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NRC draft final, Assam on alert

With Assam on the edge ahead of the publication of the state citizens’ list’s first draft, the home ministry officials allayed fears, saying that Indian nationals whose names don’t figure in the list will get adequate opportunities to prove their credentials.The Central government has asked the Army to remain on stand-by, while deploying 45,000 security personnel to prevent any untoward incident. The first draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be released around midnight. Intelligence inputs have suggested possible tension in some parts of the state, where names of doubtful citizens might be excluded in the draft list.”No one should have any notion that anyone or any particular community could be discriminated against. Everyone is treated equally and all Indian nationals will get adequate opportunities to prove their credentials, in case their names are excluded in the first list,” the official said.Last week, Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba spent two days in the state, reviewing the preparations for the publication of the part draft of NRC. Following a series of meetings between the Central and state governments, and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), it was decided to update the NRC in 2005.The exercise got a major push after the BJP came to power in the state, which had a major poll plank of driving out the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. The Supreme Court had also ordered that the first draft of the NRC be published by December 31, after completing the scrutiny of over two crore claims, along with those submitted by nearly 38 lakh people, whose documents were suspect. Of the 3.28 crore applications submitted, there was confusion over the inclusion of 29 lakh people, who had submitted certificates issued by ‘gram panchayats’ as proof of identity, after a Gauhati High Court order in February had deemed ‘panchayat’ certificates invalid, the official said.The SC set aside the HC order and upheld the validity of the certificates as identity proof, if they were followed up with proper verification. The Apex Court also asked the authorities to stick to the original deadline for publication of the draft NRC and include names of those whose claims were verified.When the NRC was first prepared in Assam way back in 1951, the state had a population of 80 lakh. A six-year agitation, demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants, was launched by the AASU in 1979. It culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985, in the presence of the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal also sought to dispel apprehensions and said “genuine” Indians missing from the citizenship register would get enough opportunities to incorporate their names. “No one should have any apprehensions. If the name of a genuine Indian citizen is missing in the part draft of the NRC, he or she will get proper chance to incorporate it,” he said. “There is no need for panic. Genuine Indian citizens will not be deprived of their rights,” he added.

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No New Year celebrations for people in Assam as they wait for first draft of NRC with bated breath

At the stroke of midnight today, the Assam government will release the first draft of the much-awaited National Register of Citizens (NRC) with names of 2.24 crore bona fide Indian citizens.Of the 3.28 crore people who had applied for inclusion in the registry, 2.24 crore have found a place in the first draft following verification of their documents. The rest will be considered in the next two drafts, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told mediapersons yesterday.”As per hon’ble Supreme Court’s order, there will be two more drafts of the NRC and the names of all genuine citizen claimants whose names do not feature in the first publication will be included in it after verification of the pending documents,” Sonowal said.Also read’Indian citizens excluded in draft NRC will get enough chance to prove credentials’ Dispelling apprehensions over security, Sonowal said no untoward situation is expected to arise as the district administrations have been conducting public meetings and campaigns to explain to the people the updation procedures.The chief minister also said the media have an important role to play in disseminating correct information to the public.Also readAASU demands error free NRC, says ‘no Bangladeshi coming to Assam after 1971 will be allowed to stay'”Social media will be monitored closely for misinformation on the NRC draft and strict action will be taken against those attempting to create trouble,” he said.Asked about a tentative date for release of the final draft, Sonowal said, “The Assam government is conducting the NRC updation process with the state government machinery, the district deputy commissioners’ offices mobilised for it on the orders of the Supreme Court… The complete draft will be published after verification of all documents of those who had applied for inclusion.”The state coordinator for NRC, Prateek Hajela, asserted that “genuine” Indian citizens need not panic if their names have not appeared in the first draft as verification process is yet to be completed.”If the name of any genuine Indian citizen does not appear in the first draft, it means the verification process of that person is yet to be completed,” Hajela said, adding there will be scope for making claims after the final draft is published.Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, during his visit to the state, had also said there will be an opportunity for claims and objections after the release of the third draft.”Those who do not find their names in the first draft need not worry as there will be opportunities for subsequent investigation and document verification,” Gauba had said after reviewing the NRC updation process in Assam.The office of the State Coordinator for NRC has made elaborate arrangements for people to check their names in the first draft at NRC sewa kendras across the state from 8 am on January 1. They can also check for information online and through SMS services.Assam, which faced influx from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, first prepared in 1951.According to the Assam government’s official website, “The NRC is a register containing names of Indian citizens.The only time that a National Register of Citizens (NRC) was prepared was in 1951 when after conduct of the Census of 1951.”It was prepared by recording particulars of all the persons enumerated during that Census, the website said.The issue of updating the NRC of 1951 was first raised by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) more than three decades ago. The students’ body had submitted a memorandum to the Centre on January 18, 1980, two months after launching the anti-illegal foreigners Assam Movement.On November 17, 1999, at an official-level tripartite meeting to review the implementation of the Assam Accord, a decision was taken that the NRC would be updated and the Centre sanctioned Rs 20 lakh for the purpose and released Rs 5 lakh of it to start the exercise.The final decision to update the NRC was taken on May 5, 2005 when the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired a meeting to review the implementation of the accord.Thereafter, the government created a directorate for updating the NRC and the process of computerisation of the voters’ list up to 1971 and the NRC of 1951 began.A pilot project that was launched in two revenue circles of Barpeta and Chaygaon was suspended after a violent protest by a few organisations. The state government then formed a group of ministers (GoM) to hold talks with different organisations to draft modalities for updating the NRC.The updation process finally gained momentum after the Supreme Court started monitoring its progress and set December 31 midnight as the date for publication of the first draft of the NRC.

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Ockhi-hit Tamil Nadu villages to give Xmas a miss

Fishing villages of Thoothoor in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari are giving this Christmas a miss as over 305 fishermen and their boats are still missing after being hit by Ockhi cyclone on November 30.”There won’t be any celebration of Christmas. We are going to hold prayers on Sunday night in the memory of those missing fishermen. Other than church activities, there will not be any function or celebration outside,” Fr Bebinson, parish priest of St Thomas Forane Church, Thoothoor.Of the 305 missing fishermen, 157 are from eight fishing villages in Thoothoor region while 98 are from other districts of Tamil Nadu and about 50 are from Assam, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. As of now, only seven dead bodies of Kanyakumari fishermen were recovered.Fishermen from Thoothoor region are known for deep-sea fishing, venturing up to 1600 nautical miles, staying in the sea for 30-40 days.The families of missing fishermen are hoping that they would return before the Christmas but the hope is fading with each passing day, said Fr Bebinson. In last few days, as many as 60 fishermen hit by the cyclone were rescued by local fishermen who went on a search mission and brought to shore along with their damaged boats, he said, adding that fishermen set out in 200 boats in search of their missing brethren in the sea. “We will wait until this month end for the missing fishermen to return. After which we will hold memorial service for them,” he said.The case of migrant workers from Andhra Pradesh, Assam and West Bengal who go along with the fishermen in the deep sea fishing vessels as helpers are tragic. The migrant works who were basically working in the hotels started venturing along with fishermen as they got good pay, said Fr Churchill, general secretary of South Asian Fishermen Fraternity.”Sadly, there is no exact number of migrant workers went into the sea. We compiled the missing fishermen list from the survivor’s account. In some boats, none of them survived so we don’t know how many migrant workers were there in it,” he said.Fr Churchill said the fishermen suffered worst in the cyclone Ockhi than 2004 tsunami. “In five minutes, everything was over in tsunami whereas the fishermen caught in the cyclone were stranded and faced a traumatic death after swimming endlessly with the hope of being rescued,” he said.

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BJP poll prep: Nagaland with Kiren Rijiju, Tripura with Himanta

Even before the celebrations for the twin win in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh could end, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has set its eyes on the upcoming elections in the northeast.BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday appointed minister of state for home, Kiren Rijiju, who was the key planner to wrest power from the Congress in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, as the in-charge of Nagaland, and finance minister in Assam government and convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), Himanta Biswa Sarma, as the in-charge of Tripura.Elections in Nagaland, Tripura, and Meghalaya are due in February-March 2018. Of the eight northeastern states, the BJP already has five under its belt. It has its own government in Assam and Manipur, while in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim, it is coalition partner with regional parties.Of the rest of the three states, Meghalaya and Mizoram are ruled by the Congress while in Tripura, Manik Sarkar-led CPM government is in power for the last 25 years. But the BJP, aided by its parental organisation RSS, is hoping to make a dent in the red bastion, where the Left holds a total sway with 51 out of 60 seats.Master strategists of the BJP in the northeast, Ram Madhav and Tripura in-charge Sunil Deodhar have already succeeded in getting the non-existent BJP a foothold in Tripura. After getting six MLAs of the Trinamool Congress under its banner, the BJP has cracked the Congress too by making its MLA, Ratan Lal Nath, defect and join.”With the Congress now left with only two MLAs, the BJP has emerged as the lone challenger to the Left. It is going to be a tough contest for the CPM,” Deodhar said.

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BJP begins preparations for mission Northeast; Rijiju, Sarma appointed election incharge of Nagaland, Tripura

Officially beginning its preparation for Assembly polls in Northeastern states, the BJP on Saturday appointed Union Minister Kiren Rijiju and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma were on Saturday as election in-charge of Nagaland and Tripura. Announcing the appointment of Rijiju and Sarma, BJP General Secretary Arun Singh said in a statement: “BJP National President Amit Shah has appointed Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State of Home Affairs as Election Incharge of forthcoming Nagaland State Assembly Elections and Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister of Finance and Health in Assam Government as Election Incharge of Tripura state.”Sarma, who started his political career as a Congress leader, switched side ahead of last year’s Assam elections. He is the convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), an alliance of regional parties. Rijiju is a heavyweight from Arunachal Pradesh and the two leaders have been instrumental in the BJP’s rise in the Northeast. Assembly elections in Tripura and Nagaland are slated for early next year. Last elections in both states were held in February 2013.While Tripura has been under the Left rule for the last 24 years, Nagaland Peoples Front has been in power in Nagaland since 2003. Along with Tripura and Nagaland, polls will also be held for Meghalaya and Mizoram next year. Launching BJP’s poll campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last week inaugurated crucial connectivity and power projects in Mizoram and Meghalaya.

