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Education made free upto college in Sikkim

Correspondent

Gangtok, July 25, 2014: In a remarkable move Sikkim government has made education free for all upto college level. Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling made the announcement at a function in Gangtok.

Mr Chamling declared decision to waive all fees for education up to level of college. The decision has been hailed by students’ groups who were staging protests against recent fee hike.

Not only Chief Minister made the encouraging decision public, he also assured to return the fees already paid by the students. Henceforth students will not have to worry about the expenses to take education in all any stream.

Sikkim government withdrew fresh fee hike on July 14 and now took the ‘complete free education’ as a policy decision. 

Governor P.B. Acharya leaves for Delhi to discuss issues

Correspondent

Kohima, July 23, 2014: Governor of Nagaland and Tripura P.B. Acharya left for Delhi on Wednesday as his first visit after assuming office after assuming office. He is slated to call on the President of Indian, the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Human Resource Development Minister, other Union Ministers and top central Government officials.

Mr Acharya will discuss with the dignitaries and authorities, on general issues pertaining to the State for its development and welfare of the people. The Governor also intends to discuss with the concerned authorities the problems being faced by the people from the north eastern states while staying in New Delhi.

Before his departure from Kohima, the Governor was visited by Advocate General of Nagaland. The Governor of Nagaland, P.B. Acharya who is also the Ex-officio President of the State Rajya Sainik Board was briefed by Brig. (Rtd.) K.K. Roy Choudhury, Secretary Rajya Sainik Board and Director Sainik Welfare and Resettlement, Nagaland at Raj Bhavan, Kohima, on various welfare issues pertaining to Ex-servicemen, Widows, World War-II Veterans and dependents.

The Governor enquired on welfare measures and the future plans of the Rajya Sainik Board and assured to extend his fullest support and desired to hold a meeting at the earliest.

Another ‘racial murder’ in Delhi, 3 arrested

Correspondent

Imphal, July 22, 2014: Police made advance in investigation into ‘racial murder’ of a Manipuri man in New Delhi. Union minister of state for Home Kiren Rijiju has termed the incident at Kotla in south Delhi very troubling and assured swift action against perpetrators.

Five men arrested and charged for carrying out fatal attack on 30-year-old Shaloni. The victim was buying grocery at a shop when the assailants had a quarrel with him over car parking.

The mob thrashed him mercilessly and left him in a pool of blood. He was declared dead when taken to hospital by a police patrol.

Death of the Manipuri –Naga man at the national capital reminded incident surrounding 20-year-old student Nido Tania from Arunachal Pradesh who died in almost similar situation. The latest racial attack has enraged people from northeastern states residing in Delhi and they held protests.

Union junior home minister Rijiju has expressed his shock and dismay before terming the attack on Shaloni unprovoked and possibly pre-planned. He said the Delhi police department, which is under union home ministry, would do everything to bring the culprits to justice. 

Employment, development focus of Assam budget

Correspondent

Guwahati, July 21, 2014: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said that employment generation, development activities, particularly backward areas, education, power, health, agriculture, fisheries, animal husbandry, drinking water, sanitation, irrigation would be the thrust areas of the Government in the coming Budget.

At a pre-Budget discussions with chief secretary, Jitesh Khosla and other senior officials on Thursday, chief minister Gogoi laid emphasis on generating employment opportunities on a mission mode, especially in agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, diary, sericulture, animal husbandry sectors in the coming Budget. Gogoi, while underscoring the need for institutionalized approach to entrepreneurship development, vocational education and skilled training, called for special incentives to create a pool of skilled and semi-skilled workforce to sustain long periods of growth.

The CM, who holds the finance portfolio, asked the officials to focus in this year’s Budget on development of the backward areas, especially tea, tribal and char (riverine) areas. Gogoi laid thrust on providing safe drinking water and sanitation, besides augmenting the power scenario and minor irrigation. 

The budget session will begin from August 4 and the State Finance Minister will place a full–fledged budget for the financial year 2014–2015 in the Assembly on August 11. 

AAMEF, JFA lash fund raising by doubtful media groups

Correspondent

Guwahati, July 19, 2014: All Assam Media Employees Federation (AAMEF) has expressed serious concern over a fund-driving mission, carried out presently by some dubious media bodies across Assam.  In a statement issued by AAMEF President Hiten Mahanta and Secretary Keshab Kalita, the organization clarified that those dubious journalists are not involved with any registered member unit of AAMEF.

“We have noticed that some individuals claiming to be media persons are now in fund-raising spree in the State. They have cited some national level programs organized in Guwahati as the reason of fund collections from various businessmen and politicians,” said the AAMEF statement.

“But we should clarify that AAMEF has no such program at this moment. Moreover, we don’t go for fund-raising without proper procedures,” asserted the statement adding that the federation would not spare anybody, if found AAMEF’s name has been used for collecting money. AAMEF also appeals the people of Assam to be cautious about this brand of media persons and check their credentials before offering financial supports for any ground.

Meanwhile, Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) also expressed dismay at the development.  JFA president Rupam Barua argues that JFA has never indulged in fund-raising exercise since its inception. He also appeals to the State police department to take a note on the issue and book those culprits under the law. 

4 national highways in Nagaland declared

Correspondent

Kohima, July 18, 2014: The Minister for Soil & Water Conservation, Nuklutoshi informed that four new National Highways in Nagaland have been declared. Addressing a press conference in his office chamber at Secretariat Kohima on Friday the Minister informed about the declaration of the Highways by Ministry of Road and Transport and Highways.

