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Tripura rural poll rigged, alleges opposition


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


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


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. 

Governor Vakkom resigns under duress


Guwahati, July 11, 2014: Vakkom B Purushothaman has resigned before taking over charge as Governor of Nagaland. He sent his resignation letter to President Pranab Mukherjee to protest his shifting from the Mizoram to Nagaland.

He is latest in list Governors resigned to succumb pressure tactic of BJP led NDA government at the centre. The veteran Congress leader has returned to his home state Kerala where he announced decision to resign.

He alleged that his transfer was made without consulting him. Kamla Beniwal has taken charge of Governor in Mizoram after her transfer from Gujarat.

Vakkom B Purushothaman was holding additional charge of Tripura and with his resignation the President has to give the charge to an incumbent Governor from northeastern states or appoint a new Governor. 

Dialogue in Kohima on Naga customary practices


Kohima, July 10, 2014: A discussion on the Naga Customary Practices organised by the Government of Nagaland was held at Kohima on Thursday. Chairperson of National Commission for Women Mamta Sharma was present as key speaker.

In her speech Mamta Sharma stressed on the importance of a strong State Commission for women in Nagaland so that the body could exercise effective oversight over government in terms of women’s rights. She also talked on the importance of political presents of women in the legislative assembly and their roles in betterment of women’s rights.

Mamta Sharma also felt that the State must implement the Nagaland Municipal Act, which provides for 33% of urban elected seats to be reserved for women and said that time have changed and women must be given an equal opportunity to participate in the decision making process of elected governments at various levels which would bring in true emancipation of women in the State.

She suggested that the State government should hold elections with 33% reservations regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment which is fixed on 5thAugust, 2014 and added that Nagaland needs to internalize the process of emancipation of women without judicial intervention.

The programme was chaired by Secretary, Social Welfare, Bei-u Angami while welcome address was delivered by Additional Chief Secretary, Justice and Law and P& AR C.J. Ponraj and introductory speech was given by Chairperson NSCW, Dr.Temsula Ao. Short speeches were also delivered by President NMA, Abei-ü Meru; Joint Secretary Dobashi Association H.D., Vito Sumi; General Secretary, GB Federation, Taku Longkumer; Joint Secretary Justice and Law Department, Manjok Konyak and Member NCW, Laldingliani Sailo. 

Blasts injure two in Manipur


Imphal, July 9, 2014: Two people sustained serious injuries in blasts in Manipur’s Ukhrul district on Wednesday. Police said the incident occurred close to a camp of paramilitary Assam Rifles on edge of border with Myanmar.

Suspected extremists detonated three blasts that left S P Keneth (41), a farmer, and Laishram Kiran (45), a labourer critically hurt. They were shifted to hospital.

Police also reported another incident in which suspected extremists lobbed a grenade at residence of an executive engineer under power department in Uripok area. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

The engineer has been in hit-list of the extremists for refusing to give them money. Government officials especially those engaged in construction and development activities are subject to regular extortion in Manipur where more than 15 extremist groups are operating. 

Bangladesh ex foreign minister to attend Tripura Conclave


Agartala, July 8, 2014: Former Bangladesh foreign minister Dipu Moni and other renowned personalities will attend first ever Tripura Conclave in Agartala on Wednesday. Saumen Sarkar, Managing Director of and Convenor Subir Bhaumik announced that the conclave would focus on regional integration of trade and investment with participation of countries like India, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Former BBC East India Correspondent and specialist on foreign affairs, Subir Bhaumik, would conduct the programme at auditorium of Sukanta Academy. He said besides Dipu Moni, senior diplomats, experts and business leaders would attend the conclave.

Saumen Sarkar informed Dipu Moni would present key note address after inaugural speech of Tripura Chief Secretary Dr S.K. Panda. She earlier visited Tripura twice.

Besides Tripura Conclave, is also organising a mega Quiz event in Agartala on July 13. 

Arunachal students’ forum against ‘Nagalim’ campaign


Itanagar, July 7, 2014: The Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Forum (AITF) has raised a strong voice against campaign on Greater Nagalim. It urged Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju to intervene in Naga People's Front (NPF) initiated propaganda in the state. 