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Focus shifts to Karnataka and Northeast polls

Gujarat secured. Himachal Pradesh wrested. The BJP has shifted its focus, strategising for Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Karnataka where elections will take place next year.The party believes that a dip in groundnut prices, which cost it dearly in Gujarat’s rural pockets, will help it in Congress-ruled Karnataka, where it has been highlighting “no steps” taken by the Siddaramaiah government to compensate farmers.”In Gujarat, we had assured farmers that the entire produce will be bought by February, and prices have only dipped marginally. In Karnataka, the Congress is doing nothing to restore groundnut prices or buy the produce from farmers. It will be a major issue during the Assembly polls there,” said a Union Minister, who declined to be named.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a rally in Karnataka on January 28, concluding a 75-day Nav Karnataka Nirman Parivartan Yatra. Undertaken by the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, BS Yeddyurappa, it was launched by party chief Amit Shah. Modi is expected to attack the “failure and corruption” in Siddaramaiah.Modi also made a brief stopover in Mangalore on Monday, which was interpreted as a message that Karnataka is next on the radar.BJP leaders insisted that the party is serious about making a concerted bid to wrest Karnataka, which is the gateway to South India. Karnataka was incidentally the first Southern state to witness a lotus bloom in 2008. The BJP’s poll in-charge for Karnataka, Prakash Javadekar, will visit the state for four days from December 23 to December 26. Meanwhile, Modi visited Mizoram and Meghalaya last week and inaugurated various development projects.He also inaugurated a new BJP Meghalaya unit office there.The BJP is already in power in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh in the Northeast and has set up a North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) in 2016.Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland will go to the polls in February 2018, and later in the year in October, elections will take place in Mizoram.The BJP is looking at adding all three states to its tally. The BJP has already sent in research teams in the three states. The Congress, on the other hand, is up for a tough contest in an effort to save its presence in the region.In Tripura, both parties are in for a tough contest against the Communist Party of India (Marxist) whose Manik Sarkar has had an uncontested run for the last 19 years. While the BJP will focus on development in the state where over 65% of the people live below the poverty line, the Congress’s poll pitch will be inclusive development to woo the tribal vote.In Meghalaya, apart from the Jaintia vote bank, the BJP will focus on wooing Christians. Modi has focused on scams. In contrast, the BJP has allies in the Nagaland, where it will face severe attacks on the Naga Peace Framework, and face questions on the territorial integrity of neighbouring Assam, Manipur and Mizoram.Battles aheadThe BJP is already in power in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh in the Northeast and has set up a North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) in 2016. Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland will go to the polls in Feb 2018, and later in the year, Mizoram will go to polls

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Assam to host its first Global Investors Summit in February 2018

India’s gateway to northeast India, Assam is all set to hold its first Global Investors Summit on February 3 and 4, 2018.The summit will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and business delegations from the ASEAN countries as well as countries like Japan, UK, USA, and Canada are expected to attend the event.Business tycoons, including Tata, Ambani and Godrej, have held closed door meetings with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on substantial investments to be made in the state.According to KPMG and World bank report, Assam ranks 22nd among Indian states based on ease of doing business and reforms implementation.Assam is the largest economy in the northeast region and acts as a vital hub for trade and connecting with ASEAN countries.Also readIndian citizenship: SC says claims of left out persons to be included in subsequent NRC for AssamOwing to its relative proximity to the rest of the country and availability of quality infrastructure, the state offers a favourable environment for industry.This is the primary reason that the state has adopted numerous investor-friendly policies to attract investments and accelerate industrial development.Also readContinue good work as friends of hill people: Rajnath Singh to Assam RiflesApart from the traditional sectors of tea and oil, the state enjoys advantages in a number of sectors like organic cultivation, food processing, tourism, renewable energy and petrochemicals and the government has come up with sector specific policies to promote investments in 10 sectors.The chief minister has also made a strong pitch for improved connectivity.Apart from a major infrastructure push, the chief minister recently announced a provision of Rs100 crores to help establish air connectivity with ASEAN countries.With such a concerted effort, expectations are high that the state will soon join the bandwagon of high growth states in India, says the report.

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Himanta Biswa Sarma congratulates Rahul’s elevation; says will continue to have political contests with him

Assam BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma‏ on Saturday congratulated newly-elected Congress president Rahul Gandhi on assuming the top party post. The message comes two months after Sarma made fun of the newly-elected Congress President’s Twitter post of his dog Pidi..”My congratulations and best wishes to @OfficeOfRG on your taking over as @INCIndia President. May you have a wonderful & successful tenure. We shall continue to have ideological and political contests,” he tweeted.Sarma, who had quit the party and joined the BJP on the eve of the last state elections, accusing Rahul Gandhi of “indifference” to party affairs. He had even posted a series of comments after Rahul Gandhi had shared pictures of his dog Pidi.Also readCongress can stand for Rahul Gandhi’s dog Pidi but not for national anthem: Himanta Biswa Sarma”Sir @OfficeOfRG, who knows him better than me. Still remember you busy feeding biscuits to him while we wanted to discuss urgent Assam’s issues,” Sarma said, provoking Congress leaders to lash out at him.”We also know you better now,” was the reaction of Mahila Congress president and Lok Sabha MP from Silchar Sushmita Dev, who tagged Sarma.Congress social media in charge Divya Spandana, responding to Gandhi s tweet said, “So know you who can match this talent.”Gandhi’s tweet came at a time when his social media popularity is a subject of intense discussion.The BJP has accused Gandhi of using bots to inflate his fan following on the microblogging website, but the Congress defended his Twitter resurgence as natural. The bot is a software that can be used to autonomously perform actions such as tweeting, retweeting, liking, following, unfollowing, or direct messaging other accounts.

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Indian citizenship: SC says claims of left out persons to be included in subsequent NRC for Assam

The Supreme Court today said that claims of those citizens, whose names do not figure in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam to be published by December 31, would be scrutinised and included in the subsequent list, if found genuine.The top court made it clear that publication of draft NRC was not the “end of the process” and claims and objections of aggrieved parties could be filed and would be verified in accordance with law.”We reiterate the aforesaid observation meaning thereby that the claims/cases of the left out applicants whose names are not included in the draft NRC to be published on or before December 31, 2017 will be scrutinised and thereafter, if found eligible, would be included in the subsequent draft NRC,” a bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said.The bench gave the liberty to Assam to give wide publicity or coverage to its direction so as to ally all fears and apprehensions that may exist.The apex court had on November 30 said that on the expiry of midnight of December 31, the draft NRC pertaining to 2.38 crore claims, would be published. The NRC is being prepared to identify illegal migrants in Assam.The court had observed this while rejecting the Centre’s plea seeking extension of time for publication of the draft NRC.The NRC of 1951 is being updated for Assam in accordance with the tripartite agreement between the state and central governments and the All Assam Students Union (AASU), which was arrived at in 2005 to implement the 1985 Assam Accord.

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Assam: Three suspected ULFA-I cadre shoot dead father, son

Three suspected United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) (ULFA-I) cadre dressed in army fatigues have shot dead a Village Defence Force (VDF) president and his son in Simaluguri area of the district.Simaluguri Village Defence Force (VDF) president Anteswar Mahanta and his son W. Mahanta were killed on Monday after they were dragged out of their house and were shot dead by AK-47.”We reached the spot as soon as we received the information and we have started the investigation. The attack was carried out with an AK-47 whereby it seems that there are suspected ULFA militants behind the incident,” District Superintendent of Police (SP) Mugdhajyoti Mahanta told ANI.Earlier on Saturday, one ULFA cadre was arrested here by Dangri Kumar Army Camp of Dao Division.The said cadre, identified as Abhay Deka, was involved in the Dillighat firing incident in November 2015.

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Two arrested for circulating SMS to kill Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Two persons have been arrested in connection with circulating a text message, offering to kill Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, said state police on Friday.Talking to ANI, Assam Director General of Police (DGP) Mukesh Sahay said, “Two men were arrested from Hajo in connection with an SMS being circulated to kill Minister Himanta Bisa Sarma. The investigation is on to know the motive behind this.”Meanwhile, Sarma claimed that the accused were Congress workers.”The two were Congress workers when I was in Congress and were still there when I joined BJP. I do not know how these two got the number. I do not have anything to comment on it. Police will see to it,” he told the reporters. Sarma is minister for health, tourism and education in Assam.As per the reports, the accused have sent messages stating that they were ready to bomb Sarma during any of the public meetings and demanded Rs 5 crore for the job.The SMSes were reportedly sent to many politicians including former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, former state forest minister Rockybul Hussain, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) President Ripun Bora and many others.

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Continue good work as friends of hill people: Rajnath Singh to Assam Rifles

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has exhorted the Assam Rifles to keep its flag flying high through hard work and dedication, in the true spirit of it being “friends of the hill people”.Appreciating the role played by Assam Rifles in ensuring security, peace and development of the North East region, the Home Minister, at a ‘Sainik Sammelan’ at the Assam Rifles Training Centre here on Friday, said the country’s oldest paramilitary force has been carrying out an exemplary dual service of guarding the porous 1,642-km long Indo-Myanmar border and counter-insurgency operations.Stating that North East is a strategic area and its security of paramount importance, Singh pointed out the difficult task at hand for the Assam Rifles in guarding an “open border”, where a free movement regime is also in place for uninterrupted travel to each others’ territories by people of both the countries. He also highlighted some of the measures initiated by the present government for the welfare of the jawans.Earlier, the Home Minister was received by Lt General Shokin Chauhan, Brig Gurjap Singh, Commandant, Assam Rifles Training Centre & School and other officials of civil administration.Rajnath Singh also inaugurated the KB Limbu Swimming Pool, and NB Thapa Indoor Sports Complex and witnessed the display of skills by the recruits, especially in counter-insurgency. The Home Minister also hoisted the National Flag at the Auditorium Complex of the Training Centre. The mast of the flag — 100 ft — is the highest in the state of Nagaland.A barakhana was also organised in honour of the Home Minister, where he interacted with the recruits as well as the training staff of the Centre and School.

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North-East states’ territorial integrity won’t be hit by Naga pact: Rajnath Singh

Seeking to allay concerns of three northeastern states, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced today that the territorial integrity of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur would not be compromised while inking the final Naga peace accord.Singh also said that violence perpetrated by insurgent groups in the Northeast has come done significantly — by 75 to 80 per cent. “There should be no apprehension or worry for anyone. Territorial integrity of no state will be affected,” Singh told reporters here on the sidelines of a ‘Sainik Sammelan’ of the paramilitary Assam Rifles. He was replying to a question about the possibility of hampering the territorial integrity of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur by the impending peace agreement between the central government and Naga insurgency group NSCN-IM.The home minister added the central government was committed to do its best to fulfil the aspirations of the Naga people for a brighter tomorrow. “The central government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is committed to do its best to fulfil the aspirations of the Naga people for a brighter tomorrow with all the honour which they richly deserve,” Singh said at the Hornbill Festival at Naga heritage village Kisama, about 12 km from the state capital Kohima, earlier in the day. The insurgent group NSCN-IM’s key demand is to integrate the Naga-inhabited areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur, which has been strongly opposed by the three states, currently ruled by the BJP.Also readCheck Rohingya influx, Rajnath Singh tells border statesLast week, President Ram Nath Kovind said Nagaland was at the threshold of making history as the final agreement on the Naga political issue would soon be arrived at and a lasting peace achieved.The expectations for a lasting peace have soared in Nagaland, which had been hit by insurgency for decades, after the Centre and the NSCN(IM) signed a framework agreement in 2015.On September 19, Nagaland Governor P B Acharya said that the vexed Naga issue would be solved within the next few months. The NSCN-IM has been engaged with peace talks with the interlocutor of the central government since 1997 when it announced a ceasefire agreement after a bloody insurgency movement which started in Nagaland soon after the country’s Independence.The home minister also said the current interlocutor, R N Ravi, has been “doing a good job” and working for finding a solution. Addressing the jawans of the country’s oldest paramilitary force Assam Rifles at Shokhuvi, Singh said violence perpetrated by Northeast insurgent groups has come done by 75 to 80 per cent in the recent past.”I can tell you that 75 to 80 per cent of the insurgency-related violence in the northeast has come down,” he said.