Speaking about his meeting with the Union Minister for Road, Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi, Nuklutoshi said that the Union Minister had made an assurance to provide sanction for construction of road as and when the State is ready with the clearances. He also referred to what Gadkari had said that the land should be given free of cost for which good road will be provided free of cost.

The Minister also shared about his meeting with the Union Minister for Water Resources, Uma Bharti who gave a positive response for the development of the State.

Newspaper editor jailed for life in triple murder case

Correspondent

Agartala, July 17, 2014: A Bengali daily newspaper proprietor-editor has been jailed for life in a trial over murder of his three employees in Agartala on May 19 last year. Additional district & sessions judge of West Tripura on Thursday pronounced the sentence and slapped fine of Rs70,000 on him holding him liable of murder and abetment to the crime. 

Newspaper office manager Ranjit Choudhury, proof reader Sujit Bhattacharjee and driver Balaram Ghosh were found murdered in office complex on a Sunday afternoon. Newspaper owner Sushil Choudhury had claimed that assailants armed with sharp cutting weapons entered the premises and rushed out after slaying the trio.

However rigorous investigation, statement of witnesses and forensic tests resulted in arrest of Sushil Choudhury on June 7 last year. Meanwhile Niyati, wife of deceased Balaram Ghosh, was arrested for misleading the investigation by throwing fake statements.

She however became approver giving a turnover to the investigation. The police had submitted chargesheet on July 25 last year against Sushil Choudhury under sections, principle 302, of the Indian Penal Code and ensured his custodial trial.

The court on July 14 held Choudhury guilty of crime under IPC sections incorporated in the chargesheet. The defence lawyers announced to move the High Court against the conviction of sessions court.

Tripura rural poll rigged, alleges opposition

Correspondent

Agartala, July 15, 2014: Opposition parties in Tripura have blamed ruling CPI(M) for violence, intimidation and targeted attacks to rig Tuesday’s rural elections. Three tier panchayat elections in areas excluding jurisdiction of the tribal autonomous district council held on Tuesday in which 84 percent casting reported in preliminary evaluation.  

Some 20 people from opposition parties were injured in attacks allegedly by CPI(M) cadres across the state. In one incident a CPI(M) cadre opened fire from an illegally possessed gun in Sonamura of West Tripura leaving two injured.

Oppositions blamed the state election commission of inaction and keeping silence instead of addressing their complaints. “The election was reduced to a farce in favour of CPI(M) like all past elections”, a leader said.

Supporters of the BJP that has gained some ground in state after party’s assumption of power at the centre bore the brunt of political violence. Most of the attacks specifically targeted them. 

Effort to strengthen ties with Bangladesh

Correspondent

Guwahati, July 14, 2014: In order to strengthen the socio-economic relationship between Bangladesh and India, a two-member delegation from Industries and Trade Fair Association of Assam (ITFAA) comprising of Vice-President Rajesh Das and Secretary Rajeev Das, met the Commerce Minister of Bangladesh Tofail Ahmed and submitted a memorandum requesting measures to boost trade and commerce between both the regions.

The delegation during the three day tour of Bangladesh paid visit to Maqsoodul Haque, one of the living legends of Bangladesh music who is very proud of his roots in Assam. During the hour long meeting at his music studio in central Dhaka, both the parties decided to join hands and initiate cultural exchange programs between both the countries.

Haque also played one of his yet to be released song based on the tunes of Assamese traditional music. Interestingly, Assamese, Khashea, Jaintia, Manipuri, Tripuri, Garos, Chakmas communities in Bangladesh has been recognised as ethnic groups in the country.  

Meanwhile, during the course of the meeting with Commerce Minister on July 2 at his office chamber, the delegation urged Mr Ahmed to open a Bangladesh Trade Information Centre at Guwahati and expedite the proposed Dhaka-Guwahati air service by Biman Bangladesh , so that, business and trade receives impetus.    

It may be mentioned that Industries and Trade Fair Association of Assam (ITFAA) is the premiere and the oldest Trade Promotion agency from North East India working incessantly to bridge the gap between North East India and rest of the world.

To strengthen the connectivity between both the regions, the delegation also met the chairman of NOVOAIR, Arshad Jamal one of the premier airlines of Bangladesh to introduce flights between Dhaka and Guwahati. In this regard, he assured to send a team of experts very soon to Guwahati.

Faruk Khan, chairman of Parliamentary standing committee on ministry of civil aviation & tourism also assured the delegation that extensive preparation is on to connect Dhaka and Guwahati through air and road.

The delegation also met Managing Director of Biman Bangladesh Airlines A M Mosaddique Ahmed to chalk out strategies to increase traffic in the proposed flights between Bangladesh and Guwahati.

Seven injured in latest blast in Manipur

Correspondent

Imphal, July 12, 2014: Second blast incident in four days left seven people injured -some of them critically in Manipur on Saturday. A six year old boy was among those wounded in the incident near Manipur University in Imphal district.

The bomb blast suspected to have been targeted against the security men. The injured were shifted to hospital.

Security forces launched search to track down those involved in the incident, but no arrest made so far. None of state’s over a dozen extremist groups claimed responsibility.

Earlier two people were crucially wounded in a blast in Ukhrul district on July 9. 

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