January 20, 2018
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Govt to work for infrastructural develop of historic Jonbeel Mela MLAs to prepare a report and submit it to the government
 Bhupen Goswami (20/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Considering the inherent potential of the historic Jonbeel Mela of revamping the rural economy and transforming it as a famous event of immense tourist potential, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal asked Members of Legislative Assembly of Morigaon and Jagiroad Ramakanta Dewri and Pijush Hazarika respectively to prepare a report and submit it to the government. Speaking on the second day of Jonbeel Mela which is a historic community fair held at a place known as ‘Dayang Belguri’ in Morigaon district, Chief Minister Sonowal said that the MLAs have been asked to prepare a report incorporating all aspects of Jonbeel Mela for the government to take adequate steps for the infrastructural development of the fair. He said that the festival demonstrates the age old barter system where the tribes like Karbi, Khasi, Jayantia and Tiwa come down from the hills with their products and interchange their merchandise with the local people in a barter system. Considering the uniqueness of the festival and spontaneous participation of people from all walks of life, Jonbeel Mela can strengthen the edifice of the rural economy of the state. Moreover with right kind of patronage from the government, the event can be promoted as a major tourism event. Chief Minister Sonowal also said that Jonbeel Mela where people from different tribes and ethnicities participate and create a harmonious ambience all round testifies the fact that unity corroborates progress and discord regress. He said, “Together we stand and divided we fall and calls upon the people from Barak, Brahmaputra, hills and plains to work for unity and eschew all divisive forces for the progress of the state”. He also said, “Jonbeel Mela strengthens universal brotherhood and reinforces our connection with age old practices and customs”. It may be noted that as part of the infrastructural development of Jonbeel Mela, Chief Minister announced financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 1 crore last year and the amount has already been released. Sonowal also handed over cheques worth Rs. 60,000 each to different kings (Rojas) as special financial assistance at a rate of Rs. 5000 per month. MLA Morigaon Ramakanta Dewri, MLA Jagiroad Pijush Hazarika, Chief Executive Member Tiwa Autonomous Council Pawan Manta, Gova Roja Deep Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Morigaon Hamen Das and a host of other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
First Lady: President Ram Nath Kovind to felicitate women achievers at Rashtrapati Bhawan
 Bhupen Goswami (20/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : President Ram Nath Kovind will felicitate exceptional women achievers who are the first to set a milestone in their respective fields at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Saturday. MC Mary Kom, Dipa Karmakar and Anshu Jamsenpa from North-East were selected for this prestigious honour. Women and Child Development Ministry confirmed that 112 women have been selected after an extensive research process by the Ministry. The women being felicitated are those who have been the first in any field like the first woman Astronaut, first woman Judge, first woman to head a missile project, first para-trooper and first Olympian etc. According to sources, a list of 227 women was compiled through various sources, including Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Sports, Limca Book of Records, press clippings and internet. Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, along with an esteemed panel of judges, finalized the names of 112 extraordinary. The Ministry said, these First Ladies rose through barriers, standards and oppressive notions to become the first women to excel in the fields. MC Mary Kom had won bronze medal in Boxing at the 2012 Olympics in Women’s flyweight category, whereas on April 2016, Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify on for the Olympics and the first gymnast of either sex from her country to grace the Games since Tokyo 1964. On the other hand, Anshu Jamsenpa is the first woman in the world who scaled the summit of the Mount Everest twice in a season. It was also the fastest double ascents of the tallest crest by a woman.
