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Rape attempt of tribal woman at Gurgaon


New Delhi, February 15, 2014:  Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) Friday called upon Gurgaon Police to arrest the culprits who attempted to rape Pinky Chakma, wife of Arun Jyoti Chakma, hailing from Kanchanpur in North District of Tripura on February 12.

Mrs Pinky Chakma and her husband Arun Jyoti Chakma have been living in a rented house belonging to one  Virendra Gujjar S/o Natthu Ram Gujjar at Tigra Village under Gurgaon District of Haryana. On 12.02.2014 in the evening Gujjar, accompanied by two youths (name not known) came to the residence of his tenant Chakma to collect the house rent and left after receiving the rent.

However, after sometime, these two youths came back to the residence of Chakma and repeatedly knocked at the door. When they did not respond, the youths started banging the door.

No sooner Arun Chakma opened the door the two youth forced their entry into the house and rebuked Mr. Chakma and his wife in filthy language. They demanded that he let them take his wife and threatened him to kill him otherwise.

The two youths assaulted both husband and wife, molested and tore off the clothes worn by Pinki Chakma as they attempted to rape her. Somehow both husband and wife manage to escape and took shelter with a friend staying about seven kilometers away from their residence.

Following the matter was brought to the attention of Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police Robin Hibu and Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon, Nazneen Bhasin, the Sadar Police Station of Gurgaon registered an FIR No. 111/2014 under Sections 376, 511, 452, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code against the accused.

The Gurgaon Police is yet to arrest the accused. "The Gurgaon Police must invoke the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the culprits must be brought to justice immediately, if such attacks on the North Easterners are to be effectively combated.” – Suhas Chakma, Director, Asian Centre for Human Rights, stated. 

U.S. Ambassador meets Narendra Modi


Kolkata, February 13, 2014: U.S. Ambassador Nancy J. Powell today met with Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar.  This meeting was part of the U.S. Mission’s outreach to senior leaders of India’s major political parties in advance of the upcoming national elections. 

During her visit to Gujarat, Ambassador Powell will meet with representatives from non-governmental organizations and U.S. and Indian businesses. Her discussions focus on the importance of the U.S.-India relationship, regional security issues, human rights, and American trade and investment in India.  

The United States and India are moving forward with a strategic partnership that is broad and deep.  Starting last November, Ambassador Powell has shared and listened to views on the U.S.-India relationship. 

She continues to emphasize that the U.S.-India partnership is important and strategic, and that the United States looks forward to working closely with the government that the Indian people choose in the upcoming elections.

First ‘Green Town’ in Nagaland


Kohima, February 13, 2014: Kiphire has been declared as first ‘Green Town’ in Nagaland state. The announcement made after successful completion of a project under the District Innovative Fund (DIF).

Outgoing Deputy Commissioner, Kiphire, Kesonyu Yhome, IAS recently declared Kiphire town as the first "Green Town" at a function also attended by other dignitaries. Other related development works are being taken up and the entire project is scheduled to be completed before end of March this year.

Yhome said the concept behind the project of declaring and establishing Kiphire town as a green town has been developed to cement a sound symbolism to disseminate the call for sensitizing the local
communities and others alike about the importance of our fast depleting environment, forest and wild lives.

The objective is based on a vision to develop a flora and fauna rich district with intact ecosystem for the best interest of generations to follow. And hence under this initiative, the commercial sector has
been painted with green roofs and buildings besides providing solar street lights along the town. 

Freedom concert on Tibet’s independent past


New Delhi, February 12, 2014: Last year on February 13, in over 30 cities worldwide, Tibetans and their supporters commemorated the Centennial of the 1913 Tibetan Proclamation of Independence by organizing flag raising ceremonies, exhibitions, lobbying event and other creative actions to put a spotlight Tibet's independent past. Globally, elected representatives took part in honouring this day and showed solidarity with Tibetans in Tibet. 

This year on February 13, Students for a Free Tibet- Delhi is going to celebrate this historic day with a Freedom Concert at Dussehra ground, Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi from 5pm onwards. The freedom concert is part of the campaign of Students for a Free Tibet that aims to mark the day by celebrating the great legacy of the Tibetan Empire to challenge China's propaganda about Tibetan history as well as to strengthen the case for Tibet on the global stage. In commemorating the historical legacy of the Tibetan Empire, we are not only securing our past but also shaping our future as we work toward fulfilling our vision of all Tibetans uniting in a free and democratic Tibet. More than 20 Cities around the world are joining the Feb 13th campaign.

