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Governor hurries back to Agartala, but why?

Correspondent

Agartala, September 29, 2017: PMO has made Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy to cancel his trip to the United States for now and return to Agartala. Such rare involvement of the PMO fuelled all round of rumours with colours mainly directed at possible central intervention in Tripura.

With BJP desperately campaigning and displaying vigour to dislodge left front government in February 2018 assembly election, cancellation of one month long US trip of the Governor attains questions. Tathagata Roy has indicated that he received advice from the PMO to cancel the trip hours before he was to fly out of the country on Friday.

Tripura has been witnessing ethnic flare-ups and political clashes specifically between IPFT and CPI(M) at regular interval. A young television journalist killed, a private vehicle driver kidnapped and around 150 injured in recent cycle of violence.

Tension still gripped at least three districts that cast gloom in many interior locations. Massive security deployment, required to maintain peace and harmony, also added fear in minds of people.

Sources said the centre may choose to replace Tathagata Roy with someone in view of current unrest and there might be a visit of a strong team of Ministry of Home Affairs in Tripura to take stock of situation.

Nevertheless strong arguments of the insiders the central government was no ready to allow Governor Roy to take 30 days leave in dry run of assembly election which is marred by frequent violence. 

Durga puja begins, security tightened

Correspondent

Agartala, September 27, 2017: Durga puja – the biggest social festival in Tripura got underway on Friday amidst massive security arrangements. This year four day Durga puja has been arranged in 2436 places of the state. 

Agartala has been the main focus of celebration where an estimated 400 puja venues would worship the goddess of strength and might. Though Wednesday was the day for beginning of rituals, but many community pandals were opened for the visitors on Tuesday itself.

Restrictions on movement of vehicular traffic imposed in the capital city to allow thousands of people to visit puja venues without major hindrance. Decorations, attractive illuminations and new dress attired people of all age gave a festive look to Agartala and elsewhere.

Despite prevailing peace the authorities are taking no chance as reflected in deployment of additional 3000 police and Triprua State Rifles (TSR) personnel in addition to the regular police to maintain peace and regulate traffic movement. At sensitive and important places watch towers with CC TV established to monitor the movement of crowd.

Anti sabotage checking using dog squads and bomb detection and disposal squads are conducted regularly. Adequate plain cloth police personnel and women police members have been pressed into service for safety of people.

To give more colour to the festival the state government arranged helicopter service for enthusiasts to take an aerial view of Agartala and some nearby tourist spots.

Journalists reject SIT probe, demand CBI into journo murder

Correspondent

Agartala, September 26, 2017: Nine organisations representing print and electronic media have on Tuesday rejected Tripura government’s decision to constitute Special Investigation Team (SIT) and announced resolve to continue with protests in a phased manner till the state government accepts demand for CBI probe into murder of young television journalist Santanu Bhowmik at Mandai, near here, on September 20.  

Nearly one hundred journalists representing Tripura Newspaper Society, Tripura Journalists Union, Tripura Working Journalists Association, Tripura Photo Journalists Association, Tripura Electronic Media Forum, Tripura Web Media Forum, Tripura Kokborok Media Forum, Tripura Sports Journalists Club and Tripura News Correspondents Forum – visited murder spot at Mandai to express solidarity and pay reverence to slain Bhowmik.

It was there the journalists came to know about resolution of council of ministers to seek SIT and not CBI as demanded by them. Media organisations at large expressed utter shock and resentment over attempts to ‘suppress the fact and hush up investigation’.  

Veteran journalist Subal Kumar Dey who is leading investigation announced that they will continue with protests to achieve sole demand of CBI probe and would launch vigorous agitation after Durga puja which is largest social and religious festival in the region got underway on Tuesday.   

Murder of 27 year old Santanu Bhowmik occurred amid clashes between supporters of CPI(M) and IPFT. While CPI(M) blamed IPFT for the incident , the latter denied and demanded CBI probe. 

TV journalist murdered, media fraternity in street protest

Correspondent

Agartala, September 20, 2017: A young television news journalist was murdered in an alleged attack by IPFT supporters at Mandwai in west Tripura on Wednesday. Santanu Bhowmik, 27, was working for local news channel Din Rat. 

There has been conflicting reports over the exact situation that led to violence at Mandwai. One report said Bhowmik who went to cover tension at Mandwai caught up in a clash between CPI(M) and IPFT supporters.

Police said the journalist was attacked with sharp cutting weapons. He received injuries on back of head that resulted in his immediate death.