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Rajnath meets CMs of Bangladesh bordering states, looks to expedite setting up of additional outposts

Union Home minister Rajnath Singh, on Thursday after a meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and representatives of other states which share their borders with Bangladesh, failed to provide any solution to the setting up of 89 additional border outposts (BOPs) of the Border Security Force (BSF). The work has been kept in abeyance owing to the unavailability of land.After a two-hour meeting at Nabanna, the state secretariat, which, Singh described as ‘very fruitful’ during interaction with mediapersons, the Union minister, when asked about the issue at hand, said, “West Bengal chief minister has assured me of all necessary cooperation on making land available both for setting up new BOPs as well as for raising barbed fence at the unfenced borders. I have requested the representatives of all the five states having borders with Bangladesh to take personal interest to expedite land acquisition in the interest of national security.”He admitted that of the 4096 km long Indo-Bangladesh border across the five states, only 3006 km had barbed fence, roads, floodlights and BOPs. “Work for the rest of 1,090 km is yet to be started. Of the 1,090 kilometre, 684 km will be secured with fence and related infrastructure, while 406 km will be covered by non-physicial barrier,” Singh said.Also readRajnath Singh to meet CMs of states bordering BangladeshNon-physical barrier would comprise technological intervention such as radar, day-night cameras and sensors. He added that a border protection grid consisting of both physical and non-physical barriers will be in place and will be manned together by state police as well as state and Central agencies. “The grid will be supervised by a state level standing committee which would function under the chairmanship of the government’s working chief secretary,” he said.Questioned about the Rohingya issue, he said that discussions regarding it had been done in detail during the meeting. “It has been agreed by all that we all will have to be careful of illegal immigration taking into consideration the security of the country,” he said.Also readNavy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba to visit Bangladesh for maritime cooperationOthers present at the meeting were Kiren Rijiju, Union minister of state for home affairs, Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Assam and Lal Thanwala, Chief Minister of Mizoram. Meghalaya was represented by its chief secretary and Tripura by its home secretary.

History will judge Rahul Gandhi as ‘failed dynast’, says Himanta Biswa

Soon after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi filed nomination papers for the party’s top post on Monday, Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said history would judge him as a failed dynast.Sarma took to his Twitter handle and said, “Those who dedicated their sweat and blood for @INCIndia are today silently sobbing on such treacherous lack of transparency in party. God bless @OfficeOfRG.”While talking to ANI, Sarma said, “Rahul got a historic opportunity and could have utilised it to cleanse Congress from feudal mindset but he did not do it. He is promoting same kind of feudalism and dynastic politics which his earlier generation used to do.”Also readCongress leader decorates bungalow to celebrate Rahul Gandhi nomination”History will judge him as a failed dynast,” said, Sarma, who was one of the most prominent leaders of the Congress in Assam before joining Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).Rahul filed his nomination papers for the post of the party president at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in Delhi. The election, if necessary, will be held on December 16.If elected, Rahul will succeed his mother Sonia, who has been holding the post for nearly two decades.Also read’Pidhikaran’ of Congress is now complete: GVL Narasimha Rao mocks Rahul Gandhi
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Can AFSPA be restricted to sensitive districts, asks Parliamentary Panel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A parliamentary panel today questioned top officials of the government and a paramilitary force over the imposition of AFSPA in Assam, saying whether it can be restricted to only sensitive districts of the state.The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, was today briefed by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and senior officials of the Assam Rifles on the “security situation in the northeastern states of India”.During the meeting, the panel members asked the officials about the imposition of the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act or the AFSPA in Assam and the present situation, a member who was present in the meeting said.”Panel members also asked whether the AFSPA can be scaled down to a few sensitive districts in Assam as was done in Arunachal Pradesh,” the member said.The panel also questioned the officials about various insurgent groups active in the state, especially the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).The government officials said that the situation in the state was better after the imposition of the AFSPA, the member said.The controversial AFSPA was extended for six more months beginning September this year in the entire Assam by declaring the state “disturbed”.The stringent law was first imposed in the state in 1990 after violence perpetuated by the ULFA had created severe law and order crisis.In Arunachal Pradesh, the AFSPA has been imposed in two districts — Tirap and Changlang — and some police station areas in a few other districts due to the presence of ULFA, NDFB and several Naga insurgent groups.

Outrage after India minister terms cancer ‘divine justice’

An Indian minister’s remark about the disease “saddens” patients and their family members.

NHRC issues notice to Assam over verification for NRC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the deadline for upgradation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam coming closer, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued notice to Chief Secretary of Assam after taking suo motu cognisance of allegations about people being harassed by police in the name of verification of their nationality.Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had directed Assam to publish of the draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) by March 31, 2018. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, however, announced that he would publish the draft by December 31, 2017.The NRC is meant to identify original residents of Assam to check illegal migration — primarily from Bangladesh.NHRC noted that due to the high influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh, people of Bengali origin have been under scanner for years. Assam Government has set up Foreigners Tribunal to deal with the doubtful cases.Submitting that it did not want to intervene in the state or central government’s public policy, NHRC observed that in the name of verification, marginalised people are being subjected to harassment and humiliation, which amounts to violation of right to equality and dignity of the innocent victims.The NHRC is currently looking in to the case of Moinal Molla and his family — his parents, wife, children, brother and other extended relatives. Despite being Indians, Molla’s citizenship was rejected by the authorities. He spent more than two years in a detention centre. It was only after an intervention by the apex court he got justice, the NHRC said in its release.The rights body also stated that there are 89,395 people estimated as illegal immigrants in Assam till August, 2017 and more than 2,000 people are languishing in the detention centres across the state.Civil society organisations, including members of the Delhi Action Committee for Assam (DACA), Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, political analyst Hiren Gohain, Sitaram Yechury, Yogendra Yadav, etc, convened a meeting in Delhi to protest changing of certain norms in the process.Panchayat certificates, earlier used for verification in the NRC process, was struck down by Gauhati High Court this year. The Jamiat has approached the Supreme Court challenging the order.FiguresNHRC noted that there are 89,395 illegal migrants estimated in Assam till August, 2017. They also estimated that more than 2,000 people are languishing in the detention centres across the state.

Two Assam Rifles jawans killed, four injured in IED explosion

Updated: Nov 13, 2017, 11:00 AM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two Assam Rifles jawans were killed and four injured in a blast at Chandel town of Manipur today, police said.The jawans were patrolling when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded near their camp this morning, the police said.The injured jawans have been rushed to hospital, they added.

Assam: Retired army medical officer, who served in ’71 war, asked to prove citizenship

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The foreigners tribunal in Assam has sent a notice to an army officer who worked as a pharmacist in the Indian army in order to prove his Indian citizenship, said local news reports. Tezpur resident Nayak Subedar Dilip Dutta said that he had also served in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Dilip who left the service in 1993, said that he received a notice stating that he has been listed as a D-Voter (doubtful voter) a few days ago at his home. “I approached the Foreigners Tribunal and told them about my three-decade-long service to the nation. However, I was told that since it is notice from the government, I will have to fight the order in court,” Dutta told reporters. Dutta joined the medical wing of the army in 1965. He further told reporters that after he’s done with the notice from the Foreigner’s Tribunal, he is thinking of taking the matter to the court. “This is unwarranted harassment’ and I am contemplating filing a defamation case against the government,” said Dutta. Officials of the Assam state government, currently in the process of upgrading its National Register of Citizens (NRC) to fight the influx of undocumented Bangladeshis, has been caught sending notices to genuine Indian citizens. DNA had earlier reported about Assam police constable, Abu Taher Ahmed, posted at the South Salmara police station who received a notice. DNA also reported about the case of retired army man Mohd Azmal Hoque who was asked to prove his citizenship that resulted in widespread outrage across and outside the state. As per a directive from the Supreme Court, the NRC upgradation has to be completed by December 31, 2017.

Assam: Rhino, calf killed in Kaziranga national park; horns taken away

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A female rhino and her calf were shot dead and their horns removed by poachers at Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in upper Assam last night, a forest department official said.This comes three days after another adult female rhino was killed in the park.The rhino and her calf were gunned down near Tunekati Forest Camp under Burapahar Range of the Park yesterday, KNP Divisional Forest Officer Ruhini Ballab Saikia told PTI.The security personnel had heard gunshots around 11.30 pm and launched a search operation only to find the bullet-riddled carcasses of the rhinos lying near each other this morning, Saikia said.Several empty cartridges of AK-47 assault rifle were recovered from the spot, he added.With yesterday’s deaths, the toll of rhinos killed in Kaziranga this year rose to five.Poachers had slaughtered two rhinos earlier this year.While one was killed at Hatibali Chapori in KNP’s sixth addition area in February, the other was killed at Burapahar Range of the park in April, a forest official said.Last year, 18 rhinos were killed by poachers at the national park.

Armyman told to prove citizenship

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In yet another case of gross negligence by the Assam government, a retired Army personnel from the state has been asked to prove his Indian citizenship. Mahiruddin Ahmed, who joined the Indian Army in 1986 and retired as havaldar in 2004, has been asked to give a proof of his citizenship.This is the second such case reported from the state. In an exclusive report, DNA had reported on October 1 how retired Army officer Mohammad Azmal Hoque, who was with the Army for over 30 years as an engineer and had retired on September 30, 2016, was asked to prove his citizenship.Ahmed, who is now facing the same similar situation, told DNA on Saturday: “I was amazed to know that I had been asked to prove my citizenship. My entire family is here. I was born and I have a joint family. Now, they are terming me a foreigner — a Bangladeshi.”He further pointed out that when he raised the issue before the state authorities, they kept delaying the matter, forcing to him knock the court’s door. ” I am an Indian. I served in the Army. How can anyone say that I am a foreigner?” he rued.When contacted, Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay said the Superintendent of Police of Barpeta has been asked to conduct an inquiry into the matter and send a report to the DGP’s office.Ahmed’s wife Husaniara has also been asked to prove her citizenship. This, despite the fact that her father’s name appeared in the voters’ list of 1966, while the cut-off year under the Assam Accord is 1971. Ahmed’s elder brother is a retired Assistant Sessions Judge, while his younger brother works with BSNL.Ahmed was last posted at the Field Ordinance Depot in Bhatinda, Punjab.Yet againMahiruddin Ahmed joined the Army in 1986 and retired as havaldar in 2004 Ahmed’s wife Husaniara has also been asked to prove her citizenship

Story of a dog smarter than his master: BJP reacts to Rahul Gandhi’s dog video

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday, a lazy news day saw political discourse literally go to the dogs. Taking a dig at those who ask who was tweeting from his handle, Rahul Gandhi put up a video of his dog Pidi performing a trick.In what could begin as a Twitter spar, Sarma responded in the affirmative to Rahul Gandhi’s ‘dog’ tweeting on his behalf, and said that Gandhi was busy feeding the dog when the Assam government wanted to discuss urgent issues of the state.After the incident, a furious Sarma had told former Assam CM Gogoi: “Rahul turned and started playing with dog instead of listening to us. After I came out, I told Gogoi that it would be impossible for me to continue in the Congress.”Biswa Sarma would go on to describe Rahul as ‘arrogant’ and someone who preferred a ‘servant-master’ relationship.Meanwhile, BJP’s IT in-charge Amit Malviya hit back at Rahul with a poster which said ‘Pidiman -the story of a dog that’s smarter than his master’.Other BJP leaders also hit out Rahul Gandhi.

