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Tribute to Braveheart

Shobha Shukla, As her violent demise stuns us into silence, and as we hang our head in shame, it also awakens our dead instincts into a quiet but determined uprising, demanding what should have been rightfully ours--a respectable place in society where the dignity of women is not violated day in and day out. We do not want lip sympathy from our impotent leaders, but concrete actions. What happened with the doughty woman (and continues to happen to scores of women every day in some part of the country or the other) must end once for all.

The death of Braveheart (or Nirbhaya or Damini or whatever we may call her indomitable spirit) has spurred us to demand justice for ourselves. Yes things cannot change overnight, but can we at least make a beginning? Just shedding crocodile tears and offering lip sympathy will not do. Can our leaders go beyond political rhetoric (which they are so fond of using) and do something concrete? Rather than talking in the air, our leaders should spell out their immediate and long term action plans to nip the rot that has set in--be it the police, the judiciary or the bureaucracy.

To start with, as a mark of respect for the departed soul, can all those elected members of central and state governments, against whom rape and/or criminal cases are pending, resign immediately on their own or be forced to do so by their bosses? This is one of the several immediate steps that would restore public confidence and pave the way for more reforms for good governance. Merely hanging or castrating the rapists is not going to solve the problem, but speedy and just disposing of all pending cases will.

It is time our dumb Prime Minister spells out clearly the steps his non performing government will take to make the law enforcers more accountable and ensure safety of women and all the common citizens. It is time the police is made to shed its dirty image of a predator than protector. Simply having good laws on paper that are more often than not circumvented is useless. Not only do we need more stringent laws to stop gender violence, but also more importantly, stricter implementation of them.

The flames from her pyre should not turn to ashes, but kept burning through the efforts of likeminded people, including a responsible media, till all women can hold their heads high in society and walk freely without fears of repression and violence--mental or physical. Citizen News Service - CNS and partners believe that starting from the administration and law enforcers down to the family level, all of us will have to work for an environment that does not support subjugation and humiliation of women in its various existing avatars--be it aborting the female foetus, or giving away the daughter in charity with dowry, or denying her property rights, or imposing different moralities on boys and girls. This would be the real condolence we can offer to the soul of the woman who has instilled the spark of life in us by being with us no more.

Citizen News Service - CNS. Shared under Creative Commons (CC) Attribution License.

EMFA condemns Imphal journalist killing

Correspondent,Guwahati, December 26: Electronic Media Forum Assam (EMFA) has condemned and condoled the killing of a Manipuri journalist in police firing yesterday and urged the State government to probe into the incident.

Thangjam Nanao Singh, 30, who used to work for Guwahati based Prime News channel from Imphal, received bullet injuries while covering a demonstration to arrest a militant leader who allegedly molested a local film star.

EMFA in a statement issued urged the Manipur government led by Ibobi Singh and also the management of the city based news channel to provide sufficient compensations to the family bereaved family specially his wife and two minor children.

All Jiribam Working Journalists' Union (AJWJU), Kangleipak Students' Association (KSA), NH-53 Kanglei Ching-Ta Leimalup (NHKAL) and many other forums have also come out strongly against killing of Dwijamani who tragically died in police firing while engaged in professional assignment.

Sikkim best small state

Correspondent, Gangtok, December 25, 2012: Picturesque Sikkim state has achieved diamond state award in small state category. Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumari gave away the award to Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at a ceremony in New Delhi.

Goa and Uttarakhand were adjudged second and third runners-up in the annual competition amongst small states iof the country. Sikkim was chosen as best state for its success and achievements in citizen security, environment, health and water and sanitation segments.

Chief Minister Chamling has assured his government would unleash more measures to sustain the progress being attained by the Himalayan state.

ASEAN - India car rally

Correspondent, Kohima, December 12, 2012: The ASEAN-INDIA Car Rally from Indonesia to India will be in Kohima on December 15. After arriving from Imphal, the rally will halt at Kohima on the day and proceed to Dimapur on the 16th December 2012 and move on to Guwahati for flag down.

Meanwhile Chief Secretary Nagaland Lalthara held a review meeting with the State Core Committee for the Rally on 11th December 2012 in his office chamber. The ASEAN INDIA Car Rally 2012 starting off from Kalay in Myanmar will enter India and pass through Manipur (Imphal) to arrive Kohima at 7 pm at Kohima Local Ground.