Pratidin Exclusive: China occupies disputed Doklam
 Bhupen Goswami (20/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : In a shocking development, new satellite images showed a massive, full-fledged Chinese military complex has been built within Doklam, five months after India and China ended a 70-day standoff in the region. Doklam lies to the east of Sikkim. The most clear satellite image available so far indicated a Chinese military buildup within the region that Bhutan claims as its own. It should be noted that, last month, Pratidin Time reported the story with images of a new road being built by the Chinese in the Doklam plateau which is approximately 10 KM wide. Meanwhile, the new images showed several military structures along the East-West road in the disputed region. The satellite images showed the entire disputed Doklam area, on the left of which the Indian post of Doka La in Sikkim and the Sinche La pass between Doklam and China to the east. There are trenches visible at another site where there is Chinese construction. In all locations, military structures and infrastructure has been visible. There were also two helipads, clearly demarcated by an H marking. The images showed Indian post of Doka La in Sikkim to the left and just 81 meters away were the Chinese structures. Satellite images available in the public domain and shot in December indicate that the Chinese never stopped their infrastructure buildup in the region, which was claimed by the External Affairs Ministry on October 7. Meanwhile, referring to Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s last week’s remarks, when he had said that India needed to shift its military focus from its western border with Pakistan to its northern border with China, an editorial in Global Times, which has been run by the Communist Party of China said, “The Indian Army seems to have failed to learn its lesson from the Doklam standoff. If India continues making provocations, it should expect harsh punishment from the Chinese army.” “Confronting China entails an unbearably high strategic cost for India. New Delhi should cherish the amicable policy adopted by Beijing,” it also read.
Justice Loya death case: APCC organizes silent protest
 Bhupen Goswami (20/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) on Saturday organised silent protest in front of Meghdoot Bhawan in Panbazar, Guwahati. Protesters of Congress party demanded a detailed probe into the 2014 ‘mysterious’ death of special CBI judge B H Loya. It should be noted that under Justice Loya’s court, the trial of the case of fake encounter that killed Sohrabuddin was going on. BJP President Amit Shah’s name was also allegedly involved in the case. On the occasion, APCC president Ripun Bora alleged that an attempt was being made to “cover up the mysterious death of judge Loya”. “People should know who was responsible for the judge’s death. A high level judicial probe should take place to inquire about his death,” Bora said. The protest was organised by Legal, RTI and Human Rights Department of APCC, where apart from APCC president, other leaders of the State Congress party including opposition leader Debabrata Saikia, Rockybul Hussain and several advocates participated.
Justice Loya death case: APCC organizes silent protest
 Bhupen Goswami (20/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) on Saturday organised silent protest in front of Meghdoot Bhawan in Panbazar, Guwahati. Protesters of Congress party demanded a detailed probe into the 2014 ‘mysterious’ death of special CBI judge B H Loya. It should be noted that under Justice Loya’s court, the trial of the case of fake encounter that killed Sohrabuddin was going on. BJP President Amit Shah’s name was also allegedly involved in the case. On the occasion, APCC president Ripun Bora alleged that an attempt was being made to “cover up the mysterious death of judge Loya”. “People should know who was responsible for the judge’s death. A high level judicial probe should take place to inquire about his death,” Bora said. The protest was organised by Legal, RTI and Human Rights Department of APCC, where apart from APCC president, other leaders of the State Congress party including opposition leader Debabrata Saikia, Rockybul Hussain and several advocates participated.
Newborn baby found abandoned in Guwahati Railway Station
 Bhupen Goswami (20/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :A newborn baby was found abandoned at the Guwahati Railway Station; officials for the station have confirmed. A Railway Protection Force (RPF) employee reportedly made the discovery sometime on Friday night in a dustbin located in the No.2 platform of the station, according to a spokesperson for the RPF. The baby was found cleaned and wrapped up in cloths. The newborn was later transferred to a hospital after first responders from the RPF arrived to administer first aid and found the baby to be healthy. The baby has been placed in the care of Panbazar Police Station. Police and RPF have yet to determine whether the baby was born in the station, or if it was transported there before being abandoned. According to sources, police are currently investigating with the aid of security footage. The baby’s mother has not yet been identified. The railway stations have become “safe heavens”, allowing parents to leave unwanted, unharmed infants to the care of the State without risking prosecution.
Junior Engineer of Karbi-Anglong arrested by police on charges of corruption
 Bhupen Goswami (20/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Ganesh Engti, Junior Engineer of Karbi-Anglong has been arrested by police on charges of allegations. As per allegations, Engti was involved in laundering money which was meant for government schemes. Reportedly, he had laundered money from twenty one schemes. After Engti's corruption came to light, police immediately arrested him under IPC Section 409.