AITF chairman Bengia Tolum submitted a memorandum to the Union minister who hails from the state to complain against Nagaland-based political party advocating for extension of Greater Nagalim in Arunachal Pradesh.  

It also reiterated issues like Assam-Arunachal boundary dispute, Chakma-Hajong refugee impasse, Permanent Resident Certificates (PRC) to non-Arunachalees in the state, safety and security of North East people in across India, recruitment and reservation for Arunachalees residents in power corporations like Neepco. 

Abhijit Singha to choreograph Miss Sikkim finalé


Gangtok, July 4, 2014: Northeast’s most coveted fashion entrepreneur, designer and fashion choreographer, Abhijit Singha has been hired to choreograph the finalé of the very illustrious Miss Sikkim Diva 2014 to be held on Saturday, July 5 at Manan Kendra. It is worth mentioning that the founder and proprietor of Mega Entertainment, and one of the pioneers in the northeastern region’s pageant and fashion events, Abhijit Singha is the most highest paid fashion choreographer of the region.

Abhijit made his first appearance for the event at the red carpet walk of Miss Sikkim Diva 2014 held at MG Road on Tuesday evening. He was also accompanied by Archana Barman, the First Runner-up of Sunsilk Mega Miss North East 2014, organized by Mega Entertainment, an event company owned by Abhijit Singha himself. It is worth mentioning that Gyurmila Bhutia, the CEO of Positude and the organizer of Miss Sikkim Diva 2014, was one of the top 30 contestants of Mega Miss North East 2013 and had also won the “Miss Radiant Skin” title.

The crown winning diva of Miss Sikkim Diva 2014 will get a direct entry into Sunsilk Mega Miss North East next year. Gyurmila Bhutia explains that Sikkim Diva is a platform for the girls here to showcase their talent and is also being done for a social cause.

Some of the profits from the event will be donated to social organizations in Sikkim. It aims to engage the youth in constructive activities.

Educational trust organizes charity auction


Imphal, July 3, 2014: Ascension Educational Trust, a charitable organization which provides free coaching to students from financially weak backgrounds, recently organized its first fundraising dinner at Hotel Imphal, located at the heart of the city.

The event saw the presence of the crème de la crème of the state’s dignitaries including five times world champion and Olympic Medallist M.C. Mary Kom, folk musician and singer Guru Rewben Mashangva, celebrity tattoo artist and cultural activist Mo Naga, IAS officer Armstrong Pame, Presidential Awardee Angcha Saka and many more.

Various prized possessions of the visiting celebrities were auctioned at the event and the proceeds were donated to Ascension Educational Trust.

Mary Kom, who was the guest of honour at the event, said, “I am trying to help the deserving youths in my own ability. Ascension is doing the same in their own principle. We are on the same track. I did not know them personally, but I have seen them today and I am here to support them. I hope many more helping hands are extended towards them.”

The Olympic medallist’s autographed boxing gloves earned Rs. 30,000 for Ascension Educational Trust.

Renowned folk singer, Guru Rewben Mashangva entertained the distinguished guests of the evening with his musical performance. Later, the musical instrument which he used during this performance was auctioned for AET.

Tattoo Artist and cultural activist Mo Naga donated two of his research photographs for the charity auction. His photographs were the highest bid articles of the event, purchased by renowned IAS officer “The Miracle Man” Armstrong Pame, who caught the national headlines last year by single-handedly taking on the ambitious project of building a 100-km road in Manipur’s Tousem sub-division without any state government aid.

Besides, Presidential Awardee Angcha Saka put up his bamboo and cane crafts, a Praying Mantis and Scorpions.

Dr. Thyelnai Dawn Khaling, Founder & Managing Trustee of AET, said “Since AET is in its 2nd year of operation, we are not yet eligible for government schemes. We have been running the coaching with the help of donations only. But the trust needs a lot more funds to help improve the infrastructure and meet our monthly expenses. Through our first fundraising dinner, we succeeded in raising a total of Rs. 6,10,000. Out of this, Rs. 1,24,500 has been raised from the auction, and Rs. 4,85,500 through donations. We are extremely grateful to everyone who have kindly supported us in this initiative.”