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Apex court appointed border inspection team visits Tripura


Agartala, October 24, 2017: Supreme Court appointed border inspection committee headed by former IAS officer A.K. Mangotra on Monday inspected some unfenced border locations in Tripura. The committee which included former Director General of BSF D.K. Pathak and Abdul Mannan, retired Professor of Guwahati University as members also took stock of situation at disputed Muhuri Char – only piece of land in south Tripura left out from implementation process of historic land boundary agreement between India and Bangladesh.

This was first spot visit of the committee overseeing fencing work on the India – Bangladesh border after the apex court constituted it on July 31. Division Bench of the court comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R.F. Nariman later replaced former Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai with A.K. Mangotra as Chairperson of the committee at the persuasion of the central government.

A senior BSF official said Supreme Court ordered formation of the committee after admitting a writ petition relating to the fencing of border with Bangladesh. The committee will submit its final report to the court within stipulated three months, he said.

Additional Director General of BSF R.P. Singh arrived from eastern headquarters in Kolkata to accompany the committee during inspections. Senior officers of BSF’s Tripura Frontier, state’s top civil administration and police officials of Tripura were also present during its visits.

On first day the committee mainly travelled to unfenced border locations in South Tripura district. 9.3km in the district has not been fenced so far, sources said.

Chairman and members of the committee also review 1.73km unsettled boundary in disputed Muhuri Char in Belonia. Bangladesh has been staking claim on this piece of land and the contentious issue remained unresolved for decades.

Tripura shares 856km boundary with Bangladesh. Fencing has been completed in 90 percent of the border, officials said.

Tripura Chess Club formed


Agartala, October 23, 2017: An association in the name of “TRIPURA CHESS CLUB” has been constituted by some of the parents of Chess Players of Tripura with a vision to develop the game of Chess in the state. 

As a part of the activities TRIPURA CHESS CLUB has decided to organize an All Tripura Open Prize Money Chess Tournament at Tripura Student’s Health Home, Near Bidurkarta Chowmuhani, Agartala on October 28 and 29.

Newspaper resists censorship in Arunachal: IFJ


New Delhi, October 21, 2017: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses concerns over the act of burning copies of The Arunachal Times newspaper in Arunachal state in northeastern India. The IFJ urges the Indian authorities to ensure that those responsible are brought to book, and to respect the principle of free flow of information.
The Adi Baane Kebang Youth Wing (ABKYW), the youth wing of the organization for the indigenous Adi people, destroyed  and burned  copies of the daily newspaper recently at the Indira Gandhi Park; and uploaded a video of it on social media. The ABKYW has also ‘banned’ the distribution of the daily in East Siang district and issued what it calls a ‘show cause notice’ on September 28. The ABKYW has been critical of the daily for ‘ignoring their voice’ and ‘not backing their demands’ while the newspaper maintained that it had remained neutral and covered all sides.
The publication has lodged a complaint with police following a meeting of the Arunachal Press Club (APC), Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) and Arunachal Electronic Media Association (AEMA). The press bodies termed the action against the press freedom and demanded that ABKYW immediately lift the so-called ‘ban’ on distribution and also tender a public apology.
APC President Chopa Cheda is quoted as saying: “Any attempt to dictate functioning of press bodies by using communal tools will not be tolerated. The community based organizations should understand that a media organisation does not belong to any community, and rather stands for the voiceless people.”
The IFJ said: "The IFJ is concerned by the actions of a local community organization against a newspaper in Arunanchal state that undermine press freedom, independent journalism and editorial judgment. While condemning the burning of the newspaper and banning of its distribution, the IFJ urges all to respect and ensure free flow of information and protect press freedom.”



Agartala, October 20, 2017: The Embassy of India is presenting the third edition of Sarang - Festival of India in Korea, a particularly meaningful event this year as it marks the 70th anniversary of India's independence, which is the exact same day that Korea obtained its independence. Sarang will introduce a range of India's culture and diversity through music, dance, film, food, and art in various cities such as Seoul, Busan, Seosan, Miryang, and Gimhae.

Following the enthralling performance of the Rattle and Hum Music Society during the Handshake Concert held in Gwangju last year, the Embassy of Korea has invited the Society, an empanelled organization of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), to participate in this year’s edition of the Sarang Festival. The inaugural programme of the Festival has been endowed onto to the Society, for which the Society has carefully handpicked an array of musicians and artists from different States of the North East. Altogether, 11 artists hailing from Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram along with 5 officials will be participating in the Festival.

The artists includes the new pop sensation 5FEET, COLORED KEYS, RENBENI ODYUO and ETHNIC FUTURE.

This year’s Sarang will see the colours of the North East India as the performers are all geared up to give the Korean crowd a taste of our culture and talent. The artists will be performing in three different cities starting with the KBS Art Hall, Seoul on the 20th , Seoul Grand Park on 21st and 22nd, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul on 23rd, Seosan City on 25th and 26th, and finally Busan Cinema Centre on 28th.

The purpose of this festival is not only to showcase the range and diversity of the Indian culture to the friendly Korean people, but also to raise recognition and branding of Indian culture in the vibrant and competitive cultural world in Korea, as well as showcasing similarities existing between the two countries.


Heritage train rolls in Darjeeling


Guwahati, October 17, 2017: Northeast Frontier Railway has partially resorted world heritage train service in restive Darjeeling in north Bengal after a halt of 127 days. Arson and destruction of railway properties during violent protests forced the authorities to suspend the narrow gauge train popularly known as ‘toy train’. 

NFR CPRO Pranav Jyoti Sharma informed that a special train has been launched between Siliguri and Sukna forests following repair, maintenance and restoration of track. “Restoration work in remaining 87-km section is going on and train running would resume in a few days”, he added.