Frequent recalibration of rates strengthens GST spirit,Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announces tax exemptions for eligible
 Bhupen Goswami (19/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Himanta Biswa Sarma, finance minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled state of Assam, on frequent changes in tax rules and rates and the functioning of GST Council.Himanta Biswa Sarma announced tax exemptions for eligible units in the State under Industrial Investment and Promotion Policy to align with post Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Addressing a press meet in Guwahati on Friday, the Assam finance minister announced these tax exemptions. According to the minister, under industrial investment and promotion policy, limit of tax exemption for medium and large units increased from 100 percent to 150 percent of fixed capital investment and for mega units tax exemption with maximum ceiling of 200 percent of fixed capital investment. The scheme has been providing 100 percent tax reimbursement every year irrespective of any capacity utilisation for 15 years. Addressing the media, the minister said, “For first time, proportionate investment in land (factory or hotel or resort building) will be included in fixed capital investment of new units,” adding, “To promote tourism, the government will provide 100 percent tax reimbursement to hotels and resorts above 2-star and river cruise, for 15 years, which is subject to monetary limit.” Tax reimbursement would be available for only those units existing on date of transition to GST, and new units set up after July 1, 2017 and upto December 31, 2022. Tax reimbursement will be claimed on monthly basis which shall be examined by a high-powered committee, informed the minister. “In case an eligible unit is not able to utilise its monetary limit of reimbursement within the specified period, government may extend this by another 5 years on basis of submission of valid grounds,” said minister Sarma and added that any kind of audit will be taken post reimbursement.
NSCN cadre detained at Geleki; pistol seized: Police
 Bhupen Goswami (19/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :In a successful operation, security forces and Assam police on Thursday got hold of one National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) militants in Assam Nagaland border area in Nazira and ravaged a NSCN camp in the area. He was one of the top ranking NSCN militant operating in the area. Though police have not disclosed his identity yet, sources said, he was operating away from any clues or insights from a long time now. The operation on Thursday was successfully carried out by Indian Army and police in Assam-Nagaland border of Geleki area in Nazira. Police also seized one pistol, some classified documents, five motor-cycle and one Bolero pick-up van from the cadre. The detained cadre has currently been held at the Nazira police station for interrogation. Meanwhile, police and security forces on Friday also carried some search operation in the area.
Former Home Minister Tako Dabi of Arunachal Pradesh passes away in Itanagar
 Bhupen Goswami (19/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :Tako Dabi, former Home Minister of Arunachal Pradesh passed away on Thursday in Itanagar. The former minister had been unwell for a while and was admitted at Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Science, Naharlagun where he breathe his last. The death of Dabi has come as loss to the state of Arunachal Pradesh who had been active in the state politics for several years besides being a teacher and an influential and dedicated leader. During his tenure he had always given utmost importance to Assam-Arunachal's realtions. Pema Khandu, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh expressed grief over Dabi’s death.
Dacoity in Goreswar, Baksa: Four dacoits arrested by police
 Bhupen Goswami (19/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :Police have been successful in apprehending four dacoits who were involved in a dacoity at Goreswar, Baksa. The four dacoits along with a couple of others had looted a pickup truck loaded with betel nut from Goreswar. Reportedly, they attacked the driver and handy man of the truck following which they tied them and left them on the road. The group of dacoits consisted of 5-6 men who had come in an Alto. After the police were informed about the incident, they immediately carried out a search operation for the group. Four of the dacoits were tracked down in Makundapur village and police also recovered nearly 33 quintal of robbed betel nuts.
