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Aizwal (Mizoram) | June 12

 The Centre is committed to fast-tracking the development initiatives in the North Eastern region, especially in border areas, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday.

Addressing a meeting of the chief ministers of four North Eastern states which share border with Myanmar, Singh said the region is immensely rich in human and natural resources and its ethnic and linguistic diversities enrich India’s cultural heritage.

“Our government is committed to the fast tracking of development in the North Eastern region. Work on road and rail network extension is going on. We want to extend these networks to border areas,” Singh said in his opening remarks.

The meeting was convened to discuss the issues of India-Myanmar border and attended by Minister of State for Home KirenRijiju besides PemaKhandu, N Biren Singh and LalThanhawla, the chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram, respectively, and Nagaland Home Minister Yanthungo Patton.

“India-Myanmar border is unique in many ways. It has a visa-free movement regime for the people living within 16 km on either side,” Singh pointed out.

Praising the Assam Rifles, which guards the 1,643-km-long India-Myanmar border, the Home Minister said the Assam Rifles is performing its duty with courage and determination.

Under the Border Area Development programme, the four states — Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram— bordering Myanmar received Rs 567.39 crores during the last three years, Singh said.

The home minister also met governor of Mizoram Governor Lt. Gen. (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma at Raj Bhavan in Aizwal.

The international border with Mynamar is considered to be porous with cross-border movement of insurgents and smuggling of arms and ammunition common there.

This is for the first time that such a meeting has been called to discuss issues concerning Mynamar border with active participation of the state governments.

The chief secretaries, directors general of police (DGPs) of the states, director general of the Assam Rifles and senior officials from the central ministries concerned were also present at the meeting.

Newmai News Network

DIMAPUR | June 12

Condoling the demise of NSCN (K) supremo, SS Khaplang, NSCN (IM) vice chairman ‘General (Retd)’ Kholi said that the former had contributed what he could for the Nagas. “In spite of our human weaknesses and errors we all stood firm at all costs for the cause of the Naga Nationhood,” the vice chairman added.

While expressing that the news of the sudden demise of “erstwhile comrade” SS Khaplang on June 9 had come as a shock to him, Kholi said he saw SS Khaplang in his dream waving his hand at him. “I thought with heavy heart that I would die soon. But, it turned out the other way,” the message of ‘General (Retd)’ Kholi said.

Recalling what was said to have been discussed between him and SS Khaplang when the former had visited the latter in 2004, the vice chairman said that both of them had discussed that they “should not let leaders of our own Naga civil society organizations, bureaucrats, politicians, intellectuals to dictate and interfere in our long political struggle because those are the same people who had betrayed our leader Late A Z Phizo when they should just have faith in their leaders who are genuinely struggling for Nagas’ common cause”.

Kholi said that he honours the decision of SS Khaplang to struggle with arms for all Nagas again. “Similarly, I have decided to take up arms for the people but without bloodshed; through peaceful means. Hence, I joined the NSCN leadership led by Late Isak Chishi Swu and Th Muivah who have been consistently negotiating with the government of India for amicable solution to the Indo-Naga political problem”, Kholi added.

“I know you have left with fear that those self-proclaimed individual Naga leaders with Indian policy of divide and rule may disrupt Nagas’ common cause for one people, one nation, but before anything happens, Ato Kilonser Th Muivah and I, General (Retd) Kholi will not allow the Nagas to be divided as Arunachal Nagas, Assam Nagas, Manipur Nagas, Myanmar Nagas and Nagaland Nagas,” the vice chairman stated.

He then shared the bereaved family members of the late leader in “their sorrowful and painful” moment. “And pray that the merciful God Almighty would give them solace and also grant a blissful rest to the departed soul,” Kholi added.


IMPHAL | June 12

Manipur government spokesperson, ThongamBiswajit has said today that PradhanMantriAwasYojana-Grameen (PMAY-G) will be launched in Manipur this month. He said credit linked subsidy will be given to the beneficiaries of the scheme.

