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Political ambition leads militant chief in jail


Agartala, November 19, 2017: Self-styled President of All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) Ranjit Debbarma who was acquitted from all charges by the trial court after his arrest in 2013 was now facing sedition charge. The leader of almost nonexistent tribal militant outfit is currently lodged in jail at end of two subsequent remand in police custody after his arrest on November 11. 

Debbarma known for his die-hard ‘anti Bengali refugee’ posture which was more evident in series of massacre of nontribal residents ATTF committed between 1996 and 2002 was detained for speaking against ‘national unity and ethnic harmony’ at a tribal convention in Duski of west Tripura on November 7. The programme was convened under banner Tripura United Peoples Council (TUPC) – a political platform he created last month along with mostly surrendered extremists.

Ranjit Debbarma, 56, whom Bangladesh security forces picked up and handed over to Indian authorities in 2013 was first held under National Security Act with sheer intention to keep him in custody without trial at least for a year to enable investigators to frame charges against him. His spouse Kajal Debbarma and daughter are still in Bangladesh.

Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in a statement in recently held state assembly justified arrest of Debbarma who allegedly tried to create discord between tribal and non tribal communities. While speaking he revealed that Ranjit Debbarma in a letter informed him about longing of his wife and daughter to give in to Indian authorities and lead a normal life.

Manik Sarkar received the letter in May last and he immediately sought advice from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), but latter did not respond. Ranjit Debbarma made a separate appeal to the MHA on the issue, sources said.

Number of surrendered extremists representing several militant groups is quite a large and Ranjit Debbarma was hectically trying to unite them under TUPC. Political quarters were alarmed over its sudden appearance ahead of assembly elections due in February 2018.

“TUPC is the only reason for current plight of our leader. His arrest is completely politically motivated”, a close aide of ATTF leader alleged.

Indo-Bangladesh Exercise ‘SAMPRITI 2017’ ends


Guwahati, November 18, 2017: Closing ceremony for the seventh Indo-Bangladesh joint exercise SAMPRITI was held at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte in Mizoram. Exercise SAMPRITI is an important bilateral defence cooperation endeavour between India and Bangladesh. Major General Md Moshfequr Rahman of Bangladesh Army and Major General M S Ghura of the Indian Army presided over the ceremony.

The exercise is aimed at strengthening and broadening the aspects of interoperability and cooperation between the Indian and Bangladesh Armies while working together in a counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism environment under the UN mandate. Exercise was conducted under the aegis of the Red Horns Division of Gajraj Corps and had two distinct components which included Command Post Exercise (CPX) and Field Training Exercise (FTX).

Troops from 38 East Bengal Regiment of Bangladesh Army and Mahar Regiment of Indian Army had represented respective Armies in the exercise. The CPX was conducted at recently created Joint Training Node, Umroi, Meghalaya from 06 November to 11 November 2017 over six days whereas FTX was conducted at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte, Mizoram from 06 November, over a period of 13 days.

The CPX focused on planning of counter-terrorist operations whereas during FTX focus was on company/platoon level tactical drills. A tactical exercise was also conducted during the FTX.

18th meeting SLSC with banks in Nagaland

Correspondent / PR

Kohima, November 15, 2017: 18th meeting of State Level Security Committee (SLSC) for Nagaland was held on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Abhishek Singh, IAS, Home Commissioner, Nagaland. The participants in the meeting included K P Raghuvanshi, IPS (Retd), Security Advisor, Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai, B K Mishra, Regional Director for North-Eastern States, RBI Guwahati, police officers, representatives of CRPF, BSNL and representatives of all Banks in Nagaland.

The meeting reviewed the security and guarding arrangements for all Bank branches, currency chests and security arrangements during movement of Treasure.

Home Commissioner Abhishek Singh observed that the guarding arrangements of currency chest branches was done by CRPFs and Nagaland Police as per the requirement of RBI.  He also stated that there are sufficient security arrangements done during the movements of treasure. 

Singh expressed satisfaction that there have been no reports of any crimes at any of the bank branches nor there has been incidents of pilferage or stealing of currency notes from ATM machines. There has been no instance of seizure of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) also. The meeting also reviewed the monestisation of Bank branches in the State of Nagaland post demonestisation.

It was observed that post demonetisation almost Rs 3044 Crores of Specified Bank Notes was deposited in the currency chests of Nagaland. Against this RBI has sent new currency notes of various denominations amounting to almost Rs 4483 crores in the currency chests of the State. Thus there is no shortage of currency notes in the State.

RBI informed that Final Approval for opening of Currency Chest at Longleng has been accorded to SBI and SBI was asked to take necessary steps to operationalise the same.