Barter System In India::Jonbeel Mela: Study on an Aged old Barter System from Historical Perspective
 Bhupen Goswami (19/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Jonbeel Mela is a primitive barter fair in Assam where people gather to exchange agricultural goods without using money.Jonbeel Mela – perhaps the only fair in the country where barter system still exists to begin today.The Mela is organised every year by the Gova Tiwa Deo-raja Junbeel Mela Samiti and at the direction of the Gova Tiwa Deo-raja at Jonbeel Pathar, four km from Jagiroad in Morigaon district. The fair will conclude on January 20. Jonbeel Mela is a rare festival where both the tribal and non-tribal people of Assam and Meghalaya practice a barter system for exchanging agricultural products in a festive manner at the end of the Magh Bihu period (Makara Sankranti). The genealogy of the Mela can be traced back to the 15th century, when the mela began on the banks of the Moon-shaped (Jon) ‘beel’ (water body) with a three-day programme under the auspices of the then Gorbar kingdom with the participation of the Jaintia king of neighbouring Meghalaya. This traditional barter system of exchanging agricultural products by the tribal people of the hills and the plains of Assam and Meghalaya still continues in the Mela.It is a three-day Tiwa community fair held (annually) the weekend of Maghbihu at a historic place known as Dayang Belguri at Joonbeel. It is 5 km from Jagiroad in Morigaon district of Assam. A few days before the mela starts tribes like Tiwa, Karbi, Khasi and Jayantia of the north east come down from the hills with products and interchange their merchandise with the local people in a barter system. It is said to be a hitech age barter system and perhaps the only in India where barter system is still alive. This is not an ordinary fair but it is an important fair, where one can see the reflection of social, political, economic and cultural life of Tiwas. It is 5 km from Jagiroad in Morigaon district of Assam and 32 km from Guwahati. The National Highway connecting the mela is NH 37. Even the traditional Gobha king, along with his officials, visits and collects taxes and important decision are taken. The main aim of this paper is to study the origin and growth of the Jonbeel mela. Secondly, aim of this study is to see the barter system and what role it plays in bringing harmony and brotherhood among the tribes and communities scattered in Northeast India. Thirdly, it is also to be studied the role of traditional Gobha King as; he visits the mela and collects taxes from his subjects.This mela has a long history of its origin and growth. Started later than 15th Century AD this was first organized several centuries ago by the Ahom kings to discuss the prevailing political situations. Jonbeel Mela is one of the most attractive and unique festival of Assam where Barter syatem comes alive. Just 30 km from state capital Guwahati, Assam 03 day long community fair held the weekend of Maghbihu at a historic place known as Dayang Belguri at Joonbeel. It is 5 km from Jagiroad in Morigaon district of Assam. A few days before the mela starts tribes like Tiwa, Karbi, Khasi and Jayantia of the north east come down from the hills with products and interchange their merchandise with the local people in a barter system. The three day long festival takes its name from the lake next to which it is celebrated, the ‘Jonbeel’. The Jonbeel (Jon and Beel are Assamese terms for Moon and wetland respectively) is so called because a large natural water body is shaped like a crescent moon. 1.1 Origin and History of the Jonbeel Mela: Jonbeel Mela is believed to have originated in 15th century AD. The Ahom kings led to the commencements of this fair for discussing the political situations prevailing in their kingdom. 1.2 Features of Jonbeel Mela: Fire worship, also known as agni puja, is performed before the start of jonbeel mela to pray for the well being of the mankind. Community fishing in the jonbeel wetland marks the beginning of the fair. Jonbeel mela is characterized by a huge and vibrant bazaar. Exquisite traditional dance and music can also be witnessed there, performed by the various tribes. Cock fights, group melas and exhibitions of varied artifacts form prime attractions for the visitors from all around the community. It also visited by the Gobha king, the king of tiwa tribes, along with his courtiers for collecting taxes from his subjects. On the day before the fair, a community feast is arranged by the king with his officers on the bank of jonbeel. Promoting the harmony and brotherhood among the various communities and tribes dwelling in the Northeast India is the main focus of jonbeel mela. An ambience of fun and gaiety can be experienced in the fair. Apart from these, as soon as the barter trade was over by noon, it was time for the visitors to flock to the makeshift markets of household goods and spend the currencies with them to choose and buy from arrange products including wooden rice pounder, wooden furniture, quilt, mattress, fishing implements, bamboo and cane products wooden and plastic toys, agricultural implements, utensils. Some visitors could not