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6th phase voting peaceful


Guwahati, April 24, 2014: Moderate voting recorded in sixth phase polling in India on Thursday. India’s business capital Mumbai has recorded lowest turnout (35%) which disappointed activists and leaders across the political device.

117 seats across country are going to poll on the day – the second highest number for a phase so far. Three more phases are to go in the mammoth election exercise that would end with counting on May 16.

180 million voters were eligible and a high turnout like previous phases is expected. Polling occurred in 11 states including northeastern Assam and Union Territory Puducherry.

Assam has 14 Lok Sabha constituencies and election in eight seats already completed in earlier phases. After sixth phase, voting in northeast India came to an end.  

Of 117 seats, 36 were won by Congress, 26 by BJP and rest by other parties in 2009 elections. This time around BJP is expecting to increase its tally in 117 seats owing to its alliance with some regional parties in Tamilnadu. 

Indian Ambassador to Myanmar visits ITC


Kohima, April 23, 2014: Indian Ambassador to Myanmar Gaudam Mhukodia visited International Trade Centre accompanied by Deputy Chairman SPB Longon, Parliamentary Secretary for Vety. & AH Yitachu, MP Myanmar Samo and other officials.

Speaking on the occasion the Ambassador said the main reason of his visit is to see the development process of the trade centre and the potential possibilities of development to the border people and remote healthy relations between the Nagas living both in India and Myanmar.

He said the most important component to uplift the border people in trade and the development project for better communication and transportation comes in the record. Therefore, the Government of India is open to border trade centre in many places and held large amount of money to the Myanmar government for construction of road, hospital, school etc.

He also advised the gathering to promote and cooperate in the areas of culture for better relation between two side for healthy progress of trade functioning. He thanked the reformed democratic government in Myanmar for opening of more interest in trade and development and he said only under the democratic form of government better development activities will be in progress and value the life of human would be respected.

BSF troopers ill for food poisoning


Shillong, April 21, 2014: 130 troopers of the Border Security Force (BSF) became ill due to food poisoning in West Garo Hills district of India’s Meghalaya state on Sunday. State officials said on Monday that almost all of a BSF unit posted along border with Bangladesh at Tura suffered the sickness.

The patients were admitted in different local hospitals. The food poisoning occurred after the unit personnel had their breakfast in their barrack.

Though food poisoning is suspected, BSF engaged forensic experts to find the truth. An enquiry has also been ordered.

BSF frontier headquarters in Guwahati has rushed a medical team to examine its sick troopers. Conditions of admitted troopers are out of danger, officials stated. 

HQ 5 Sector AR celebrates raising day


Chieswema (Nagaland), April 20, 2014: Headquarters 5 Sector Assam Rifles celebrated its 54th Raising Day on at Chieswema. The sector has over the years contributed immensely to the prevailing peace in Nagaland.

To commemorate the 54th raising day, plethora of events were organized over a span of three days starting with tree plantation, sports, blood donation, official and social engagements. The celebrations were closed with a visit to Old Age Home and Orphanage, Kohima.

On the occasion, Commander 5 Sector Assam Rifles felicitated all ranks their families and wished them success and prosperity in their professional and personal life. The personnel of the sector renewed their vows of being facilitators of prevailing place in the state thereby creating a positive environment in Nagaland.

Monument for Maj Gen Grover opened


Kohima, April 18, 2014: The inaugural programme of the Monument built in tribute to Maj. Gen.
John ML Grover, MC, General Officer Commanding 2nd Division, 33 Corps and his officers and soldiers was held recently at the Jotsoma Centenary Ground, Kohima. Brig. G.K. Bibby who spoke on behalf of the visitors from Great Britain said that Jotsoma people played a critical role in the victory of Great Britain over Japan in the battle of Kohima.

He said that the Jotsoma people not only helped Maj. Gen. John Grover but helped in providing reinforcement and royal artilleries to the battle fields.

Brig. Bibby said 70 years on, the monument also reminded him of the sacrifices made by the Jotsoma people and he thanked them for their contributions and also for erecting the monument. He expressed hope that the friendship built 70 years ago would remain forever. Brig. Bibby said the 2nd Division that fought in the battle of Kohima has a memorial in York and the survivors of the battle meets up every year.

 The daughter-in-law of Maj. Gen. John ML Grover, Celia Grover also thanked the Jotsoma people and said that John Grover will never be forgotten now because of the monument. Chairman Monument Committee, Krurovi Peseyie highlighted some important events of the battle of Kohima.

He said that 70 years ago ML Grover came to Jotsoma and set up his camp at Sohouzha on 16th April 1944. He rated the presence of ML Grover as one of the three most important British impacts in Nagaland.

