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JFA condemns attack on French media house


January 9, 2015: The Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has strongly condemned the brutal  attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo, the Paris based French satirical magazine, on last Wednesday  killing 12 persons including the journalists.

Media reports from Paris confirm that the dead include  cartoonists Stéphane Charbonnier,  Jean Cabut, Georges Wolinski, Bernard Verlhac and reporter Bernard Maris.  It also reported that two masked-men appeared in the location and indiscriminately fired over the employees of Charlie Hebdo.

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had joined the world leaders to condemn the ‘cold-blooded crime’ committed by terrorists. Expressing deep shock over the terror attack, he said, “This act of violence can in no way be justified.

This is an attack against freedom of expression and freedom of the press - the two pillars of democracy. ”The JFA, in a statement issued to the media, asserted that the attacks on Charlie Hebdo can be termed as an assault on the universal rights of free expression. It also pointed out that journalists become the targets of fanatics around the world and no place remains safe haven for the media persons.

National Youth festival in Guwahati


Guwahati, January 8, 2015: The 19th National Youth Festival 2015 got underway from Thursday at Nehru Stadium in Guwahati. The union ministry of sports and youth affairs in collaboration with the Assam directorate of sports and youth welfare is organizing the event.

The chief guest of the opening ceremony will be Tarun Gogoi, chief minister Assam while Sarbananda Sonowal, union minister of state (Ind) for sports and youth affairs will preside over the function. Guest of Honour would be Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs in the presence of Assam sports minister Ajit Singh.

Assam and the entire North East is going to be the proud host of the Festival for the first time. Thus through these activities it will open a wide range of scope and avenues to the Youth to provide nationwide exposure for fulfillment of their cultural talents and abilities.

In addition to these there will be cultural nite starting from January 8 to11. Bollywood star singers Alka Yagnik, Zubin Garg, Papon and Rock Bands from the North-East will stage live performance in different cultural nites.

All together 2500 participants including Officials from 24 States are participating in the events. For attending different events during the 5 days programme including Cultural Nites, entry passes for college students have been sent to Cotton College, Handique Girls College, Arya Bidyapith College, Guwahati Commerce College etc. 

Delhi police to recruit from NE


Itanagar, December 30, 2015: It could a solace for people from northeastern states who often face heat of racial attacks in the national capital. The union home ministry has resolved to recruit youths from northeastern region in police force of New Delhi.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju informed that some 160 youths would be taken in first place. He made the announcement after attending a meeting that essentially discussed racial motivated attacks on students in particular and people in general from northeast.

At least five dead and scores injured- some of them women, in spate of attacks for which Delhi police has been severely criticised by rights groups and civil society. 160 recruits would include 10 male and 10 female officers who will hail from all eight states of northeast India.

Sources said the regional recruits would help the Delhi police contain racial crimes and would also maintain liaison with residents from respective states. They said the decision needs clearance from the union cabinet before taking a shape. 

Parties say government guilty for massacre


Guwahati, December 27, 2014: Holding both the central and state governments responsible for the heinous act of terror committed by the NDFB (S) militants in several places of Assam, leaders of several political parties said that the innocent people could have been saved if the government had acted sensibly.

The leaders of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), CPI, Nationalist Congress party (NCP) and state unit of Samajwadi Party who visited the victims of the killings at different relief camps and shelter places also said that the people are living a very pathetic life.

“This is a serious issue of negligence. According to the reports the state government had the inputs of such attack in the state but the state security agencies just could not negotiate it. And the result is loss of lives of common people,” AGP general secretary Kamala Kanata Kalita said on Friday.  

The leaders also urged the state government to provide adequate facilities for the inmates at the camps besides a guarantee of safety and security so that they can return to the villages at the earliest.

“The people are in very bad shape in the relief camps. We have talked to the women and others. They are worried for the household items and the domestic animals. They said they do not want to live in the camp but they want to live safe and secure in their home in their respective villages,” said Bhogeswar Dutta, state secretary of CPI.

Lack of proper communications and infrastructure is also another reason for such incidents as said by these leaders. Terming the NDFB (S) militants as terrorist, Dutta also urged the government to control their activities defiant way.

“They don’t deserve to be sit in talks as they don’t want. They should be taught a lesson in a very tough way by the government,” Dutta added. On December 29, all the parties, except BJP and Congress, will be meeting at the AGP headquarters to decide the next course of action in this regard. 

Massacre of Adivasis is a crime against humanity: ACHR


New Delhi, December 24, 2014: Asian Centre for Human Rights condemned the massacre of over 60 Adivasis including 18 children and 23 women in Assam last night in Kokrajhar and Sonitpur districts allegedly by members of the National Democratic Front of Bodolond (Songbijit faction) as crimes against humanity as defined under the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court. 

"The incident is a stark reminder that India is no less vulnerable than Pakistan which witnessed the massacre of school children by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan on 16 December 2014. Regrettably even after such repeated massacres of the innocent civilians in Assam, in the past, First Information Reports (FIRs) have not been registered nor accountability for the responsibility of commanders and the superiors of those involved in these heinous crimes has been established by the government." - stated Asian Centre for Human Rights. 

Asian Centre for Human Rights called upon the State Government of Assam and the Union of India to ensure registration of the FIRs, conducting of proper and thorough investigation including fixing of the responsibility of commanders and other superiors of those involved in the crime, and bring the perpetrators to justice. 