A release said in an exclusive interview with All India Radio, Imphal on the three years’ achievements of NarendraModi government at the Centre today, Biswajit, who is also the Rural Development, Works, Power, Commerce and Industries and Information and Public Relations minister said, altogether 6000 affordable houses will be constructed in Manipur under the PMAY-G scheme while 10,000 such houses will be constructed under PradhanMantriAwasYojana – Urban (PMAY-U).

He also said, the PMAY-U has already started benefitting people with affordable houses. Both PMAY-G and PMAY-G are under the Housing for All scheme of the Modi government, it said.

On the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in Manipur, Biswajit said, the new BJP-led government in the State is trying at its best to increase the number of man-days given to job card holders of the scheme to 50, it added.

He further said that deputy commissioners concerned and authorities of District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) have been informed to initiate adequate measures to increase the man-days to 50.

 He further said, the present mode of wage payment to the job card holders is channelized from the Centre to State, State to District and District to Block level administration, it said, adding initially the funding under the scheme will be channelized through state government to the beneficiaries and later, the wages of the job card holders will go to the beneficiaries’ accounts directly from the Centre without the intervention of state government with total transparency.

 Regarding the problem of disparity in the distribution of funds for the MGNREGS among the districts of the state, the minister said, distribution of funds for the job guarantee scheme will now onwards be done on the basis of the number of job card holders in the district and disparity in the distribution of fund for the scheme among districts will never be committed in any other criteria, according to the release.

He also assured that there will no longer be VIP reservations in any manner in the implementation of the flagship scheme and this regard he has instructed the officials concerned in the chain of implementation of the scheme no to keep even a single coin in any account including reservation of VIP, the release added.

 On a question of possible exclusion of those persons who are not included in the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC), 2011 from getting benefits under the PMUY to give free LPG connection, affordable housing under PMAY – Grameen and Urban ect he said, those deserved to be in the list under below poverty line are found missing and those should not be included are also found their place in the list, it said.

Biswajit said, those deserve to be in the list may miss the benefits of welfare schemes for the time being, however,state government is looking for the ways and means to include their names in the list, it continued.

He also appealed to the people from both the hill and valley areas of the state to trace their names in the SECC and to apply for inclusion in the SECC, 2011 if found absent to get the benefits of the poor from the welfare schemes taken up by the Modi government, it elaborated.

He said, the Affiliation Committee led by the DC of the district concerned will look into the applications and if found genuine, the Committee after a resolution will forward it to state government and state government will further send it to the Centre and their names will be included as eligible beneficiaries for the welfare schemes of the poor from the next financial year, it said.

The exclusive interview of the State government Spokesperson will be aired by All India Radio, Imphal in two parts at 7:00am and 9:30am tomorrow for duration of 30 minutes each, maintained the release.

Newmai News Network

AIZAWL |June 12

Union Home minister, Rajnath Singh was greeted with beef feast as he landed in Aizawl today to review the security situation along the Indo-Myanmar border.

Opposing the controversial decision of the BJP led NDA government banning slaughter of cattle for sale in the markets, Zolife Group and other activists today organised “Beef Ban Bashing Banquet” in Aizawl.

The event was held at Vanapa Hall in the state capital where a large crowd including women gathered to take delight at the festival even though there was a heavy rainfall.

“We are strongly against the NarendraModi led Government’s attempt to ban beefwhich is one of the most important traditional food items of the Mizos,” one of the organisers said.

Speaking on the occasion, a member of Zolife Group who is also a writer, LalrinfelaHauhnar better known as MafaaHauhnar said that beef has been closely related with the Mizo custom, tradition and religion.

“Beef has a strong cultural importance with the Mizos. Customarily cows and buffaloes are widely used as bride price in marriage among the Mizos and also in many other occasions,” elaborated LalrinfelaHauhnar.

 He also said Mizos cannot hold grand feast unless beef is included in the menu. The young writer added that the decision to impose ban on beef is an instance of disrespect to the Mizo Christians and their custom.

“Though the Centre has said that beef ban would not affect culturally and ethnically the diversified Northeast region, the ban, if strictly imposed in the whole of the country would surely affect the food habit of the Mizos in the near future,” a member of Zolife Group said.