There will be 177 participants who will be received by the State Core Committee. From the entry point at Khuzama village onwards SDO (C) Jakhama shall be organising local villagers for receptions along the National Highway.

This Car Rally was announced earlier by the Prime Minister of India, in November 2011 at the 9th ASEAN-INDIA Summit at Bali, Indonesia. The Rally is to showcase ASEAN-INDIA connectivity by road, which is a potential for exploiting relations in all spheres and a message of solidarity, enterprise, creativity and a hallmark of India's relations with the ASEAN countries.

The Rally started from Yogjaharta, Indonesia on November 25 last. It will cover more than 8000 kms, passing through 10 ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Brunei and Philippines) and terminate in India at Guwahati on December 16.

The Rally vehicles comprising of 31 nos will be taken to Delhi for the formal ceremonial flag down, by the Prime Minister of India and ASEAN Leaders, on 20th December 2012, during the observation of 20 years of dialogue relations and 10 years of Summit-Level Partnership with ASEAN, Commemorative Summit being held at Delhi on December 20-21.

The Rally is organised by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India in collaboration with Conference of Indian Industries (CII). As a prelude to the Rally, 8 Envoys/Ambassadors of the ASEAN countries, had visited Assam and Nagaland states. The Envoys/Ambassadors had a meeting with the Chief Ministers of Nagaland, at his residence in Dimapur.

Motor rally to mark World War II

Correspondent, Dimapur, December 4, 2012: The World War II motor rally has been flagged off from DDSC Stadium Dimapur in Nagaland. Altogether 12 vintage WW II Jeep mostly used by the Allied force during the war has proceeded to Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, near state capital Kohima.

The rally has been commanded by Minister of Planning & Co-ordination etc, T.R. Zeliang as the team leader. Advisor, Sericulture and Cooperation, Azheto Zhimomi while flagging off the rally thanked the State Government and the Department of Tourism for organizing the event.

He said that through this motor peace rally he hoped that peace will prevail in the land, so that the people will live in peace and develop more closeness and unity amongst the fellow friends to bring economy development and also promote in export sectors”. The event has been organized by Nagaland Adventure & Motor Association (NAMA).

Programmes for Northeastern States

PIB, New Delhi, November 30, 2012: The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Paban Singh Ghatowar has said that primary objective of development plans for North Eastern Region is faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth for balanced development of the region. Special requirements of the NER and need for significant higher levels of investment for achieving the objectives are well recognized. Accordingly, efforts are made to address the problems in infrastructure - physical and social, through funding from various central programmes.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha Ghatowar said, Central Government is also supplementing development efforts of States in North Eastern Region by providing Special Central Assistance (SCA) and Special Plan Assistance (SPA) through State plans. Setting up of North Eastern Council (NEC) under NEC Act, 1971, as regional planning body is another step for balanced development of the region. Earmarking of at least 10% of Plan Budget of Central Ministries as well as departments for NER and creation of Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) are outcomes of policy initiative for development of NER.

The Minister said, development efforts have resulted in substantial improvement in growth rate in northeastern states during 11th Five Year Plan.

Award for ONGC Tripura Asset

ONGC Release, Agartala, November 27: Sending a resounding note across the industry about the enduring organizational commitment and assiduous practice of safety in its operations, ONGC ran up an impressive tally of 10 awards in the Oil Mines Category at the prestigious National Safety Awards (Mines) for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 held at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on November 21, 2012.

President of India Pranab Mukherjee, the Chief Guest on the occasion, handed away the prizes to the Safety Award winners. Mallikarjun Kharge, Minister of labour & Suresh Kodikunnil, Minister of State for labour were present on the occasion.

Out of 10 awards to ONGC Tripura Asset received two awards, one for drilling mine for the year 2008 and another one for Production mine for the year 2009. Both these awards were conferred in recognition of longest Accident free period (LAFP) in these mines.

The awards received by ONGC, Tripura Asset are the results of a sustained safety culture inculcated in every ONGCian of Tripura Asset over the years. Mr. V P Mahawar, GGM-Asset Manager congratulated all ONGCian of Tripura Asset for this achievement. He specifically expressed his gratitude to the people of Tripura and Govt. authorities for supporting ONGC operations in Tripura.

He also assured that the Asset Management will take all measures to foster the prevailing safety culture to bring more laurels to Tripura.