Next Cong VP? Twitter full of jokes about Rahul Gandhi’s dog Pidi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the recent past, tweets posted by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi have often grabbed headlines. Speculations have rife on whether the Gandhi scion posts his tweets himself, or whether it is done by someone else.On Sunday, Rahul took to Twitter to take a dig at those raising questions over his tweets. And interestingly, he did so by posting a video of his pet dog, displaying some antics.Interestingly, it was the same dog which reportedly lost the Congress the state of Assam after a disgruntled Himanta Biswa Sarma left Congress and joined BJP.Biswa Sarma, for the uninitiated was an ex-Congressman who left the party after being disillusioned with the Congress’ lackadaisical approach and helped Amit Shah and BJP win in Assam. The story goes that Biswa Sarma had gone to present his ideas to Congress VP for Assam elections but Rahul Gandhi was too busy playing with his dog. Sarma was quoted as saying: “Rahul turned and started playing with dog instead of listening to us. After I came out, I told Gogoi that it would be impossible for me to continue in the Congress.”Here’s how Twitter reacted to Rahul Gandhi’s tweets:

Still remember you feeding your dog instead of listening to Assam’s problems: Himanta Biswa Sarma slams Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday, the brave new Rahul Gandhi of Twitter shared a video of his dog Pidi with a cutesy caption seeking to answer who ‘tweets for Rahul Gandhi’. Putting a video of his dog Pidi, the Congress scion wrote: “Ppl been asking who tweets for this guy..I’m coming clean..it’s me..Pidi..I’m way than him. Look what I can do with a tweet..oops..treat!”While a lot of awwws came his way, former Congressman and one of BJP’s star performers from North-East, Himanta Biswa Sarma hit back on Twitter, reminding Rahul Gandhi that he had once preferred to play with the dog instead of listening to his own cadre.He wrote: “Sir @OfficeOfRG,who knows him better than me. Still remember you busy feeding biscuits 2 him while We wanted to discuss urgent Assam’s issues.”
ALSO READ Playing with Rahul’s dog way better than listening to BJP’s Himant Biswa Sarma: Congress leader Legend has it that former Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma had gone to meet Rahul Gandhi to discuss Assam’s problems but the Congress VP was busy playing with his canine friend. Disillusioned Biswa Sarma left and joined BJP who has helped the party come to power in Assam and helped manoeuvre alliances in Manipur to form the government.After the incident, a furious Sarma had told former Assam CM Gogoi: “ “Rahul turned and started playing with dog instead of listening to us. After I came out, I told Gogoi that it would be impossible for me to continue in the Congress.”Biswa Sarma would go on to describe Rahul as ‘arrogant’ and someone who preferred a ‘servant-master’ relationship.In fact, Congress’ Gaurav Pandhi had once ever had the temerity to compare Sarma to the dog: “@bainjal you have to meet Rahul Gandhi’s dog, so cute, anyone would prefer playing with him than listening to @himantabiswa. 🙂 @INCIndia.”The reaction of Congress members even now wasn’t very becomingBJP leaders also got in on the act.In Congress, it surely looks like the race to being the his master’s voice, to hide his goof-ups with snark and political naiveness, even as the master is busy playing with his dog Pidi. It is probably easy to give a makeover to a Twitter handle rather than making a leader accountable for his past mistakes. And it’s no surprise that smart politicians like Himanta Biswa Sarma aren’t willing to stick around for this second-class treatment.

Assam: BJP MP compares Nehru-Gandhi with garbage, Congress demands his arrest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Assam has stoked a controversy by allegedly comparing Mahatma Gandhi and India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru with garbage.Addressing a public rally at Sonari in Sivsagar district, the Lok Sabha member Kamakhya Prasad Tasa said that the Congress has pushed the Nehru-Gandhi garbage into the minds of people over the years and there is now no space for any other theory, reported IANS.The Congress has lodged an FIR in a Guwahati police station and demanded the MP’s arrest.The report also said that Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was seated on the podium where Tasa was speaking.”The MP … described Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi as garbage. Therefore, we seek his immediate arrest and prosecution under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC),” read the FIR.Assam Congress leader Ripun Bora said that Tasa’s remark was an unpardonable offence and demanded his immediate arrest.

Attack on Australian team bus: 2 suspects arrested, Assam Chief Minister orders probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of attack on the Australian cricket team bus in Guwahati on Tuesday night, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday directed state’s Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia to initiate an inquiry into the matter.A rock was allegedly thrown at the Australian team bus as they returned to the team hotel from the Barsapara Cricket Stadium following their eight-wicket win in the second T20I of the three-match series in Guwahati.Sonowal also called on Director General of Police (DGP) Mukesh Sahay to immediately nab the culprits.”Sports Minister, Chief Secretary and DGP were directed to meet the Australian players and convey state government concern and the immediate measures taken after the incident,? the Assam Chief Minister further said.Earlier in the day, Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore also condemned the incident.Taking to Twitter, Rathore said that the stone-throwing incident in Guwahati was not reflective of the country’s security measures.”Guwahati stone-throwing incident NOT reflective of our security measures. Aus team & FIFA are content w/those. India remains a graceful host,” Rathore, who replaced Vijay Goel as the Sports Minister earlier this year, tweeted.”Have spoken to Sarbanand Sonwal ji about the Guwahati incident. Personal security of visiting athletes & teams is extremely important for us,” he added.Australian opener Aaron Finch has earlier tweeted a picture of a broken window saying, “Pretty scary having a rock thrown through the team bus window on the way back to the hotel!!”The rock, believed to be roughly the size of a cricket ball, was thrown at a window on the right-hand side of the bus, while it was returning from the stadium.It should be noted that no injuries were caused to any of the players or the support staff.In a similar incident, a small rock or stone was thrown at the Australian team’s bus in September in Chittagong during their two-Test series against Bangladesh.The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) at that time had immediately increased security for the Australian team to ensure there were no further mishaps.India and Australia will now head to Hyderabad to lock horns in the series-decider T20 match of the three-match series, which is to be played on October 13 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

Centre accepts Assam govt’s proposal to grant ST status to six communities, says Ramdas Athwale

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre is committed to ensure that six communities demanding Scheduled Tribe status in Assam are granted the same, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said on Sunday.”Assam government has sent the proposal to include the OBC communities Koch-Rajbongshi, Tai-Ahom, Chutiya, Moran, Muttock and the Adivasi tea-tribes in the ST category and we support this”, the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment told reporters here.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also given the assurance that the communities will be accorded ST status and “we will definitely pursue it and ensure that it happens”.”If the Schedule Tribe Commission examines and recommends it, then a Bill can be introduced in the Parliament and ST status to these communities can be granted”, the Union Minister said.Besides these communities, the government would also like to provide reservation to economically backward people of certain general caste communities like the Kalita and Brahmins in Assam, Athawale said.”There are many people in these general castes who are economically backward and are in need of reservations in both jobs and education”, he added.There is, however, a deterrent in this matter as the Supreme Court has fixed the maximum level of reservation at 50 per cent but “if a law is passed increasing the level to 75 per cent, then social justice can be ensured”, he said.The Minister lauded the decision of the Assam government to penalise government employees who fail to take care of their aged parents by deducting 10 per cent of their salaries.”This is a very good step taken by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and other states should also follow this policy. Setting up old age homes is not a good step and children must take care of their parents,” he said.In Assam, there are 4,80,065 disabled persons and the state government has made a budgetary provision of Rs 225 crore for the year 2017-18.The Assam government has also increased reservations for the disabled to five per cent in education and four percent in the job sector.Job opportunities for the disabled have been created in 54 departments of the state government with 680 disabled persons given employment but there is still a back log of 4,285, the minister added.​

India Muslim army veteran’s citizenship questioned

The retired officer says a court is demanding he prove his nationality because he is a Muslim.

Why you doubted an army man’s nationality, Assam top cop asks local police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assam Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay has asked a senior official to explain why Mohd Azmal Hoque has been asked to prove his nationality, who retired as a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) after serving the Army for 30 years. The Army’s Eastern Command has also pledged support to its retired officer.The move follows widespread outrage after DNA first reported on Sunday that Hoque has been asked by the Assam police to prove he is an Indian national and not an illegal Bangladeshi immigrant.Sahay said that he has asked the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Kamrup (rural) to explain why a letter was sent to Hoque in the first place. “We will look into the matter and find this was done. There will be action taken in case of any error on the part of the police,” Sahay told DNA.Hoque is a resident of Kalahikash in Assam, a state where infiltration from Bangladesh has been a sensitive issue. He has been declared a “doubtful voter” by a Foreigners Tribunal which has summoned him to furnish proof of his nationality. The tribunal will hear the matter on October 13. The police have registered a case against Hoque, alleging he had entered Assam illegally without any valid documents. Hoque said that the SP had in May come for a verification to his house because he has applied for a franchisee of the customer service point of a local bank. “The same officer had cleared the police verification in the application process and verified my credentials,” Hoque told DNA.The Army’s Eastern Command said “necessary help” will be provided to Hoque, after an Army officer tweeted his story to it. The Eastern Command tweeted back: “Thanks for your concern. The JCO has been contacted and necessary assistance will be provided till the issue is resolved.” In another tweet, the Eastern Command said, “Thanks for the input. We certainly reach out to our veterans in need of assistance & a bit of courtesy from our citizens helps.”It is learnt that officers from the Eastern Command called Hoque on Sunday and pledged any form of help that they can provide.Aman Wadud, lawyer-activist from Assam who has taken up Hoque’s case, said that he has dealt with similar cases of government officials, who have spent years on the job, being asked to furnish details without any prior investigation.”Hoque was never approached by any investigation agency and now he is being accused of being an ‘illegal immigrant’. If a person who served the Indian Army for three decades can be harassed and humiliated in this manner, one can imagine what normal citizens go through,” said Wadud.”This is the story of lakhs of genuine Indian citizens in Assam who face harassment on a daily basis. At this point of time, there are more than 1,000 people lodged in detention centres without the probability of parole. Many of them will even breathe their last in these camps,” said Wadud.

Prez Kovind appoints 5 new Governors; DMK expresses discontent over new Tamil Nadu governor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind, on Saturday, appointed five new Governors – – Brig. (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd.) as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh- Banwarilal Purohit was appointed as the Governor of Tamil Nadu- Satya Pal Malik as the Governor of Bihar.- Professor Jagdish Mukhi was appointed as the Governor of Assam- Ganga Prasad as the Governor of MeghalayaBanwari Lal Purohit was appointed as the new Tamil Nadu governor, since Maharashtra governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao had additional charge of Tamil Nadu. This is the first time that the state has got a full time governor after K Rosaiah retired in August 2016.However, hours after the appointments were announced, Tamil Nadu’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) expressed its dissatisfaction. Speaking to media, DMK Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson TKS Elangovan said, “Governor is going to act according to the wishes of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). I don’t think there will be any change in approach.”Banwari Lal Purohit was earlier appointed as the Governor of Assam by the President on August 17, 2016. He has been a thrice elected member of parliament from Nagpur, twice on the Indian National Congress’s ticket and once as a BJP member.Meanwhile, Satya Pal Malik was appointed as Bihar Governor. The former MP and BJP’s national vice president, took over the post that had been vacant since Ram Nath Kovind was nominated as the BJP’s presidential candidate.Further, Brig. (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd.) was named the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, while Professor Jagdish Mukhi was appointed as the Governor of Assam and Ganga Prasad as the Governor of Meghalaya. (With Agency Inputs)

IAF craft crashes in Hyd, pilot safe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed on Thursday after getting airborne from Air Force Station Hakimpet in Hyderabad but the pilot managed to eject and is safe. The Kiran aircraft was on a routine training mission with a trainee when the incident happened.”The pilot is safe and a court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident,” the Air Force said in a statement. The aircraft was completely damaged after the crash. The Kiran is a trainer aircraft being used by the force for years. The pilot was on a training sortie and was flying alone.Earlier in May, two pilots of Sukhoi fighter jet died after their aircraft crashed. The ruins of the aircraft were traced 60 km north-west of Tezpur, Assam. The two-seater Su-30 MKI jet with two pilots on board, had gone missing shortly after taking off from the Tezpur Salonibari air force station on a routine sortie as part of a two-aircraft formation. They dropped below the radar and lost radio contact with controlling station.