Peseyie lauded the good behaviour and conduct of the British soldiers during their stay. He said the soldiers were affectionate towards the sick, old and needy people. He added that the monument signifies hard earned crown and supreme sacrifice and he also wished that the monument would represent everlasting friendship.

Bhutan, India and Nepal in new landscape initiative


Thimphu, Bhutan, April 18, 2014: The three regional member countries of International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) – Bhutan, India and Nepal – have agreed on an initiative for a new transboundary landscape. Under this initiative, an area of about 16,000 km covering parts of eastern Nepal, Sikkim and northern parts of West Bengal in India, and western Bhutan will become part of the Kangchenjunga Landscape, one of the seven transboundary areas identified by ICIMOD in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.

The decision was formalized at the initiative’s second experts’ consultation held on 16-18 April 2014 in Thimphu, Bhutan. Based on the concept and timeframe decided at the first experts’ consultation held in August 2012 in Gangtok, Sikkim, the three countries prepared feasibility assessment reports, which were shared at the meeting. “The participatory and consultative process followed during the preparation of Feasibility Assessment reports by the member countries are encouraging steps towards transboundary cooperation,” said Eklabya Sharma, Director of Programme Operations at ICIMOD.

The consultation was organized by the Department of Forest and Park Services (DoFPS), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests,Royal Government of Bhutan and ICIMOD with support from German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)/Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). More than 40 representatives of government and non-governmental organizations participated in the consultation.

During the opening session, Dasho Sherab Gyaltshen, Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan, launched a book entitled ‘An integrated assessment on effects of natural and human disturbance on a wetland ecosystem: A retrospective from Phobjikha Conservation Area, Bhutan’. This book is the result of collaborative and multidisciplinary work from ICIMOD and Royal Society for Protection of Nature, Bhutan.

India’s 5th phase polling underway


Guwahati, April 17, 2014: Polling got underway in 121 constituencies of 12 states on Thursday in 5th phase Lok Sabha elections. India will go for four more phases in nine phase elections to constitute 16th Lok Sabha.

About 195 million electors are qualified to vote in the fifth phase polling which has so far been peaceful. 1,762 candidates are contesting in 121 constituencies.

Polling began in all 28 seats of Karnataka and 20 of Rajasthan. In 2009 elections, the BJP won 44 and Congress 37 of 121 seats.

Centre wants total border fencing


Shillong, April 16, 2014: The central government has urged the Meghalaya government to facilitate early completion of fencing work along state’s border with Bangladesh. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has initiated fresh move as fencing remain stalled in about 70 km for local problems,

The ministry in a recent meeting told Meghalaya government officials to expedite fencing work as the left out area believed to be used as corridor by militants and illegal migrants. Meghalaya has a 443-km border with Bangladesh and 70 km is unfenced mainly for difficult geographical condition.

Meghalaya state police has detected and deported thousands of illegal migrants over past years. Fencing work in India’s eastern frontier is funded and implemented by the central government agencies, but the concerned state government has the responsibility to acquire land for the purpose. 

Mizoram government in a fix over refugee repatriation


Aizawl, April 16, 2014: Mizoram government has been facing ire of hardliner social groups demanding return of thousands of Bru or Reang refugees housed in makeshift camps in north Tripura. The NGO Coordination Committee, a newly floated umbrella organisation, had earlier set three months deadline for their return to their respective locations in Mizoram.

About 35,000 Reang refuges are stranded in six makeshift camps in Kanchanpur of north Tripura for past 17 years. They fled alleging ethnic persecution by majority Mizo groups.

Mizoram Government officials opined it would be impracticable to complete return all the Bru refugees lodged within three months as demanded by the NGO Coordination Committee. Earlier the government acceded to the demands of the Committee after it called off its 72-hour long bandh to oppose the postal ballot voting in Lok Sabha election by the refugees in their camp premises.

The government had given a written assurance to the coordination committee that it would repatriate all the Bru refugees lodged in the Tripura camps within three months after the end of the ongoing election process. However it now says completion of repatriation within given time would be impossible to complete owing to huge expenditure involved.

The NGO coordination committee has threatened a fresh agitation if the government backtracks from its assurance. 

Mighty Sharmila wants to exercise franchise


Imphal, April 12, 2014: Irom Sharmila who has been on a hunger strike wants to cast vote in election to the Manipur Inner parliamentary constituency on April 17. Authorities however are reluctant to allow her doing so as she is in judicial custody..

Sharmila made her desire known during her usual appearance in a court at Manipur state capital Imphal. She has been in detention for defiance to end ‘fast unto death’ and is currently nose-fed at the government hospital.

Responding to her desire to vote, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Manipur said people who are in jail or prisoners are not allowed to vote under the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951.

Irom Sharmila had resorted to her stannous stir in 2000 to press the central government to repeal from the state the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 which gives security forces special power to conduct counter insurgency operation.