Bangladesh allows zero point border fencing

Correspondent, Agartala, November 23, 2012: Bangladesh has accepted a proposal of the Indian government to allow erection of barbed wire fencing along zero line of the border. A senior government official said that Triprua is to be main beneficiary of the sanction with fencing to be raised on 13 points exactly on the demarcation between the two countries.

“We have information that Bangladesh government has agreed to an Indian proposal to erect fencing on zero line (of the border)”, a state government official said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to newsmen. The decision of the Sheikh Hasina led Awami League government gave a sigh of relief to thousands of Indian citizens who were set left out other side of the fencing.

The official said India requested for alteration of an old bipartite agreement that prohibits permanent construction within 150yard of actual line of border. India wanted sanction in 46 border locations along 4,096km boundary with Bangladesh, and Dhaka reportedly agreed on 43 locations.

“All most all proposal on Tripura have been accepted”, the officials stated adding the work of construction of fencing would resume soon in 13 locations in state. He said most of the places are located in western part of the state.

An estimated 8,730 houses and huge cultivable land in Tripura frontier were suppose to fall other side of the border had Bangladesh government not accepted the proposal. Opposition Congress party leader and MLA Subal Bhowmik who was spearheading a movement against forcible eviction of people for purpose of fencing lauded decision of the Bangladesh government.

US Senator to attend Agri Expo

Correspondent, Kohima, November 9, 2012: Senator Paul Strauss will be arriving Nagaland to be part of the 3rd NER Agri Expo 2012. The Senator will attend the inaugural function of NER Agri Expo 2012 on November 15 2012, after which, he will be meeting with the officials of Agriculture and Tourism departments who will also be giving power point presentation during the meeting.

The Senator will also attend the closing event of the North East Expo 2012 and will sign MOU with Agri / Tourism departments. During his stay in Nagaland, Senator Paul Strauss will attend the Ahuna Festival at Dimapur.

He will leave for Kohima on November 16 and call on the Governor and Chief Minister of Nagaland. The Senator will also be speaking at the seminar arranged by Humanity International on November 17 at Dimapur.

Senator Paul Strauss is currently serving his third term as US Senator from the District of Columbia, (DC) as a non-voting representative to the US Senate. Strauss lobbied the US Senate and the US House of Representatives on behalf of the citizens of DC in their attempt to gain full Federal representation, self-determination and eventually admittance to the union as the nation's 51st State.

Prior to being elected as Senator in 1996, Senator Strauss was first elected to the Advisory Neighbourhood Commission (ANC) in 1986 and in 1987 became the youngest ANC Chairperson and served as an ANC Commissioner until 1996. Senator Strauss is armed with a bachelor's degree from American University School of Government and Public Administration and a Juris Doctorate from AU's Washington.

He has also been an adjunct professor of Political Science at the American University Department of Government.

Last date of SVEEP campaign

Correspondent, Kohima, November 5, 2012: To achieve the target of enrolling all eligible citizens of India for age groups of 18 years and above as on January 1 2013 in the electoral rolls with photographs for ethical electoral participation and thereby enhancing the quality of Indian democracy, a special campaign of 'Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation' (SVEEP) is launched by Election Commission of India. The Commission still finds a large number of missing voters on the rolls, and registration of newly eligible 18-19 age voters is yet to reach even half way mark nationally many of this missing are women.

Deputy Commissioner, Kohima, W. Honje Konyak, has said that in Kohima district out of 1,54,000 around 45,000 (27%) electors are yet to submit photos to the Kohima District Election Office for which opportunity of photo submission is given up to 20th November 2012 and thereafter defaulter names shall be struck off from the electoral rolls. Sections 17 and 18 of the Representation of the People Act 1950 prohibit any person registering names in the electoral roll more than once.

Similarly one elector taking multiple photographs under same or different names in same or different polling stations constitute violations of the Act which is punishable with imprisonment or with fine or with both. Also vide Section 31 of the said Act require every elector to furnish correct particulars in the roll. Those electors who violate the provisions are liable for punishment with imprisonment up to one year.

The DC added that recently everyone was excited to see the NBCC's pledge on clean election in Nagaland. If everyone rally behind the Church and give full cooperation to the district election machineries, we can make a big change as 98% of our population is Christian, he said further adding that for a free and fair election, an accurate and error-free electoral roll is the most important pre-requisite. He said that some of the electoral malpractices like bogus voting and impersonations can be attributed, to a large extent to the defective electoral rolls.