Durga Puja is a time for community fun: Manimala Hazarika

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For Atyujwal Deka and Manimala Hazarika, a couple residing in Powai, the best thing about Durga Puja is the “community fun” besides the opportunity to “change society”. Originally from Assam, the duo have been living in Mumbai for 19 years and have a 13-year-old son. While Deka is a cybersecurity expert, Hazarika works in e-commerce.“The festive season actually starts with Mahalaya. We get into a festive mood by beginning with house cleaning,” said Hazarika who used to live in Kandivli.Barring the minor differences — the silk Mekhela Chador (two-part saree) that goddess Durga and her incarnations wear, Gamocha around her children’s neck, the size of drums used during Puja — there isn’t much difference between Assamese and Bengali Durga Puja celebrations. “In fact, since I have grown up in a Bengali-dominant family, I have been more used to that way of Puja,” says Hazarika who enjoys pandal hopping as well.Hazarika says, she will miss organising Durga Puja the most this year since they recently shifted out of Kandivli, where she used to be part of an organising committee. “Songs in Bengali, Oriya and Assamese were part of our cultural activities. We loved serving food to people. We even raised funds and adopted a local school there. Social change is what the Puja should be about,” says Hazarika. “It is that kind of adda during Durga Puja and being part of that is how we celebrate the Durga Puja,” concludes Deka.

Sashastra Seema Bal now a nemesis for wildlife smugglers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has had a good run in nabbing the smugglers involved in carrying out wildlife crime. This year, SSB has seized things worth Rs 187.69 crore from 93 smugglers. These smugglers were involved in smuggling endangered species like Tokey Gecko lizards and prohibited items like snake venom, tiger and leopard skins and bones, elephant tusks/ivory, rhino horn, snake sand boa, tortoise, turtle and deer, deer skin and deer meat.Recently, the SSB apprehended snake venom worth Rs 100 crore in West Bengal, which happens to the be the most wildlife-crime prone state with 125 cases followed by Uttar Pradesh with 54 cases.Sources said Alipurduar in West Bengal is the main hub of wildlife smuggling from where 98 cases had been reported followed by Bahraich (15 cases) and Balrampur (15cases) in UP, Udalguri (14cases) in Assam, Jailpaiguri (12) and Darjeeling (10) in West Bengal.Other areas of wildlife smuggling are Lakhimpur Kheri in UP and Kishanganj and West Champaran in Bihar. The illegal trade also includes body parts of dead animals like rhino horns, leopard skin and paw, deer horn and skull, rein deer skin, barking deer skin and elephant trunk.The data shows that the price of seized products showed a massive increase to Rs11.16 crore and Rs 46.62 crore with the arrest of 43 and 70 smugglers in 2015 and 2016 respectively. In 2017, the SSB team has seized wild life products worth Rs 187.69 crore from 93 smugglers in 82 cases.The force stated that in last two to three years, Tokey Gecko catchers become active in the Assam, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Bihar. Tokay geckos (Gekko also known as gecko) are being caught illegally and trafficked from this region to Southeast Asian countries, where many people believe that medicines made from gecko meat can cure diseases such as AIDS and cancer. Tokey Gecko has been included into Schedule III, of Indian Wildlife Protection Act as highly endangered animal.The wildlife trafficker usually poaches or killed wild animals and traffic their body parts for traditional medicines in China and other East Asian countries. Bengal tigers and one-horned rhinos are the prime targets in trade operations.”Animal parts like rhino horns, tiger bones, ivory, deer antlers, pangolin scales, lizards, snakes are being smuggled to places like China, Myanmar and other Southeast Asian nations through the open route of Indo Nepal border and Indo Bhutan border. This region is presently used as a corridor by the international smuggler, causing a serious concern to the very existence of wildlife in the north-east India. Trade of bones, claws and skin of tiger, Assamese macaque, elephant tusk, smoked snakes and red panda have seen in this region,” said officials.From Indo-Bhutan borders and Indo-Nepal borders, the SSB team has arrested 221 wild life smugglers and recovered wildlife products worth Rs 244.56 crore in 247 cases that registered Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam between 2014 and 2017.In 2010, the SSB seized wildlife products valued at Rs 1.06 crore and arrested two smugglers. In 2011, the value went up to Rs 1.51 crore but only one criminal was held. In 2012, the amount declined to Rs 56 lakh but six criminals were caught. The 2013 value of seized wildlife products again increased to Rs 2.09 crore. A total of 28 smugglers were held

Navratri 2017: Best devotional songs to soak in the festivities of Durga Puja

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The festival of Navratri is here and everyone is set to soak in the festivities. Celebrated with full fervour across eastern parts of the country in states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and parts of Assam and Tripura as Durga Puja. Nine nights of feasting, revelry, celebrations and good times awaits everyone.Devotees of Goddess Durga do not fast and they do not abstain themselves from eating non-vegetarian delicacies too, unlike the customs in the states of Punjab, Maharashtra and Gujarat. What remains common is the devotion with which people pray to the different avatars of the goddess during nine days and nine nights The eastern part of India celebrates Durga Puja and worships the goddess and her nine avatars through pushpanjali every day and only then relish the lavish feasts. According to the popular beliefs, Goddess Durga comes to her maternal home with her children Saraswati, Ganesha, Lakshmi and Kartikeya during Navratris and hence should be welcomed with all kinds of delicacies. That’s the reason enough why devotees in West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Assam do not fast during Navratri.The festival may be celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country, but at the end it just comes down to nine days of festivities. So, here is our list of devotional songs dedicated to Godess Durga which set the mood for Navratri celebrations.
ALSO READ Sharadiya Navratri 2017 Schedule: Ghatasthapna muharat, puja vidhi and all you need to knowJai Ambe Gauri is the main aarti sung for Goddess Durga. This bhajan glorifies the goddess and how she saved the world from asuras Mahishasura, Shumbh and Nishumbh. The bhajan also explains the appearance of Goddess Durga and the weapons that she carries. The bhajan also takes into account the relationship of Goddess Durga or Goddess Amba with that of her husband Lord Shiva.
ALSO READ This Navratri Dalljiet Kaur will be seen in the role of ‘Maa Shakti’ on tellyMahishasura Mardini was an early Bengali radio programme that is played on the mornings of Mahalaya in West Bengal. This has been going on air since 1931 on All India Radio. Birendra Krishna Bhadra is forever immortalised for lending his voice for the two-hour Sanskrit recitation of Mahishasura Mardini on All India Radio Calcutta. His recital of shlokas can give goosebumps to any Godess Durga devotee.Aigiri Nandini Nanditha Medhini is a very popular Durga Devi Stotram and is believed to be penned by Adi Shankracharya sometime around 810 AD. The song is dedicated in praise of the Goddess Durga who kills many demons in her fearsome avatar of Mahishasura Mardini and that explains ten arms adorned with different weapons and lion as her ride.Durga Chalisa is the song that is sung to praise Goddess Durga and most devotees who are fasting or praying to the Goddess during Navratri read this bhajan to appease the goddess. This bhajan praises all the nine forms of the goddess and glorifies them.Ya Devi Sarv Bhuteshu exemplifies the Goddess Durga and salutes the divine power that in inherint in all living beings.This bhajan praises the three flowing channels of energy that is Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Parvati, and Goddess Saraswati. It even talks about how the Holy Trinity of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva created Goddess Durga a manifestation of the Supreme Power Adishakti herself.

Y C Modi appointed new chief of National Investigation Agency

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior IPS officer Y C Modi, who was part of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team that probed the 2002 Gujarat riot cases, was today named chief of the National Investigation Agency.The federal probe agency is tasked with probing terrorism and terror-financing related cases.The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved Modi’s appointment as director general of the NIA, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.Another senior IPS officer, Rajni Kant Misra, has been appointed director general of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).Modi will hold the post till his superannuation, i.e. May 31, 2021, the order said.ACC has also approved the appointment of Modi as officer on special duty (OSD) in NIA with immediate effect to ensure a smooth takeover.Modi, a 1984 batch IPS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, is at present special director in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).He will take over from Sharad Kumar after he completes his tenure on October 30, the order said.Kumar, who was appointed DG NIA in July 2013, has been given two extensions.In October last year, he was given a one-year extension, apparently to help the agency complete some important probes, including the Pathankot terror case, terror strikes in Kashmir, Burdwan blast case and the Samjhauta blast cases Misra has been appointed director general of the SSB till the date of his superannuation, i.e. August 31, 2019, the DoPT order said.​

Assam: RTI activist Akhil Gogoi arrested for waging war against govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Krishak Mukti Sangram Samittee leader Akhil Gogoi has been apprehended in Dibrugarh district on the charge of instigating people to take up arms against the government at a meeting, police said.The public meeting at was organised to protest against various issues like Citizenship Amendment Act, 2016 and non-implementation of Assam Accord.Gogoi, also an RTI activist, was a speaker at the meeting held at Bamumbari Tea Garden.While addressing the gathering, Gogoi and Jiten Dutta, leader of pro-talk ULFA, “instigated the common people to wage war against the nation and also delivered speech against communal harmony,” a statement from the Assam Police headquarters here said.”They also announced that they would go for use of arms on non-fulfilment of their demands and they are ready to use ‘Hangdang’ (sword) and AK-47 rifle in their movement against the Government,” the statement said.A case was registered under various IPC Sections including 121 (waging war against the government of India), 124A (sedition) and 153 (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds) and investigation is on.The statement, however, did not mention whether any action was taken against Jiten Dutta.

Most bridges in MP, Andhra, UP of socio-economic importance: govt data

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bridges on national highways connecting Chennai-Jharpokharia, Mumbai-Agra, Lucknow-Barauni, Pindwara-Allahabad and Shivpuri-Lucknow have been identified as socioeconomically important, a government data revealed. There are an estimated 1.5 lakh bridges on India’s national highways.As per the data, the bridges identified on basis of factors such as connectivity, daily socio-economic activities of the areas connect, population and average traffic movement on them, are located in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS) under the ministry of road transport and highways – which maintains an inventory of all bridges in the country – accords a socio-economic bridge rating number to the bridge identified, aside rating its structural condition for timely repair and rehabilitation.For instance, bridges on the national highways of Andhra Pradesh connecting areas such as Nellore, Kavali, Gudur, Sullurpet, as well as those connecting Ongole, Chirala, Markapur have been accorded a high rating in a scale of 0 to 9, in terms of connectivity, social impact and economic growth, implying their importance to the areas they are located.Similarly, the bridges on national highways of UP, passing by Lucknow, Mirzapur, Allahabad, Kanpur Dehat and Jalaun have been rated as the socio-economically important, not just on the parameters of connectivity, social impact or economic growth they contribute to, but also on the fact that an alternate route to connect the same areas would be far off.While bridges on national highways proximate to Chambal and Morena areas of MP have been rated high in terms of socio-economic importance, bridges on national highways near Dehradun in Uttarakhand have been given a similar rating.Speaking about this aspect of bridges, a senior government official said the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia is a perfect example of how a bridge can contribute immensely to the socio-economic development of the country.”The Sydney Harbour Bridge (connecting Sydney’s central business district to the North Shore) is a prime example of how a bridge contributed to the socio-economic development of the areas it connected over the years. Better connectivity enables better economic growth of the areas connected,” the official said.Similarly, during the inauguration of the Dhola-Sadiya bridge –the longest bridge of the country connecting Dhola in Arunachal Pradesh to Sadiya in Assam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken about how it will pave the way for economic growth in the North East and bring about an economic revolution to the region.Launched last year by union roads minister Nitin Gadkari, the IBMS also has the wherewithal to identify cut off areas such as river islands like Majuli in Assam, and present the data to the government so that their connectivity through bridges can be planned, which would foster socio-economic growth in such areas.However, an official said the IBMS has not been given such a mandate by the government. The IBMS has completed inventory over 1.6 lakh bridges in the country, of which around 6,500 bridges have been identified as structurally distressed and 147 dilapidated, needing immediate attention.NEW STATUSBridges identified on basis of factors such as connectivity, daily socio-economic activities in the region.