Purandhya Sharma, who is the chapter coordinator of SFT Delhi said, “In the past, there have been Tibetan Freedom concerts held internationally that were immensely successful in building the movement around the music. The message behind this concert is not only to get all students together to celebrate the universal spirit of freedom but to also bring awareness about the independent history of Tibet which the Chinese government has spent 60 years trying to erase from the global consciousness.”   

First vaccination of Japanese Encephalitis for adults


Guwahati, February 10, 2014: Assam became the first state in the country to administer vaccination for Japanese Encephalitis for the adults as the state health department starts the process from Monday at Kamrup (Metro) district before moving to other districts as well.

The vaccination campaign is being conducted at Dimoria Development Block and Chandrapur Development Block which will cover around 1,05,726 people in the entire area in the first phase. “It’s a major development in the health scenario of the state as we are going to start the adult vaccination for Japanese Encephalitis. We will try to cover as much as possible and it will be great help for the beneficiaries,” said Ulupi Phukan Baruah, joint director of health services of Kamrup (Metro).

The campaign will cover all the adults from the age group of 15 to 70 years. There will be altogether 279 centres at various schools in the area which will continue till February 21. Medical teams with nurses and Asha workers will cater the need of the beneficiaries. A team will inject 300 persons per day.

Earlier, on pilot basis, the health department has conducted the adult vaccination in Sivsagar district in 2011 after the outbreak of the disease. Doctor Arun Baruah who is also involved in the campaign said that Sivasagar is one of the most worst effected districts in the entire country. After Kamrup (M) the other districts in which the vaccination will be carried out are Golaghat, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Dhemaji and Lakhimpur.

In last 3 years, more than 3000 cases of Japanese Encephalitis have been registered in the state of which 342 people have died. National Rural Health Mission has also undertaken awareness drive before the programme.

The vaccine, made in China, has shown a 99 per cent efficacy among children. Neighbouring Nepal has successfully carried out the vaccination drive among adults. Since Assam’s climatic conditions are similar to that of Nepal, the health department wanted to use the vaccine in Assam as well, state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said earlier.

Nido ‘s murder, ACHR warns on regionalisation of Delhi


New Delhi, February 10, 2014: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) taking note of the postmortem report into the murder of Mr Nido Taniam, a student from Arunachal Pradesh, in a racist attack called for the trial of the accused in a fast track court within a specific time frame. The post mortem report stated that Taniam died of injuries inflicted into the head and face by a blunt object. 

"The trial in a fast track court of the accused is indispensable to send a clear message to bring an end to the acts of racial discrimination and violence against the people of the North East India. Any delay in delivering justice in Nido Taniam's murder will undermine the efforts to combat the acts of racial discrimination and violence against the people of North East India". - stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights who hails from North East India.

Asian Centre for Human Rights further called for day to day monitoring of cases relating to acts of racial discrimination and violence against the people of North East India and taking stringent actions against the police personnel for any dereliction of duty while dealing with such cases.

"There is a need to investigate as to why the Delhi Police personnel who first intervene following assault on Nido Taniam did not take him to the hospital for medical examination and registration of the case against the attackers.  This could have saved Nido Taniam and appropriate action is needed to be taken against these Delhi Police personnel." - further stated Mr Chakma.

Narendra Modi promises new dawn for NE

Guwahati, February 8, 2014: Slamming the UPA government and especially the Congress for neglecting the cause of the northeast, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Saturday promised to carry forward the promises made by former PM Rajiv Gandhi. Addressing a huge public rally in Guwahati, Modi also asked the public to give BJP an opportunity to witness the much needed change in the country.

"I am shocked that during Rajiv Gandhi's tenure, there was an accord on Assam. But everybody has forgotten that. The congress government is not giving any importance to it. I promise you, brothers and sisters, to carry forward to work for the welfare of the north-eastern states which have huge potentialities," Modi said addressing a gathering of around 2 lakh of people at Khanapara Veterinary Ground.

He also slammed the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for not doing any significant work for the region though he represented Assam in the Rajya Sabha. "The period of 23 years is a pretty long time but the Prime Minister has done nothing for the region during his tenure as a member of the upper house and as PM to the region. What the country can expect from him?" the Gujrat CM said with his trade mark style.

Modi who highlighted the various developmental issues in his home state criticized the ruling Congress for corruption and unemployment. "Sirf Naam Tarun hone sey chinta Tarun nahi ho jata hai," he said making the mockery of Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi name as the word Tarun means young and energetic.