Security forces took time to recover his body after containing situation and shifting to the GBP Hospital here. Journalists in large numbers gathered at the hospital and decided to launch instant agitation.

A few hundred journalists started staging squatting protest near residence of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar. The protest was withdrawn at around 11pm after Sarkar gave assurance to sanction hefty compensation to family of slain journalist, action against killers in 24 hours and a government job in the bereaved family.

A group of senior journalists also called on Governor Tathagata Roy to seek his intervention. Governor Roy expressed his concern over violent situation in some parts of the state. 

Situation continued to be volatile in Jirania, Khowai and Teliamura subdivisions. Three tribal youths received bullet injuries when security force resorted to firing at Baijalbari in Khowai to quell a rampaging mob of protestors after four people were arrested in connection with an earlier incident.

Police also came under attack at Khumulwng, headquarters of the Tripura tribal autonomous district council, near Agartala. A security vehicle was torched.  

CPI(M) faces ire of IPFT, 60 injured

Correspondent

Agartala, September 19, 2017: Unprecedented tension gripped several areas of Tripura after scores of CPI(M) supporters from its tribal front injured in alleged coordinated attacks by IPFT which is demanding a separate tribal state. Several policemen including an officer were also hurt in the incidents that rocked the state on Tuesday.

IPFT (Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura) was reportedly trying to block journey of tribal supporters of CPI(M ) to a political rally of Gana Mukti Parishad (GMP) in Agartala. Opposition tribal party which has made inroads in tribal belts with separate state demand is desperately active to establish supremacy over GMP – which is heart of the CPI(M).

Vehicles carrying passengers were targeted in seven police station areas leaving numerous injured, some critically. 10 policemen including an officer were injured.

In a statement CPI(M) stated that at least 60 supporters were wounded, many vehicles damaged and party offices ransacked. One party office was set on fire in south Tripura, it alleged.

Police said 30 supporters of GMP were admitted in hospitals in three districts. They said adequate deployment has been made after clamping Section144 prohibitory order in sensitive areas. 

WHO supports Rohingyas with health services delivery

PR

New Delhi, September 19 2017: World Health Organization has released a first tranche of emergency funding from the South-East Asia Regional Health Emergency Fund to mobilize essential medicines and support mobile medical teams provide life-saving health care to vulnerable populations in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area.

“Vulnerable populations require access to health services, including emergency and basic health care. Access for women to reproductive health services is especially important. The Ministry of Health’s mobile medical teams will help deliver those services amid a highly challenging situation,” Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director for WHO South-East Asia, said.

Since 25 August more than 410 000 people have arrived in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area from Myanmar. More than 380 000 of them have gathered in makeshift or spontaneous settlements. Poor nutrition, communicable diseases (including vaccine-preventable and water-borne diseases), injuries and other concerns such as mental health provide immense public health challenges that the Ministry of Health, Bangladesh, WHO and other health partners are working to address.

The WHO South-East Asia Regional Health Emergency Fund  (SEARHEF)  grant of USD 175 000 will support 20 mobile medical teams to provide essential services for at least two months, and is also being used to procure essential medicines and medical supplies to be distributed to pre-existing health facilities in the Cox’s Bazar area.

WHO is working closely with IOM, UNFPA, UNICEF and other health partners in ensuring adequate health services are provided to the vulnerable population.

India drops mentioning ‘Rohingya’ in relief assistance

Correspondent

Agartala, September 18, 2017: India has launched ‘Operation Insaaniyat’ with humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh burdened with lakhs of Rohingya Muslim and Hindu refugees from strife torn Myanmar. Itall began when an Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster strategic heavy lift cargo aircraft was sent with 55 Tons of relief material to Chittagong in southeast Bangladesh. 

The union government which not yet come out with open condemnation of state sponsored military oppression on Rohingyas, committing genocide, burning down village after village, raping women of all age and driving them out of the country.

Even in official note and releases concerning relief assistance there has been no mention of Rohingya, but ‘refugees from Myanmar'. BJP led NDA government at the centre are even trying to ‘push back’ few thousand Rohingya refugees amid volatile situation in Myanmar. 

NF Railway incurs huge loss in recent floods

PR

Agartala / Maligaon, September 16, 2017: NF Railway has incurred substantial losses due to damage to railway track and assets in one hand, and suspension of traffic on the other, during the unprecedented flood in Bihar and West Bengal last month with Katihar Division bearing majority of the brunt. Approximately Rs. 45 crore has been spent on repairing track and bridges in Katihar division alone, while the total cost of repairing has roughly been estimated at Rs. 63 crore.