Assam CM Sarbanada Sonowal asks Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to help govt rehabilitate surrendered

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assam Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal has expressed his government’s intention of entering into an agreement with Art of Living Foundation for meaningful and purposeful rehabilitation of the surrendered militants in Assam.Interacting with Art of Living Foundation founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the city this evening, Sonowal hailed the organisation s educational and humanitarian movement and Ravi Shankar’s efforts in motivating militants to shun the path of violence and come to the mainstream of society.He requested the spiritual guru to help the state government with his expertise in rehabilitating the surrendered militants in the state.Sonowal also requested Ravi Shankar for conducting course in all the 31 prisons in Assam besides the 10 prisons where the Art of Living Foundation conducts courses in the state.The Chief Minister also pitched for a tie-up with Art of Living for starting a Sports Academy in the state and sought Ravi Shankar s help in this regard, besides requesting his help in the state government s endeavour for maintaining a sustainable legacy of quality human life.Hailing the Chief Minister’s Team Assam approach to expedite development in the state, Ravi Shankar also expressed hope that the new dispensation in the state under Sonowal s leadership would do exceedingly well in expediting the growth trajectory of the state taking all sections of the people on board.Ravi Shankar advised the government machinery a set a vision for the state and to achieve that vision he advocated for extensive use coordination, commitment and communication.He also appealed to everybody to maintain a disease-free health, as a sound health determines peace and wellness of human being.

India migration: Kerala’s efforts to integrate migrant workers

A new experiment in the state of Kerala could reduce outsider stigma that migrant workers face.

BJP and its allies will be in power in entire North-East soon: Amit Shah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Sounding the bugle for the coming Assembly polls in three north-eastern states, BJP chief Amit Shah on Tuesday said he was confident its alliance NEDA would soon rule the entire region, building on the development work done by the Narendra Modi government there.Shah chaired a strategic meeting of the six-party North- East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), which was attended by the chief ministers of five states — Assam, Manipur, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland — from the region. “The BJP-led NEDA is in power in five states but I am confident that in the coming days, the alliance will be in power in all the eight states in the north-eastern region,” he said at the inaugural session of the NEDA conclave here. At present, the BJP is in power in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, while its allies rule Nagaland and Sikkim.Assembly elections are due in three non-NEDA states — Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram. Elections in Tripura, where the Left is in power, will be held later this year. Congress- ruled Mizoram and Meghalaya will go to polls early next year. He said the region was top priority for Prime Minister Modi. Development in the eight states was essential for the overall growth of the country, he added.”The development work done by the Modi government in the last three years for the long-neglected north-eastern region is several times more than the work done by Congress-led governments in the last 65 years,” Shah said. The work had not finished but just started, he added. Citing numerous initiatives of the Modi government for the region, Shah said a Union minister visited one of the eight states in the region every 15 days.He termed the land boundary agreement with Bangladesh a milestone in the history of the north-east and said the government was committed to the overall development of the area. The BJP president expressed the confidence that all eight chief ministers would be from the alliance at the next NEDA meeting. Emphasising the importance of NEDA, he said, “It is not only a political platform but a platform to culturally unite all eight north-eastern states and increase their involvement in national affairs”. Talking to reporters, NEDA convener Himanta Biswa Sarma later said it was confident of seeing a “Congress mukt” (Congress-free) north-east by November 2018.Sarma, a minister in the BJP government in Assam, has been a key figure in expanding the party’s footprints in the region. Safe borders, inclusive development and national integration were on the agenda of the day-long NEDA meeting. North-east states have used the NEDA platform to sort out boundary, law and and other disputes, Sarma said at the meeting. The BJP-led NEDA consists of the Naga People’s Front, Sikkim Democratic Front, People’s Party of Arunachal, Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People’s Front.

16 million children across India, Bangladesh, Nepal need help due to floods: UNICEF

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>About 16 million children across India, Bangladesh and Nepal are in urgent need of life-saving support due to “catastrophic” flooding in the three South Asian countries, a UN agency said.”Millions of children have seen their lives swept away by these devastating floods” said Jean Gough, UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia. “Children have lost their homes, schools and even friends and loved ones. There is a danger the worst could still be to come as rains continue and flood waters move south” she added.Weeks of torrential monsoon rains and catastrophic flooding in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh have devastated the lives of millions of children and families. UNICEF estimates that almost 16 million children and their families are in urgent need of life-saving support. Since mid-August, there have been at least 1,288 reported deaths, with over 45 yasion people estimated to be affected.Many areas remain inaccessible due to damage to roads, bridges, railways and airports. The most urgent needs for children are clean water, hygiene supplies to prevent the spread of disease, food supplies and safe places in evacuation centres for children to play, the UN agency said.The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is on the ground working in close coordination with respective governments and humanitarian partners from three countries to scale up its responses and respond to immediate needs of affected children and their families.”Massive damage to school infrastructure and supplies also mean hundreds of thousands of children may miss weeks or months of school” said Gough. “Getting children back into school is absolutely critical in establishing a sense of stability for children during times of crisis and provides a sense of normality when everything else is being turned upside down.”In India, four states in the northern part of the country have been extensively affected by the flooding, affecting over 31 million people including 12.33 million children. Some 805,183 houses are either partially or fully damaged and 15,455 schools have been damaged, disrupting the education of nearly one million students. Further heavy rains in Mumbai resulted in at least five deaths by drowning and three people including two children died due to house collapse.In the affected states in India the state governments, following rescue operations, are conducting relief, rehabilitation and recovery operations. UNICEF, at the request of the state governments, is providing multi-sectoral planning and coordination support in the three worst affected states of Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Over 9.8 million people in Bihar have been reached with lifesaving information on topics such as safe drinking water and handwashing, UNICEF said.In Bangladesh alone, more than 8 million people have been affected by flooding, including around 3 million children. An estimated 696,169 houses have been damaged or destroyed and 2,292 primary and community schools have been damaged by high water. There have already been more than 13,035 cases of water-borne diseases in the country.In Nepal, 1.7 million people, including 680,000 children, have been affected with 352,738 displaced from their homes.More than 185,126 homes have been damaged or destroyed in addition to 1,958 schools, affecting the education of 253,605 children.

CBI case against BSNL officers for leaking info

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against senior income tax and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) officers and others under the Official Secret Act, after it found the agency’s surveillance request for alleged corrupt IT officers was leaked from BSNL office in Assam.The case has been registered against senior Indian Revenue Service officer Dhrubajyoti Ray, Joint Commissioner Income Tax at Silchar in Assam, Abhijit Das, Deputy General Manager at BSNL in Silchar, DC Tikadar and Siddhartha Deb Ray, a businessman.The agency filed a regular case after preliminary enquiry into the matter on February 17 this year. It was alleged that the CBI director, through the Superintendent of Police, sent letters to the nodal officers of the respective service providers for mounting telephonic surveillance of mobile numbers of Dhrubajyoti Ray and other income tax officers for the purpose of getting actionable inputs on the alleged corrupt activities. The letter was sent after getting necessary permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs.The agency found that the request for telephonic surveillance was sent to the general manager of BSNL in Guwahati.During enquiry, it was found that after receiving the mail, Das made a call to a businessman Siddhartha Deb and asked him to meet him. Das forwarded the letter to PR Chanda, Assistant General Manager BSNL in Silchar and also marked it to the General Manager DC Tikadar. It was also found that Siddhartha was a contractor with the BSNL and also supplied vehicles to Income tax office and knew Dhrubajyoti and other taxmen.What was foundThe agency filed a regular case after preliminary enquiry into the matter on February 17 this year. During enquiry, the agency found that the request for surveillance was sent to the general manager of BSNL in Guwahati.

AFSPA extended in Assam, state declared ‘disturbed area’ for six months

Updated: Sep 1, 2017, 07:50 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Assam government has declared the entire state as “disturbed area” for six months beginning from Friday.The notification issued by the state home and political department declares the north-eastern state ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months, unless withdrawn earlier, as per power conferred under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, an official release said.The declaration has been made after assessing the present law and order situation in the state which has continued to be a matter of concern due to some violent incidents by underground outfits, it said.

Two lynched for ‘cow theft’ in Jalpaiguri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two suspected cow thieves were lynched at Dhupguri in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district in the wee hours of Sunday.They were identified as Hafizul Seikh and Anwar Hussain. While Seikh was a resident of Dhubri in Assam, Hussain was from Patlhawa in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district. “We have started an investigation. We’re trying to find out whether the two were cattle thieves or traders ferrying cows. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem,” said a senior police officer.The incident took place around 3.30 am at Dadon village in Dhupguri area near the India-Bangladesh border. Three persons had been travelling in a pick-up van with some cows and had lost their way. Locals chased the van and stopped it. The driver managed to escape, but the two others could not.After a brief altercation, villagers suspected that the two were cattle thieves and beat them to death. The police took the two to a hospital where they were declared dead on arrival.Earlier in June, three Muslim youths, suspected to be cow thieves, were killed by an irate mob at Durgapur in North Dinajpur district.

West Bengal: Two men lynched to death by villagers for allegedly stealing cows in Jalpaiguri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two youth, suspected to be cow thieves were allegedly lynched by the villagers near Dhupguri of Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal. According to a report in Indian Express, the incident took place on Sunday morning around 3 AM in a village 15 km from Dhugpuri town.The deceased have been identified as Hafizul Sheikh and Anwar Hussain. Hafizul Sheikh hailed from Dhubri district in Assam and Hussain was a resident of Patlahawa, Coochbehar district in Bengal.The victims were reportedly travelling on a pickup van in the village with seven cows. It’s believed that they lost their way and alarmed villages stopped the van but they fled.Later, a larger group of villagers blocked the path of the van and while the driver fled, the two passengers were caught.It’s believed that the villagers lynched the two on suspicion of being cow thieves, and when police recovered their bodies and took them for post-mortem, they were declared dead. “The bodies have been sent for post-mortem and we have started an investigation,” said a senior police officer of Jalpaiguri district.Police are still unaware whether the victims were cow thieves or cattle traders, who had gone to buy the cattle from the nearby market in the area.

