union Government had announced a scheme for setting up handloom clusters in the recent budget.

Under the same scheme, plan has been made to set up common facility centre in Thenzawl too, he said.

He added that the common facility centre will increase progress in the Thenzawl handloom sector and provide more benefits to the weavers.

Currently there are 821 handloom units in Thenzawl, which produced textiles valued at more than Rs 11 crore in the period January to June 2014.

Kuki Militant Leader Meets Rijiju in Delhi

New Delhi, Aug 19 : Kuki National Organisation (KNO) Defence Secretary TS Haokip met Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on August 16 in New Delhi and discussed the proposed commencement of political dialogue between the two parties in the near future.

Sources said that Rijiju had assured the KNO leader to engage in the political dialogue soon. “Yes, we got a positive response from the Union Minister of State for Home in this regard”, disclosed a well-placed source in the KNO.

The meeting between the KNO leader and the Union Minister was the first after the NDA came to power. The current term of Suspension of Operation (SoO) ends on August 22.

“We have decided to give at least one year to the new government”, stated the KNO source, adding, “We will be definitely signing for the extension of the SoO on August 22”.

According to the sources, the KNO Defence Secretary TS Haokip highlighted the failures of the previous UPA Government in implementing its assurances to the KNO. Haokip met Kiren Rijiju at South Block, New Delhi on August 16.

The response of the Minister of State for Home was positive. “He agreed that SoO should not be an end in itself; that Government should be accountable and engage KNO in an honourable and meaningful dialogue to find an amicable political solution within

the Constitutional framework of India”, the sources added.

Appointment of the Government’s interlocutor was also discussed. The KNO sources said that the Kuki public and the cadres have become very impatient as no political dialogue has been started even though the SoO was signed way back in 2008, the KNO sources stated.

Source: Newmai News

Sedition, Devastation And The Birth Of A Nation

By Garga Chatterjee

In 1966, the Indian Air Force bombed Mizoram, including the present capital Aizawl.

The sanitised term 'collateral damage' was not in vogue then. When Mizos were being attacked with incendiary bombs that only an Air Force raised on Gandhian ideology could provide, many of those bombed must have had a lot of thoughts rushing through their heads.

I suspect that some thoughts were not exactly those of affection towards the Union of India. Legally, sedition involves incitement of disaffection towards the State.

It's possible that some Mizo parents incited their daughters and sons to become disaffected towards the powers that were aerially bombing their town and villages.

In doing so, they became serious criminals under the law of the Indian Union's land. MK Gandhi had famously proclaimed that affection couldn't be manufactured by law.

However, it's quite possible to get the grandchildren of the bombed people to turn out in smart saffron, white and green uniforms for August 15 festivities in Aizawl. Schoolchildren under the watch of armed personnel seem to be a favourite setting for affection photo-ops.

An anxious Nation-State uses black laws to curb anything that tries to puncture its mythology and glorious Creation story. This weapon is typically used to shut up those who try to adhere to the official Hindustani slogan 'Satyamev Jayate' (Truth alone prevails).

It isn't accidental that four lions stare down at anyone who takes the Satyamev pronouncement at face value. Lions hunt in packs. Too many undesirable people whose remains will never be found know this too well. That's the usual method of instant justice for sedition. It is only when a relatively powerful person breaks the silence that the lions appear unsure.

Kalvakuntla Kavitha, Telangana Rashtra Samithi member of Parliament, allegedly said, "Jammu & Kashmir and Telangana were both forcefully, and at the same time, annexed to the Indian Union.

When I say I feel strongly, it's because we were both separate countries, but were merged with the Indian Union after Independence.

In 1947, we were not a part of India." Her father is Telangana's Chief Minister. That, her MP status and the 1962 reading down of the sedition law will ensure no harm comes to her. No parliamentarian is naive, but even within cynical speeches, I would celebrate any opening provided to myth-busting.

Sedition is a law of the powerful against the powerless, of the coward against the brave. A humane State embraces people's will. A brutal State sends in the army.

People who expose origin myths and crimes of the government under whose jurisdiction they live are typically sedition targets. They disrupt the long lullaby of the non-violent and consensual creation and unification of Nation-states. To consider a Nation-State and its political mythology holy is a slur to the sacred ­— the kind that predates all man-written books, laws and constitutions.

The shrillness with which K Kavitha has been demonised shows the tense foundations of the India-making project.

And she hasn't even gone half the way down the path of parliamentarian GG Swell who showed bomb-covers in the Lok Sabha when patriotic tricoloured lions refused to own up to their aerial hunt in Mizoram. I propose a statue for GG Swell. Let's call it the statue of integrity.

The author is a commentator on politics and culture

Mizo Police Deported 309 For Violating ILR

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-O3stKEBNYz8/T46_tMD3BuI/AAAAAAAAF2g/JvVn8b31rwo/s1600/sikkim+inner+line+permit.jpgAizawl, Aug 19 : Mizoram Police have deported 309 non-tribals who violated the Inner Line Regulations (ILR) during this year, state home department officials today said.

The officials said the ILR violators included those who entered and stayed in the state without valid Inner Line Permit (ILP), those who misused their ILPs and those who failed to extend their ILPs.

The arrested non-tribals were produced before the local courts and were later on deported, the officials said.

Provisions of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873 required all non-tribals to acquire Inner Line Permits before entering north eastern states like Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

Northeast CMs' Meet To Decide Roadmap For Development

Agartala, Aug 19 : DoNER Minister Gen (retd) VK Singh would meet the chief ministers of all eight northeastern states in Guwahati Aug 21-22 to decide a roadmap for the development of the region, an official said here on Monday.

This would be the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) minister's first meeting with the chief ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur and Sikkim.

"The meeting would discuss and resolve various strategies and plans on agriculture, roadways, education, power, transport, tourism, industries and health sectors of the region," an official of the North Eastern Council (NEC) told IANS.

He said various expert groups and specialists would also make presentations highlighting the scope and available resources of the region.

The meeting would also discuss the ongoing projects of the NEC.

After assuming office in May, VK Singh held several meetings with top officials of both the DoNER ministry and the NEC in New Delhi and Guwahati to familiarise himself about the northeastern states and functioning of his ministry and the council.

A Tripura government official said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also agreed to convene a meeting soon of the eight chief ministers to resolve various problems of the region.

Modi's assurance came on Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar's request when he met the prime minister in New Delhi recently.

The official said Sarkar and Modi discussed issues such as connectivity, policy intervention, infrastructure, agricultural, educational, health service and tourism.

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