The civil engineering department had to use about 40,000 cu.m of boulders worth about Rs. 8 crore for repair of bridges and tracks.  In Alipurduar Division, a bridge is being rebuilt between Fakiragram – Dhubri section at a cost of about Rs. 8.7 crore.

On the commercial front the loss (estimated till 11-09-2017) is more than Rs. 209 crore with refund to passengers for cancelled train accounting for about Rs. 44 crore. A total of 1576 trips of mail /express trains and 1004 trips of passenger trains have been cancelled since first week of August 2017. Loss due to damage to other assets Signal & Telecommunication equipments etc are still being worked out.

Table below shows the loss accruing to different heads:

Heads

Total

(A)Revenue loss due to train cancellation

Reserved segment=Rs. 78.76 crs

Non-Reserved segment=Rs. 16.12 crs

Rs. 94.88 crs

(B )Loss in ticket checking

Rs. 3.88 crs

(C)Loss in Parcel segment

Rs. 16.44 crs

(D)Loss in Freight segment

Rs. 50.13 crs.

Total Loss (A+B+C+D)

Rs. 165.33 crs

(E)Reduction in number of passengers

PRS = 10,89,533, Non PRS = 30,50,278

41,39,811

(F)Refund on cancellation of trains (across counter)

Rs. 43.90 crs

Various sections of N. F. Railway where flood had caused damages and their restoration dates are given below:

 

SN

Section

Restored on

1.

Up line over Bridge No. 133 between Malda Town – New Jalpaiguri

29-08-2017

2.

Up line over Bridge No. 133 between Malda Town – New Jalpaiguri

08-09-2017

3.

Katihar – Kumedpur section

18-08-2017

4.

Bathnaha-Jogbani section

08-09-2017

5.

Eklakhi-Balurghat: (Buniadpur-Gangarampur)

24-08-2017

6.

Barsoi-Radhikapur section

18-08-2017

7.

Fakiragram-Dhubri section

17-08-2017

8.

Alipurduar-Bamanhat section

14-08-2017

9.

Senchoa-Silghat section

16-08-2017

10.

Barsoi-Kumedpur section (Up Line)

25-09-17(expected)

IPR Ministers calls journalists to respect media principles

DIPR

Imphal, September 16, 2017: Information and Public Relation Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh said journalism is a responsible profession as a journalist serves as a mediator between the public and the government.

The minister was speaking at the 43rd Foundation Day of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union at the Manipur Press Club.

Addressing a hall filled with media persons from different media houses and veteran media persons, the Minister said a media person should always abide by the journalistic principle and to maintain accuracy while filing any report. He explained maintaining accuracy in their reports will only increase the credibility of the media persons.

He further urged the gathering media persons to take an active role in spreading awareness of the various government schemes including the Pradhan Mantri Awaj Yojana, Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs (UJALA), Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), so that the public may take benefits from the welfare schemes.

Rohingya issue, high level meeting at Aizawl

PIB

Aizawl, September 15, 2017: Major General Upendra Dwivedi, Inspector General Assam Rifles (East), has staged forward to Mizoram to review the security situation in the state in the wake of recent Rohingya Influx in India and ongoing clashes between Rohingya insurgents groups and Myanmar Army in North Rakhine State of Myanmar. 

He carried out review of the security situation along Indo-Myanmar border with special reference to threat from Rohingya insurgent groups and illegal migrants to people living in border areas. On Thursday the General officer presided over a High Level Security Committee (HLSC) Meeting with representatives of BSF, CRPF, State Police and other intelligence agencies at HQ 23 Sector Assam Rifles located at Khatla, Aizawl.

During the meeting, he informed that the additional eight Assam Rifles companies are being relocated to further strengthen the security of Indo-Myanmar border. The General officer urged all intelligence agencies, State Police & CAPFs to keep a strict vigilance in border areas especially in far-flung and isolated areas along Mizoram border to thwart any infiltration attempt by Rohingya insurgent groups and illegal migrants.

Brigadier MS Mokha, DIG 23 Sector Assam Rifles briefed the General officer on the present security situation in Mizoram and highlighted the current and emerging security concerns due to Rohingya Influx in Country as whole. He also informed that quad copters and unmanned aerial vehicles are being employed as part of surveillance matrix.

All the participants confirmed that at present there is no presence of Rohingyas in Mizoram.

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