Bihar flood toll touches 440; Assam, West Bengal situation improves

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar continued to reel under floods with the toll mounting to 440 and 1.71 crore people still affected, while the situation in Assam and West Bengal has improved.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who conducted an aerial survey of flood-hit Araria, Kisanganj, Katihar and Purnea districts along with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi, announced an immediate relief of Rs 500 crore for the deluge-ravaged state.He also announced Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of those who died in the deluge.
ALSO READ Lalu Prasad Yadav blames Nitish Kumar’s ‘engineer’ for ‘man-made’ Bihar floodAraria district accounted for 95 deaths followed by Sitamarhi (46) and Katihar (40).The flood waters, however, have receded in some places, prompting many to return to their homes. The number of relief camps also dropped to 262, in which 1.65 lakh people were staying, a release by disaster management department said.
ALSO READ PM Narendra Modi announces Rs 500 crore relief for flood-hit Bihar after aerial surveyA total of 28 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams comprising 1,152 personnel with 118 boats are taking part in rescue and relief operations, it said.Apart from the NDRF, 16 teams of the State Disaster Response Force comprising 466 personnel are helping people in the flood-hit areas. A total of 630 Army personnel are assisting in relief and rescue operations with 70 boats, the release said.
ALSO READ Break the JD(U) legislative party if you have might: Nitish Kumar dares Sharad Yadav faction The flood situation in Assam improved as 2.03 lakh people is six districts were affected by the deluge against yesterday’s 2.67 lakh flood-hit people in seven districts.However, one more death was reported in the state taking the toll in the latest wave of flood to 73. In total, 156 people have died in this year’s flood-related incidents in the state.The waters of only the Dhansiri river was flowing above the danger mark at Numaligarh in Golaghat.According to a report by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) Dhemaji, Barpeta, Chirang, Morigaon, Nagaon and Jorhat are still flood-hit.Currently, 408 villages are under water and more than 31,000 hectares of crop areas are inundated, the ASDMA said, adding authorities are running 94 relief camps in three districts, where 24,785 people have taken shelter.In West Bengal, the overall flood situation in its six northern districts of Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda, improved as water levels of major rivers receded and there was no heavy rainfall.With flood waters receding, bus services have resumed in many parts of the affected districts.As there was no report of any fresh death since yesterday, the toll remained at 90, an official of the state disaster management department, adding the situation in some areas of Malda district, however, still remained a matter of concern.Landslides triggered by incessant rains snapped road links in Manipur and Mizoram.Almost 80-feet stretch of Imphal-Dimapur National Highway 39 at Makhan area in Senapati district of Manipur was damaged by a landslide stranding trucks bringing essential commodities from Nagaland and those heading towards Assam.Also torrential rains caused flash floods in several parts of Imphal town and other low-lying areas.At least seven buildings collapsed in Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, and nearby villages due to multiple landslides triggered by heavy rains since Thursday.Many places of the state were cut off due to road blocks caused by landslides. BJP attacks Lalu Prasad Yadav The BJP today made a scathing attack on the RJD for working overtime for tomorrow’s rally instead of serving the flood-hit people of Bihar.”While Prime Minister Narendra Modi took out time from his busy schedule to make an aerial survey of flood-hit areas in Bihar, Lalu Prasad remained busy supervising the arrangements for the RJD rally on August 27,” Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said.”While the Union and the state governments are working day and night to help the marooned people of Bihar, Lalu Prasad is gripped with anxiety as how to safeguard his benami property,” he alleged.Sushil Modi termed the RJD rally as “Benami Sampatti Bachao rally” (save benami property rally) to deride Lalu Prasad’s political show.The party said with major leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Mayawati and Arvind Kejriwal skipping the event, it will be a “flop”.Sushil Modi had levelled several allegations about Lalu Prasad and his family of acquiring ‘benami’ property worth around Rs 1,000 crore.The deputy chief minister had two days back asked Lalu Prasad to postpone the rally in view of the floods but the latter had reacted saying “will deferring the rally end flood in Bihar?”Sushil Modi said, senior opposition leaders like Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, its vice president Rahul Gandhi, BSP president Mayawati and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have given a “setback” to Lalu Prasad by refusing to come in the “save benami property rally”.”Only leaders of some parties are coming for the sake of fulfilling quorum,” he said.His ministerial colleague Nand Kishore Yadav too criticised the RJD for giving the flood victims a miss and remaining busy to make the rally a success.”This is height of insensitivity and shamelessness,” the senior BJP leader, who is Road Construction minister in the Nitish Kumar government said in a statement

6 more die in UP, Assam floods; situation improves in WB

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The figure of flood causalities rose by three each in Assam and Uttar Pradesh today, even as the situation improved in West Bengal with the water level of rivers receding. The overall situation in Uttar Pradesh is grim. Three more deaths have pushed the flood toll to 72, the state relief commissioner’s office said. Over 20 lakh people have been hit by the current spell of floods in 24 districts of the state. 2,688 villages are under water. A flood report said 43,602 people have take shelter in relief camps in the affected districts of eastern UP, whipped by the raging waters of the rivers emanating from Nepal. Army choppers, NDRF and PAC (flood) jawans continued relief and rescue operations round-the-clock in the severely hit areas of the flood-affected districts of the state. The release of water in the rivers emanating from Nepal and incessant rains impeded rescue work and evacuation of people to safer areas. Twenty-one companies of the NDRF, 30 of the PAC (flood), two choppers of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and several columns of the Army were working day and night to save lives and properties in the affected areas. A Central Water Commission report said the Sharda was flowing above the red mark at Palia Kalan and near the danger mark at Shardanagar while the Ghaghra was flowing above the red mark at Elgin Bridge, Ayodhya and Turtipar (Ballia). Three more lives were lost in Assam floods while 12 districts continued to be affected. Two persons drowned in Darrang and one in Kokrajhar of lower Assam, pushing the death toll in the second wave of floods in the state to 70, an Assam State Disaster Management Authority report said. Altogether 14.36 lakh people are bearing the brunt of the flooding in the 12 affected districts. Water is receding from human habitation and agricultural fields though over 76,000 hectares of farmland with standing crops is still inundated in the 12 districts, the report said. More than 46,000 people are putting up in 125 relief camps. The floods have damaged embankments, roads and bridges in Dhemaji and Dhubri districts, the ASDMA said. The floodwaters have claimed the lives of 215 animals, including 13 rhinos and a Royal Bengal Tiger, at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, a senior forest official said. Due to the flooding, the animals at the UNESCO World Heritage Site are facing a food shortage within the park, compelling them to go to the nearby hills, tea gardens and even human habitations in search of food, KNP Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Rohoni Ballav Saikia said. Meanwhile, the situation in West Bengal improved further with the water level of rivers receding and no major rainfall recorded in the last 24 hours, an official of the Disaster Management department said. “Our officers are constantly monitoring the situation as people are returning home from relief camps. However, water is yet to recede in some parts as the Mahananda river is still flowing above the danger mark,” he said. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said floods in West Bengal have claimed 152 lives so far and affected around 1.5 crore people. The state has suffered a loss of around Rs 14,000 crore due to the deluge, she said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Assam floods claim 3 more lives

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three more lives were lost today in Assam floods while 12 districts continued to be affected. Two persons drowned in Darrang and one in Kokrajhar of lower Assam, pushing the death toll in the second wave of floods in the state to 70, an Assam State Disaster Management Authority report said. Altogether 14.36 lakh people are marooned in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Barpeta, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Morigaon, Nagaon, Golaghat and Majuli districts. Water is receding from human habitation and agricultural fields though over 76,000 hectares of farmland with standing crops is still inundated in the 12 districts, the report said. More than 46,000 people are putting up in 125 relief camps. The floods have damaged embankments, roads and bridges in Dhemaji and Dhubri districts, the ASDMA said. The Brahmaputra river is flowing above the danger mark at Nimatighat in Jorhat and Dhubri. The Dhansiri is above the danger level at Numaligarh in Golaghat, the Kopili at Dharamtul in Nagaon and the Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta district.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Aamir Khan urges countrymen to help Bihar flood victims

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Bollywood star Aamir Khan has appealed to the people to help Bihar flood victims by contributing to the government?s relief fund. The heavy floods in Bihar have claimed more than 200 lives so far. ?Nature is not in our hands but what can be done in this situation is for every Indian to come forward and help. I would like to appeal to all to contribute to chief minister’s relief fund so that the government can work efficiently,? the ?Dangal? star said in Mumbai. ?People in Bihar are our brothers and sisters. Otherwise also, a lot of places have been flooded in India this year. Helping them at this time of crisis is the least we can do,? he added. The government has launched massive relief and rescue operations with help from the Army, Air Force as well as the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Bihar State Disaster Response Force teams. Earlier this year, Aamir had donated Rs 25 lakh to the Assam government for its flood relief operations.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Compassionate family pension in Assam instead of employment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Assam government today said that it will notify a scheme for compassionate family pension in lieu of job offers to family members as it did not serve the objective due to practical difficulties. “It has been noticed that the existing compassionate appointment policy did not fully serve the objectives and often the legal heir fails to get an appointment immediately due to practical difficulties such as lack of educational qualifications and non-availability of vacancies within the stipulated five per cent of total vacancies,” an official release said. Accordingly, it is proposed to notify a new scheme called ‘Scheme for Compassionate Family Pension in lieu of Compassionate Appointment’, which will be known as ‘Compassionate Family Pension Scheme’ or CFP Scheme, it added. The scheme will be applicable to those employees who died in harness on or after April 1, 2017, but the relevant office memorandums related to the compassionate appointments will be applicable to those who died on or before March 31, 2017. The new scheme will be applicable to all employees of the state government, all others as eligible under Assam Services (Pension) Rules, 1969, all state government employees under NPS category and All India Services officers borne on Assam cadre.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

4 more dead in Assam floods, improvement in overall situation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The flood situation in Assam improved slightly today, though four more deaths were reported and nearly 19 lakh people still affected in 15 districts of the state due to the natural calamity. According to a report by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), one person each died in Biswanath, Darrang, Kamrup and Morigaon districts in flood- related incidents. The third wave of the devastating floods has claimed 67 lives so far and the total number of deaths in flood-related incidents in the north-eastern state has gone up to 151 this year, including eight in capital Guwahati. According to the ASDMA, 18.65 lakh people were still affected in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Morigaon, Nagaon, Golaghat, Jorhat and Majuli districts. Till yesterday, the number of affected people was 22 lakh in 16 districts of the state. As per the ASDMA, Morigaon was the worst-hit district with 5.21 lakh affected people, followed by Barpeta, where 4.67 lakh people were hit by the deluge. As many as 1,493 villages were under water and 1.15 lakh hectares of crop area were inundated, it said. The authorities were running 276 relief camps and distribution centres in 13 districts, where 54,982 people had taken shelter, the ASDMA added. Nearly 1,200 people had been evacuated to safer places, the report said. The devastating flood has damaged embankments, roads, bridges and other infrastructures in Barpeta, Nagaon, Dhubri, Dibrugarh and Dima Hasao. The Brahmaputra river is flowing above the danger mark at Nimatighat in Jorhat and Dhubri town. The Dhansiri river is flowing above the danger mark at Numaligarh in Golaghat, the Kopili at Dharamtul in Nagaon and the Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

John Abraham may hold fund raiser for Assam flood victims

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bollywood actor and ISL franchise NorthEast United FC owner John Abraham today said he is willing to hold a fund raising event to help the flood victims of Assam in association with the state government. “We would like to have a fund raising event for flood victims. But this has to be a government bona fide event. We would like to have this in association with the government,” Abraham said at a press conference here. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma have been informed about this, he said. “The latest flood has been very devastating. Over 50 persons have been killed. More than 200 animals died in Kaziranga National Park. Today morning I saw a picture of a carcass of a tiger, and it just killed me. “Our heart is for Assam flood. Our solidarity is with the victims of Assam flood. NEUFC will always be with flood victims whenever there is any necessity,” Abraham said. The third wave of devastating flood has so far claimed the lives of 67 persons across Assam. With these, the total number of persons losing their lives in this year’s flood related incidents in Assam went up to 151, including eight in Guwahati.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bharti bats for river interlinking to mitigate flood problem

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister Uma Bharti today pitched for interlinking of rivers to mitigate the problems floods and droughts in the long-run, apart from building large storages, an official statement said. The Union water resources minister made the comment during a high-level meeting to review flood situation in the country and the actions being taken at the national level here, it said. She reiterated that the Centre has received all the clearances required for the Ken-Betwa river linking project, which aims at fulfilling water requirement of Bundelkhand region falling in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Asserting that the government is “eager to implement the first interlinking project for the benefit of the people”, Bharti said the Uttar Pradesh government has conveyed its support for the project, while response from the other beneficiary state, Madhya Pradesh, is “expected soon”. During the meeting, the minister was briefed that the Central Water Commission took “pro-active” steps by issuing around 3,200 flood forecasts to all agencies concerned. According to the statement, the forecasts have been “extremely beneficial” for the district administrations in timely evacuation and saving of lives of millions of people. The ministry has also issued seven specific district-wise advisories on anticipated floods and dam-wise advisories for water release, wherever applicable, to facilitate early deployment of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) or State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and operation of reservoir gates, the statement said. It said three-day advance flood advisories based on rainfall-runoff model have been made available online for all the 19 river basins for the benefit of all stakeholders since June 2017. At present, states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam are faced with flood situation, causing loss of lives and damages to properties. The statement said, “Bharti emphasised that long-term solution to mitigate floods and droughts lies in the interlinking of rivers along with building of large storages.” The minister said that detailed project report of Damanganga-Pinjal link and Par-Tapi-Narmada interlinking projects are in “advanced stage”. Further, the Kosi-Mechi link and Kosi-Ghagra link envisaged in the Himalayan region would greatly attenuate high intensity of floods in the Ganga Basin, she said. Bharti said the Centre was in “continuous dialogue” with Nepal government at various levels to mitigate the devastation due to floods caused by rivers coming from Nepal through planning of various storage dams jointly. “In Brahmaputra basin, a committee of the ministry has assessed storage requirements of 9.2 BCM in Siang, 0.6 BCM in Dibang, 1.61 BCM in Lohit and 1.91 BCM in Subansiri sub basins. “A proposal for construction of single-stage Siang Upper multipurpose storage is under active consideration of the ministry,” the statement said. Meanwhile, Bharti will visit Uttar Pradesh on August 21 and Bihar on August 25 for discussions on flood-related issues with the state governments. She is also planning to visit Uttarakhand in connection with India-Nepal Pancheshwar Multipurpose project, the statement said. Ministry secretary Amarjit Singh is already on a visit to Assam for the survey of flood affected areas.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Assam floods claim 11 more lives