Home Commissioner asked Banks to ensure operationalisation of temporary ATMs at Kisama for Hornbill Festival. Further Banks were requested to ensure sufficient liquidity in the ATMs and Bank Branches in view of the enhanced needs of Tourists during Hornbill Festival. Banks should also install additional PoS machines and encourage Digital Payments during the Hornbill Festival.

Abhisek Singh directed all the banks to submit the details of pending security bills of all branches not covered under Special destination scheme.  All banks are directed to submit these details on or before 14.12.2017.  Further a committee was constituted under Special Secretary (Home) to review the security requirements of the 177 Bank branches in the State and to determine which branches would need security fee waiver.

Normally branches in commercial locations are expected to meet the security costs themselves. Home Commissioner also directed BSNL to see the functionality of hotline communications in 4 (four) chest banks immediately.

BJP MLAs ‘independent’ in assembly!


Agartala, November 14, 2017: Entity of six MLAs who earlier joined BJP from Trinamool Congress hangs in balance with refusal of Speaker of Tripura assembly to recognize them as of saffron party. The MLAs led by Sudip Roy Barman last year deserted from Congress to join TMC and again defected for BJP on August 9 last were demanding fresh recognition.

But Speaker rejected the plea of the legislators who were supposed to mark first presence of BJP in state assembly.  However the matter created huge confusion whether the six deserters whom state’s Health Minister Badal Choudhury mocked as ‘Aya Ram Gaya Ram’ anymore enjoys party status or they would be taken as independents.

Roy Barman himself turned the question to Speaker during a heated exchange with Badal Choudhury on second day of last session of assembly on Tuesday. Speaker confirmed of receiving representation from them, but announced his inability to recognize them as forming a separate BJP block as matter requires response from Trinamool Congress and opinion of legal experts.

Agitated MLAs then rushed to the well of the houses and staged protests in front of Speaker. They even blamed him of working at behest of ruling CPI(M). 

NFR records rise in traffic


Maligaon, November 13, 2017: Northeast Frontier Railway has been able to allot greater time for renewal of assets due to systematic planning in train operations. Timely maintenance of assets like tracks, points and crossings, minor bridges, girders, over bridges and more are vital for safety of passenger and operation of train services. 

Due to increase in numbers of trains over the years, availability of time period for renewal as well as repair of assets continued to decrease over the time. But of late, by some precise planning have resorted to planned cancellations of trains on lean demand days like Sundays which has led to a big increase in the allotment of traffic block.

During September, 2016 only 53% of the time was sanctioned for undertaking renewal as well as repair of assets. But, during September, 2017 it could be increased to 93.73%. Similarly, in-comparison to 48.48% available maintenance time during October 2016 the situation improved upto 81.11% during October, 2017 due to meticulous planning of train operations.

It is to be mentioned that granting of traffic block has had no adverse affect on the punctuality of trains in NF Railway. 

ATTF chief Ranjit detained


Agartala, November 12, 2017: In an unanticipated development Tripura police arrested chief of disbanded militant group All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) Ranjit Debbarma on charges of fuelling ethnic tension and spreading disharmony. His detention came a week after he declared formation a new political party Tripura United People’s Council that mainly accommodated mainly former militants.

Debbarma was held by police in Khowai and a court sent him to judicial custody when produced.

In 2014 Tripura government has slapped charges on All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) chief Ranjit Debbarma under the National Security Act (NSA). Prior to that Bangladesh security forces captured him and handed him over to Indian authorities. 

Prabhat Dairy flourishes in NE

Correspondent / PR

Guwahati, November 08, 2017: Prabhat Dairy Limited, (BSE Code: 53935 & NSE Code: PRABHAT), India’s one of the fastest growing integrated milk and dairy products company catering to retail and institutional customers, is now firming up its presence in North East markets by launching its Ultra-High Processed (UHT) milk. This move comes after the company unveiled its new identity and Vision 2020 last month, where the management had announced an ambitious pan-India expansion plan. 

A top B2B player, Prabhat Dairy is now on its way to become the fastest growing company in B2C category in the North East markets, where the management is determined to capture 10% market share by FY 2019 and firm up the scale in institutional business. The Company which manufactures fresh, dry, frozen, cultured and fermented dairy products, including pasteurized milk, flavoured milk, sweetened condensed milk, ultra-heat treatment (UHT) milk, yoghurt, dairy whitener, clarified butter (ghee), ice-cream, milk powder, ingredients for baby foods, lassi and chaas is targeting to achieve 7lakh litres of milk sale per month from North East states.