Action against Google for wrong map


Itanagar, December 23, 2014: The union government has asked the Department of Electronics and Information Technology and Survey of India to initiate ‘appropriate’ legal action against Google for wrongly depicting international boundary of some states like Arunachal Pradesh, according to media reports.

“Google is displaying incorrect map of India depicting the international boundary of some states like Arunachal Pradesh on its different websites. Displaying an incorrect map by Google is an offence under Section 69A of IT Act, 2000. Survey of India, which is the nodal agency to deal with the issues related to boundary matters, has been advised to take appropriate legal action for violation committed by Google," Union Minister Harsh Vardhan was quoted as saying by reports. 

Street play against witch hunting


Guwahati, December 23, 2014:  Well-known theatre group of Assam, Samahar Natya Gosthee toured Baksa district and performed its street play 'AEI MAATITE', written and directed by Dr Sitanath Lahkar in a bid to create awareness against witch hunting. The group performed four shows of the play during the day at Barama, Mushalpur, Doomni and Jalah, reaching out to thousands of people.

Commenting on the campaign, Samahar General Secretary Dr Sitanath Lahkar said: "Witch hunting, born out of superstition and all round backwardness of people and aggravated by a small powerful section of society with the help of sorcerers, stands out to be enemy of humanity, stigma of civilisation and hence a big challenge for us."

"The Baksa District Administration has taken a laudable and effective step to counter this challenge by organising street theatre campaign throughout the district," Mr Lahkar added.

"We have invited Samahar Natya Gosthee as we feel they are a great group of talented artistes, who carry the spirit of Assam into addressing every issue faced by our state with a lot of passion," Mr Seshan added.

The play 'AEI MAATITE' mainly talks about the witch hunting problem in Assam and how a section of people are using witchcraft for their own interest. Witchcraft has no reason and a part of darkness of superstitious beliefs — this is the say of the street drama, performed by Samahar Natya Gosthee yesterday in Baksa. The play also cited many examples of inhuman killings in the name of witch hunting and appealed the people to upheld humanity on the basis of reason and scientific explanations.

Digital literacy mission launched


Dimapur (Nagaland), December 21, 2014: National Digital Literacy Mission was launched in Dimapur by Parliamentary Secretary, Information & Communication Technical Education, Science and Technology and Taxes, Tovihoto Ayemi.

Speaking on the occasion, he informed that the Department of Electronics and Information Technology Government of India has recently approved the Scheme for IT mass literacy to train about 10 lakh person in every eligible household in the country.

He said that the initial aim of the mission was to train one person from every household in the age group of 14-60 years. He also mentioned that Naygaland has also taken the opportunity to train about 6600 beneficiaries in the first phase of IT mass literacy programme.

Ayemi further pointed out that the department has trained village level entrepreneurs in the three districts, Kohima, Dimapur and Peren. While launching IT mass literacy programme he encouraged the beneficiaries to learn the Computer seriously as it is a necessity of life in the 21st century.

The programmed was invoked by Assistant Superintendent, IT& C, Ketsoseno Tetseo. Opening remarks was delivered by Commissioner and Secretary, IT & C, K.D Vizo. 

Two from northeast get Sahitya Akademi award


Guwahati, December 20, 2014: Two writers from Northeast has won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in Assamese and Bodo language as the main awards were declared in New Delhi on Friday for the year 2014. The awards for Manipuri and Sanskrit language will be declared later, said a statement issued by the Akademi.

Prominent Assamese writer Arupa Patangia Kalita has been named for Sahitya Akademi award for her short-stories, ‘Mariam Austin Othoba Hira Barua’. While former Rajya Sabha MP from Kokrajhar Urkhao Gwra Brahma has been selected for the award in Bodo language for his poetry collection ‘Udangnifrai Gidingfinnanwi’.

‘Mariam Austin Othoba Hira Barua’ is a collection of short stories about a foreign lady – Mariam Austin and an Assamese girl – Hira Barua. “I’m not excited over the awards. I just like to keep on doing my works in my own way,” said Kalita, one of the widely respected authors of the present time.

She teaches English literature in Tangla College in Udalguri district and is busy working for her next novel. Prior to this she has won number of awards including Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad award. She once declined Basanti Devi Award given by Asam Sahitya Sabha on grounds of it being in the ‘women-only’ category.

While, Brahma, a senior leader of Bodoland People’s Progressive Front (BPPF) composed the poetry collection ‘Udangnifrai Gidingfinnanwi’ which means coming back from freedom.

“This is my first recognition for my literary award. It’s highly satisfactory to be honoured by Sahitya Akademy. I never wrote to be a litterateur but these are my emotions when I was going through a bad phase in my political career,” an excited Brahma said. 

Rio knocks union minister for airport


Kohima. December 19, 2014: Former Nagaland CM and Lok Sabha MP from Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio has urged the Union Minister of Civil Aviation, P A Gajapathi Raju for development of Dimapur airport.

The Dimapur airport which has been equipped and authorized for night landing with the Instrument Landing System (ILS) facility but has not been utilized so far.

The night landing facility has not been utilised by commercial flights in Dimapur, which causes great inconvenience and harassment to travellers who are totally dependent on the airport and Air India, Rio said in a letter addressed to the Union Minister.