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The floods in Assam claimed 11 more lives today even as the authorities said there were some “signs of improvement” in the overall situation. According to a report by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), three persons died in Dhubri, while two lives were lost in Morigaon in flood-related incidents. One person each died in Baksa, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, South Salmara, Kamrup and Kokrajhar districts due to the floods, it said. The third wave of flood has so far claimed 60 lives in the north-eastern state. With today’s casualties, the toll in flood-related incidents this year in Assam has gone up to 144, including eight in the state capital of Guwahati. The ASDMA said 25.93 lakh people were affected by the floods in the state. As per its report, Morigaon is the worst-hit district with 5.29 lakh affected people, followed by Dhubri where 4.76 lakh people are hit by the floods. As many as 2,210 villages were under water and 1.23 lakh hectares of crop area were inundated and damaged, it said. The authorities have set up 488 relief camps and distribution centres in 17 districts, where 90,566 people have taken shelter. Nearly 1,300 people had been evacuated to safer places by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and various district administrations, the ASDMA said. The floods had damaged embankments, roads, bridges etc. in several districts, it said, adding that heavy erosion had been reported from Biswanath district. The Brahmaputra river was flowing above the danger mark at Nimatighat in Jorhat, Goalpara and Dhubri towns, it said. Other rivers such as the Dhansiri at Numaligarh in Golaghat, Jia Bharali at NT Road Crossing in Sonitpur, Kopili at Dharamtul in Nagaon and Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta were flowing above the danger mark, the ASDMA added. Vast forest areas in the Kaziranga National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Lawkhua Wildlife Sanctuary were under the flood waters, it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Assam Governor calls on PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit today called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to apprise him of the prevailing situation in the state following the third wave of flood. The governor submitted a detailed report of the flood that inundated 27 districts and affected more that 33 lakh people to the Prime Minister at New Delhi and requested him to send a second Central team to assess the widespread damages caused by the third wave, an official release said here. Purohit also drew the Prime Minister’s attention to the wide spread destruction that the current wave of flood has caused. He also informed Modi that lower Assam districts, which had remained unaffected by previous waves of flood, has borne the brunt of the deluge in the third wave causing huge devastation including temporary snapping of rail-links. The current wave of flood has already submerged 82 revenue circles and around 2970 revenue villages, affecting 1,43,123 hectares of crop area in the state. The flood also took a toll on the infrastructural health of the state like embankments, roads, bridges etc. The governor sought financial support from the Centre to help state government to recoup the large scale losses to rural and agrarian economy, the release said. The prime minister expressed his concern over the prevailing situation and assured all central assistance to the state government to tide over the crisis.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Had meeting with concerned dept to find solution to flood problem-Assam CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday said that he had a meeting with all the concerned department of the Government of India to find a solution to problems of flood and erosion situation in the state. ?Today we had a meeting regarding the flood and erosion problem in Assam. The state is going through a very difficult period. With the support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we will able to give the best support to the affected people throughout the state,? he told ANI here. He said Prime Minister Modi has already announced relief package to conduct study and research related to the problem of floods and prepare a comprehensive report and the meeting was just to review the progress of the same. ?To meet that particular objective, we had the meeting with all the concerned department. We are giving all possible support food grain, medical support,? he said. The death toll in Assam flood has crossed 100. The situation is so grim in the affected regions that it had rendered lakhs of people homeless and has forced them to land up in relief camps. The floods have affected the train services, damaged crops, left thousand stranded in states and has seized normalcy completely. Most of the forest areas in Kaziranga National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Lawkhua wildlife sanctuary are submerged under water.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Floods claim 74 more lives in Bihar, Assam, West Bengal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around 74 more deaths were today reported from the deluge-battered areas of Bihar, Assam and West Bengal, where swirling floodwaters have paralysed normal life and marooned over 1.20 crore people. The figure of flood casualties mounted to 119 in Bihar, with 47 more people losing their lives. The deluge has affected nearly 98 lakh people in 16 districts, forced postponement of examination and cancellation of trains, officials said. Araria district accounted for 23 deaths, Sitamarhi 12, Kisanganj, East Champaran, West Champaran and Supual 11 each, Madhubani and Katihar 7 each, Madhepura and Purnea 5 each, Darbhanga and Saharsa 4 each, Gopalganj and Khagaria 3 each and Sheohar 2. The flood situation may take a turn for the worse as the MeT office has predicted rain in Nepal and northern and southern Bihar for one more week. The Health Department has launched a toll-free number — 104 — officials said, adding hospitals have been directed to maintain a sufficient stock of anti-snake and anti-rabies injections. Disaster Management Department Principal Secretary Pratyay Amrit said 3.59 lakh people have been shifted to safer places. Of them, 2.13 lakh were put up in 504 relief camps. Food packets are being airdropped in inundated areas. Where flood waters have receded, they are being supplied through panchayats. Principal Secretary, Road Construction, Amrit Lal Meena said 124 roads, including national highways, have been damaged due to floods. An East Central Railways statement said 39 trains were cancelled as water overtopped tracks. Floods claimed 17 more lives in six northern districts of West Bengal, even as the overall situation improved today, officials said. Out of the 17 people, 15 drowned while two others died after they were bitten by snake, a senior disaster management department official said. Forty-nine people have died in flood-related incidents in the districts of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda since July 21, the official said. As rains have abated, water has started receding and the situation has improved a lot, he said. Ten more people died due to floods in Assam. Around 31 lakh people across 24 districts are bearing the brunt of the flooding. The toll in the third wave of floods in the state has risen to 49. 133 people have died so far this year in flood- related incidents. According to a report by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), three persons died in Dhubri, two in Morigaon and one each in Dhemaji, Sonitpur, Barpeta, South Salmara and Nagaon districts. Currently, 2,584 villages are under water. 1.67 lakh hectares of crop area has been damaged, the ASDMA said. Authorities are running 602 relief camps and distribution centres in 21 districts, where 1,01,035 people are taking shelter. The NDRF, SDRF and district administration personnel have evacuated nearly 3,500 people to safer places.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Floods claim 53 more lives in Assam, Bihar, West Bengal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 53 more deaths were today reported from the deluge-battered areas of Assam, Bihar and West Bengal, where swirling floodwaters have paralysed normal life and marooned over 1.20 crore people. The figure of flood casualties mounted to 98 in Bihar, with 26 more people losing their lives. The deluge has affected nearly 93 lakh people in 15 districts, forced postponement of examination and cancellation of trains, officials said. The regional MeT office has forecast rain in southern Bihar for one more week. The Health Department has launched a toll-free number — 104 — officials said, adding hospitals have been directed to maintain a sufficient stock of anti-snake and anti-rabies injections. Araria district accounted for 20 deaths, followed by East Champaran (14), West Champaran (13), Madhepura (12), Sitamarhi (11), Kisanganj (8), Purnea (5), Madhubani (5), Darbhanga (4), Saharsa (3), Sheohar (2) and Supual (1), said Disaster Management Department Principal Secretary Pratyay Amrit. Amrit said 3.59 lakh people have been shifted to safer places. Of them, 2.13 lakh were put up in 504 relief camps. Food packets are being airdropped in inundated areas. Where flood waters have receded, they are being supplied through panchayats. Amrit said 114 boats of the National Disaster Response Force, 92 of the State Disaster Response Force and 70 of the Army have been deployed for relief and rescue works. Principal Secretary, Road Construction, Amrit Lal Meena said 124 roads, including national highways, have been damaged due to floods. Meanwhile, train services continued to be affected. An East Central Railways statement said 39 trains were cancelled as water overtopped tracks. The cancelled trains included 12235 Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani, 12424 New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani till August 20. Floods claimed 17 more lives in six northern districts of West Bengal, even as the overall situation improved today, officials said. Out of the 17 people, 15 drowned while two others died after they were bitten by snake, a senior disaster management department official said. Forty-nine people have died in flood-related incidents in the districts of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda since July 21, the official said. As rains have abated, water has started receding and the situation has improved a lot, he said. Ten more people died due to floods in Assam. Around 31 lakh people across 24 districts are bearing the brunt of the flooding. The toll in the third wave of floods in the state has risen to 49. 133 people have died so far this year in flood- related incidents. According to a report by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), three persons died in Dhubri, two in Morigaon and one each in Dhemaji, Sonitpur, Barpeta, South Salmara and Nagaon districts. The ASDMA said 31.55 lakh people are affected at present in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Udalguri, Darrang, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Kamrup Metropolitan, Morigaon, Nagaon, Karbi Anglong, Golaghat, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivasagar and Dibrugarh districts. Dhubri is the worst affected with 8.13 lakh people hit. Around 5.30 lakh people have been affected in Morigaon. Currently, 2,584 villages are under water. 1.67 lakh hectares of crop area has been damaged, the ASDMA said. Authorities are running 602 relief camps and distribution centres in 21 districts, where 1,01,035 people are taking shelter. The NDRF, SDRF and district administration personnel have evacuated nearly 3,500 people to safer places.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Flood of nationalism: The real story behind the Assam flood Independence Day picture!

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This picture went viral on Independence Day. Even today, people just can’t stop appreciating the love and respect this school in Assam has for the national flag. Flood of emotions and nationalism swept many of us. Two very young school children can be seen standing in chest-high water to salute the tricolour, obviously putting their life in danger but making all efforts to celebrate Independence Day.Well! a picture is worth a thousand words. But there is a lot more than meets the eye. Location: This is the saga of The Naskara Lower Primary School in flood-hit Dhubri district of Assam. Due to heavy monsoon rains, large parts of Assam have been inundated for weeks now. This school got submerged on August 13.
ALSO READ This salute to Tricolour by Assam school is simply the best! Here’s whyName the heroes: Tazem Sikdar–the man in the beard and facing the camera–is the headmaster.Mizanur Rahman–the man in white shirt–is a teacher at the school. Mizanur Rahman’s teenage cousin drowned a few hours after the flag-hoisting ceremony. Haidor Ali Khan ( first student from left) Jiarul Ali Khan (Second student from left) are class 3 students. They were selected for this rather risky adventure because they know how to swim. Other students, not in the picture, watched the flag hosting ceremony from a nearby road. The picture was clicked by Assistant teacher Joydev Roy.According to reports, rules require that pictures of all schools functions should be sent to cluster resource centre coordinator.Problems are numerous for all those who live here. Their miseries get compounded during monsoon season which leads to soil erosion, erratic power supply, and flood in many areas. Since this picture has made people talk about Naskara Lower Primary School, now it’s time to go beyond what we see and extend help to these people who are in need.

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