LalremruataVarte, a leading member of Zolife Group also said that today’s “beef festival” was not an attempt to hurt the sentiment of the Hindus but a token of opposing the Central Government’s decision to impose ban on cow slaughter. “The beef festival was a grand success as over 3000 people gathered to take part in it,” he added.

Meanwhile, the State BJP chief Hluna said that there is no problem in eating beef in Mizoram as its consumption is allowed in the Bible.

Speaking to reporters earlier, the BJP leader from Mizoram had said that people should not worry about the Central government’s notification on cattle ban. “I am aware about the recent government notification on cattle ban but I would like to clarify that as per the Bible, eating beef is allowed,” he said.

IMPHAL | June 12

A one-day public discussion on oil exploration, jointly organised by different civil voluntary organisations in Chandel has resolved to stop oil exploration in the state, maintaining that oil companies should stop spreading lies to the locals, and the latter should respect the rights of the indigenous people.

A release said the discussion was jointly organized by Forest, Natural Resources Management and Development Council (NRMDC Chandel), Anal SinnuRuwal Manipur (ASRM), Anal Naga Tangli Manipur (ANTM), Chakpi River Protection and Development (CRPD), People’s Development Organisation (Chandel PDO) and Farmers Development Society (FDS Chandel).

Speaking in the discussion, PS Ngamnung Anal, president of NRMDC) shared his view on how the developmental projects like Dams, Oil Exploration, etc, will destroy the agricultural land which belongs to the indigenous people of Manipur.

More than 85 thousands hectares of paddy field have been made submerged by the Loktak Hydro Power Project in the name of development and employment to the people, but after the commissioning of the project not a single person whose land have been submerged by this project have achieved job in the project sectors, he said.

Bd. Betha Anal, vice president of CRPD highlighted that there is no proper drinking water facility, roads, hospitals, higher level schools, etc in Chandel District, in the name of constructing the same many companies have approached with a false promise to the people living in Chandel that there will be proper drinking water facility, Schools, Hospitals, Roads, Jobs etc, it said.

Further NL Jonhlung Anal, president of ASRM shared that there are many helicopter and drone flying at night in the area of Chandel, the people fear that there is an aerial survey being carried out by the Beel Industries trying to detect the minerals through some powerful ray as it could be observe by the people of Tamenglong and Jiribam, it added.

There is a fear of polluting the rivers by the drilling processes of Oil and the people will be compelled to shift from their inhabited land in search of safer place, continued Jonhlung, adding the people of Manipur should stand together to protect our natural resources from being taken out by the companies and the government of India, and the resources must be control by the people not the companies, the release maintained.

In the said discussion KL Wellee Anal, general secretary FDS), L Kanlun Anal, president PDO, BdBetha Anal, vice president CRPD, PS Isrial Anal, general secretary ANTM, NL Jonhlung Anal, president ASRM and PS Ngamnung Anal, president NRMDC were the presidium members, said the release.


By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | June 12

A minor girl, who has been waiting for justice in a case of sexual assault by her uncle in 2011, claimed she was raped by her boyfriend on June 1.

A relative of the girl said the incident took place in an area of Imphal West district under Patsoi police station. According to the relative, the victim and the accused had love affairs since March this year. They came to know each other through mutual friends.

The accused deceived the victim with a false identity and had been luring her to elope with him before the incident happened.

On the night of the incident, the accused called her out around midnight through mobile phone promising that he would elope her. Soon after the assault the boy sent her back to home, stating he wanted to study outside the state and doesn’t want to get married as of now.

The victim’s family lodged a complaint about the incident on June 4 at Imphal West Women Police station and on the following day an FIR was lodged.

The case is now registered under POCSO act.

The acused picked up today was remanded to Juvenile Board. He has been kept at observation home till June 17.

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About IFP

Imphal Free Press is a widely circulated English daily published in Manipur, North-East India. Started in 1996, it has relocated its head office from Sega Road, Imphal to Palace Gate, Imphal.

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