The market for UHT milk is growing exponentially with a CAGR of 32% and the company aims to be a major contributor to the industry. To achieve the growth targets, the Company has planned to leverage its existing presence in the region by expanding its product portfolio.

On the occasion, explaining the rationale of entering the North East markets, the Chief Marketing Officer and Business Head, Prabhat Dairy Limited, Nidhi Nirmal said, “North East India is one of our primary target markets for our national expansion as it is one of the fastest growing in India, especially in Tetra Pak segment. We have strategized our products in line with the local demand as understand the requirements of the region since we already have presence here for a while.

The market for UHT is growing fast and so is the demand for Tetra Paks is emerging as a preferred option of milk consumption in the North Eastern states. Our core focus would be to build Strong Consumer Connect as we are looking to launch more products in the region soon.”

The Company launched three variants of UHT milk namely Toned, Double-Toned and Skimmed versions which would be available in 1 litre tetra Paks.

Key Highlights of Prabhat Dairy’s Growth Roadmap of ‘Vision 2020’: Prabhat Dairy, through its strong forward and backward integration, has targeted to become a leadership brand of India by expanding its product portfolio, national footprint and higher sales realisations. While expanding the retail products portfolio, the Company is set to leverage the brand Prabhat with further innovation. It will focus more on increasing the share of value added products like Cheese, Paneer, Shrikhand, Curd, Ice-cream, Flavoured & UHT Milk.

New product launches planned in next six months to boost the sales: New ‘Milk’ variants to stir the market

Under the new logo, Prabhat is set to launch variants of Tetra Pak Milk. With sound R&D, a new range of pure milk will soon hit in major markets. Further, in Tetra Pak Milk variants, 1 litre and 200 ml. SKU, Tetra PakCream - 1 Ltr and 200 Ml SKU, Tetra Pak Lassi - 200 ML and Milk Shake - 200 ML will be launched soon. The Company is expecting to achieve incremental revenue of more than Rs. 100 crore only from all - Tetra Pak.

U.S. team to search for WW II dead


Agartala / Kolkata, November 9, 2017: Investigators from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) returned to India this week to continue the search for remains of U.S. personnel missing since World War II.  Last year, DPAA deployed a team to northeast India for 30 days in search of remains for unaccounted-for U.S. airmen, and this is their fifth mission to India since 2013. 

There are approximately 400 U.S. airmen missing in India, most of whose remains are believed to be located in the Himalayan Mountains in northeast India.  During World War II, the United States provided supplies to the Chinese Army by flying over the Himalayas, a route known as “The Hump.” 

Many of these aircraft went missing and were never found in the mountainous terrain.

During DPAA’s missions in 2015 and 2016, remains were recovered and are in the process of being identified through DNA testing.  One set of remains from the 2015 recovery mission was positively identified as U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Robert E. Oxford.  In 2016, a local villager turned over additional remains thought to be associated with another U.S. crash site.

This year, the team will conduct a similar mission in northeast India, surveying several different sites from those visited during the 2016 investigation effort.

MaryKay Carlson, the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi said, “The United States works with governments around the world to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation. This is the fifth DPAA mission to India since 2013, demonstrating successful cooperation between the governments of India and the United States.  This positive relationship underscores the dedication each nation brings to this humanitarian mission.”

DPAA’s mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for U.S. missing personnel to their families and the nation. 

Ban on Amur Falcon hunting


Agartala, November 8, 2017: Deputy Commissioner of Phek district Kovi Meyase in an order on informed of the illegality and prohibition of the hunting, killing or possessing Amur Falcon. The order further informed all concern to shun from hunting or killing the migratory birds during their sojourn along the Tizu River. 

Any person found killing/hunting or in possession of these birds will be liable for strict action as lay down by law, stated the order.

Hunting or killing of the aforementioned birds is a contravention to Schedule-IV of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, added the order.

The DC in the order also apprised that India, as a signatory to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), is duty bound to prevent this massacre, provide safe passage, as well as draw up appropriate action plans for the long term conservation of this bird.

Senior Tripura bureaucrat dies


Agartala, November 7, 2017: A senior civil service official, Bimal Reang, passed away after a brief illness. He was last posted as Additional District Magistrate of north Tripura district with headquarters at Dharmanagar. 

The nominated IAS official went to Bangalore for treatment for his lung infection where he breathed last. He was 55.

Before begging his career in Tripura Civil Service (TCS) Reang was involved in community welfare activities. He led Bru Youth Association which was raised to voice concern for over 40000 Bru or Reang refugees took refuge in Tripura from strife torn districts of Mizoram in 1997.