On journey schedules he said the daily service of UNESCO declared world heritage train to leave Sukna at 10.45am and to arrive at Siliguri at 10.50am. The train under Darjeeling Himalayan Railway division is equipped with three first class coaches catering mostly domestic and international tourists.

Only commercially existing narrow gauge train which featured in many Indian and global cinemas was stopped on June 11 this year after damages caused to the train and railway properties during violent agitation in Darjeeling area to press local issues.

NFR officials said suspension of train service entailed a loss of Rs 3.8 crore while loss owing to damages was not assessed yet. The restoration work got underway after indefinite strike in hills was withdrawn on September 27. 

Naga student wins national painting contest


Kohima, October 17, 2017: Ruopfüzhazo Class X of Northfield School, Kohima, was adjudged winner in the National Level painting competition on the theme “Exploring New Worlds in Space” held at Earth Station, Shadnagar, Hyderabad, on October 8.

Altogether 28 students, representing different institutions from across the country, took part in the contest.

Winner of the state level quiz completion from Northfield School Kohima participated in the National Level Quiz completion.

The event was organized by the National Remote Sensing Centre, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) celebrating the World Space Week. 

"NE emerging as new 'StartUp' destination"


New Delhi, October 16, 2017: Union Minister of State of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr Jitendra Singh has said that the Northeast is fast emerging as the new "StartUp" destination for youngsters from all over India. 

Addressing the two-day National Convention on "Transforming Northeast India" here yesterday, Dr Jitendra Singh said, with the improvement in connectivity and transport facility in the last two years, coupled with concentrated administrative focus, more and more youngsters are now heading towards the North-Eastern States to venture into entrepreneurship and take advantage of its unexplored potential.

Citing an example, he said, for instance, whereas in certain areas of Northeast, including States like Arunachal Pradesh, while almost 40% of the fruit goes waste on account of lack of adequate storage and transport facilities, the same can be used to produce and manufacture fresh and pure fruit juice at a much more cost-effective price.

In an hour long interactive session with the youngsters, Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out to another area for future StartUps and said during the peak season of tourism when there is no accommodation available, even mediocre hotels charge exorbitant fares which are sometimes equal to 5-star hotel fares in a metropolitan city.

However, he said, as the ‘home tourism’ trend has picked up in the recent two to three years, several youngsters are now making a fortune out of this hitherto unexplored avenue. Dr Jitendra Singh referred to the new airports coming up at Pakyong in Sikkim, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh and Shillong in Meghalaya, which along with a time-bound plan to lay broad-gauge rail track, would bring in further ease of business.

Another sector of entrepreneurship which is fast emerging in Northeast, Dr Jitendra Singh said, is the medical and healthcare sector. For years, he said, there has been a trend for patients to shift outside the region, mostly to Kolkata or Vellore, but the encouragement given to the private corporate sector has now resulted in the opening of new hospitals within the region itself and young entrepreneurs are taking the lead. In this regard, he also referred to the initiative taken by DoNER Ministry to promote public-private partnership with some of the leading corporate players.

Smugglers critically hurt BSF officer


Agartala, October 16, 2017: A senior Border Security Force (BSF) sustained severe injuries after a group of cattle smugglers attacked him in Tripura earlier today. The large group of smugglers is believed to have assaulted a BSF deputy commandant Deepak Mondal of the 145th battalion.

Mandal was targeted after he intercepted a large group of smugglers carrying cows illegally into Bangladesh. The BSF officer's condition in critical and he has been airlifted to Kolkata for medical attention.

Mondal, who was also the officiating in-charge of the 145 battalion deplpyed in Tripura, was travelling between different border outposts of the BSF to check the preparedness and the night domination drill when the incident took place. It was around 2 am when he saw at least 25 cattle smugglers and intervened.

Mondal, his guard and the driver were waiting for reinforcement, the smugglers gheraoed them and beat them up. The 25-member gang was armed with sticks, bricks and machetes. The constable had to fire a few rounds in the air to disperse the mob.

The mob rammed their jeep into the BSF officer, which is why he sustained severe head and leg injuries.

GMP pushes for more police action


Agartala, October 15, 2017: Gana Mukti Parishad (GMP), tribal front of ruling CPI(M) in Tripura, has pushed police to act touch against perpetrators of targeted attacks. GMP leaders met DGP on Sunday and demanded arrest of IPFT supporters allegedly involved in spate of attacks on its supports on September 19 and 20.

“We have submitted a strong demand to arrest those involved in attacks and ensure their punishment as per law”, GMP President Jitendra Choudhury told newsmen after returning from police headquarters. He visibly expressed dissatisfaction on inadequate action in connection with violence ran for two days that left a journalist killed, driver of a vehicle kidnapped and over hundred injured.

Flanked by Radha Charan Debbarma, Chief Executive Member of the Tripura tribal autonomous district council, Choudhury alleged IPFT aligned with BJP to destabilise the left front government. He appealed people of the state to remain alert to defeat ‘ill design of IPFT – BJP duo’. 

‘Rajdhani’ from Agartala ready


Agartala, October 14, 2017: Tripura long standing demand to connect New Delhi with Rajdhani express is set to be fulfilled in a few days from now.

Preparations are underway for inauguration of the service in an impressive function at the Agartala Railway station.

A brand new Rajdhani Express train with 19 coaches, two power compartments and a pantry car reached the station before dawn on Saturday.

An official of the Northeastern Frontier Railway (NFR) said the inauguration would take place on October 19. The journey period is 37 hours from Agartala to New Delhi via approximately 12 stations.