He continued, "The Congress keeps boasting about NREGA when it is asked about anything. Have you benefited from it? Out of 12 lakh people, only 10,000 have earned jobs out of that programme. Where will the youth in Assam go for employment? Almost 700 out 1000 youth in Assam are unemployed."

Congress alliance wins 3 RS seats in Assam


Guwahati, February 8, 2014:  Candidates of Congress and its alliance partner Boroland Peoples' Front (BPF) won all three seats in Rajya Sabha seats in Assam. State Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Bhubaneswar Kalita, leader from Sultanpur of Utatr Pradesh Sanjay Singh and BPF leader Biswajit Daimari contested and won. 

Taking the support of opposition parties named Assam Gana Parishad (AGP), BJP and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) Hyder Hussain, a media personality, had contested as an independent candidate, but lost.

Kalita and Sanjay each secured 32 votes while 29 votes went in favour of Daimari. On the other opposition supported Hyder got 26 votes.

It may be mentioned here that 125 MLAs out of 126 in the Assam Legislative Assembly cast their votes in Rajyasabha election. One MLA was absent for his Haj pilgrimage.

There are 79 MLAs from Congress and 12 from BPF in the state assembly.


Call for integrated approach to harness water resources


Guwahati, February 6, 2014: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said an integrated and pragmatic approach is required to harness the vast water resources of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries for sustained economic development of the State and the region as a whole while inaugurating the 2nd Assam Water Conference at Assam Water Research and Management Institute at Basistha in the city Thursday.

“An integrated approach is needed to harness the water resources and to make use of the precious resources in a judicious manner for the benefit of humanity,” said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. The focal theme of this year’s conference is ‘Sustainable development of water resources in North East Region’.

Gogoi said the twin problems of flood and erosion have to be tackled in a scientific manner using latest technology and knowhow. “More than floods, erosion poses a serious problem. About 4 lakh hectare of land has been eroded away. While the pressure on land has been rising due to increasing population, vast tract of land has been eroded leaving many homeless. This is a serious matter and needs to be tackled by the scientists and experts,” said Gogoi, adding that the Government is planning to reclaim land in a big way to rehabilitate the displaced people.

Gogoi underscored the need for harnessing water resources for judicious use in agriculture, irrigation, industries, power and other sectors. “We must not misuse or over exploit the precious water resources. It will wreck havoc on us. We must make use of it in a judicious manner to maintain an ecological balance,” he added.

The Chief Minister said development of the Brahmaputra as national waterway would ensure cheap and easy mode of transportation of passengers and goods.

Chairman, Central Water Commission AB Pandya, in his keynote address, said the vast water resources of the Brahmaputra have to be harnessed in a scientific manner using latest technology for the benefit of the people. Pandya called for an integrated approach to tackle the perennial flood and erosion problem. 

First ever Gas Insulated Substation in NE


Guwahati, February 5 2014: “Power has been the priority sector since day one. That is why our Government has initiated the power sector reforms to augment the power sector in the State,” said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at the inauguration of the Assam Electricity Grid Corporation Limited’s Gas Insulated Substation (GIS), the first of its kind in the North East region in the utility sector, at Jawaharnagar, Khanapara in the city on Tuesday.

Gogoi said more GIS must be set up as they require less space and they are less hazardous. Gogoi pointed out that the power sector reforms initiated in 2005 with funds from ADB has brought about improvement in the sector. “Today the generation, transmission and distribution have improved. New power substations have come up and this has augmented the power sector in the State,” he said. Gogoi stressed on the need to reduce the transmission and distribution losses to further improve upon the power scenario in the State.

Gogoi said power is the catalyst for development and without power no State or country can progress. “Power is required in every sector and it is the engine of growth and progress. The yardstick of progress of a State or country is measured in terms of power consumption. The more the power consumption, the greater is the prosperity of the State or the country,” he said, adding, “We have to complete the power projects on time and to augment the transmission and distribution network to meet the ever increasing demand for power.”

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Power, Pradyut Bordoloi, said the power sector reforms initiated by way of unbundling of the ASEB way back in 2004-05 have yielded positive results. “Today the combined capacity of transmission and distribution has gone up from 560 MW to 1600 MW. Guwahati which had only 8 distribution sub centres in 2005-06 has today 22 sub centres. Another eight substations will be commissioned soon to meet the power requirement of 310 MW in the city alone,” he said.