resist the temptation of taking a ride on giant wheel in the mela venue. Hundreds of people took part in community fishing at the Jonbeel, a large wetland from which the annual fair got its name.Barter System at Jonbeel Mela: Prior to the starting of the mela the Gobha king offered prayer to their ancestral God Fa Mahadew in the Dewsal temple. a few days prior to the fair, tribal community such as Jayantia, Tiwa, Khasi and Karbi belonging to the northeast India descend down the hills with their indigenous products and exchange their artifacts and basic articles of necessity with the local folks of the plains in a barter system. Herbs spices, fruits, ginger, etc. are brought by the people of the hills to interchange them with rice, cakes and other food stuffs that cannot be grown on hills. Numerous tribal villagers from the different parts of Assam arrive in this beautiful place to meet the folks of the plains for exchanging goods. During the three days of the festival temporary bamboo huts are created by these people where they cherish the festivity with great enthusiasm. It is referred to a hi-tech age barter system is still active. In fact this is quite an uncommon practice in this civilized modern society
Assam CM attends closing ceremony of ABSU’s golden jubilee programme Bodos must play an important role in cementing ties between all sections: CM
 Bhupen Goswami (18/01/2018)
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  GUWAHATI : “Bodo community has been able to establish itself as a powerful tribe through hardwork, discipline, honesty and skill. Bodos have emerged as one of the successful tribes of the state and therefore they must play their role in cementing the ties of harmony between different tribes scattered across 33 districts of the state.” Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said while speaking at the closing ceremony of golden jubilee celebration programme of All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) at Batasipur in Sonitpur District. Paying rich tributes to the founder president and secretary of ABSU Baneswar Basumatary and Kanakeswar Narzary, Sonowal said that the student organisation came to life only through the initiatives of those two leaders. ABSU has not only been striving for the development of Bodos but also working towards overall progress of the state and they have contributed immensely towards creation of human resource which has made a name for itself in different fields, he added. Appreciating the steps taken by ABSU to protect nature and environment, the chief minister urged all students’ organisations of the state to work for the environment. He also assured that all demands of ABSU would be sincerely looked into by the government. Great personalities like Mahapurush Sankardev, Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Agarwala have called on the people to work for keeping the pristine natural beauty of the state intact and the young generation must uphold those ideals, Sonowal stated. Saying that to excel in today’s highly competitive world youth must equip themselves with education, Sonowal urged the students’ organisations of the state to offer their suggestions to the government to develop the education sector of the state. The students must work hard to achieve success in all fields and must strive for establishing Assam’s name firmly at the global stage, he said. MP R.P. Sharma, MLAs Ashok Singhal, Binod Hazarika, Ganesh Limbu, Chief Adviser of AASU Dr. Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya, former Union Home Secretary V.K. Pillai, Executive Director of National Foundation for India Amitabh Behar, Professor of Tezpur University Sociology Department Chandan Sharma, ABSU President Pramod Boro were also present on the occasion among others.
Assam Gets Its First Fleet of Pink Autos Run Exclusively By Women, For Women
 Bhupen Goswami (18/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :These 13 drivers can now be seen crisscrossing the beautiful roads of Bongaigaon town in Assam, ferrying passengers in freshly painted pink auto rickshaws.Thirteen fearless women are all set to create a record – these first women drivers can now be seen crisscrossing the beautiful roads of Bongaigaon town in Assam, ferrying passengers in freshly painted pink autos. Pink Auto Rickshaw Service, run exclusively for women and children, is already operational in Delhi, Surat, Mumbai, Jharkhand and Orissa. On Wednesday, the service was launched in Assam.It is a dream fulfilled for these 13 women, made possible by the city mission management unit under National Urban Livelihoods Mission. While 10 pink rickshaws were donated by the Bongaigaon Refinery, three more were purchased by a local self-help group with loans from a nationalised bank. Purnima Paul Das, 36, who used to work as domestic help in Bongaigaon for past two decades, feels confident of her new identity, “At the beginning, I was nervous. But now it’s normal to drive this rickshaw. I no longer have to work in households for a livelihood,” she said. PINK AUTO A women driver ferries passengers in Bongaigaon town in Assam. (Photo: News18) Purnima and her husband Ratan Das, a local vegetable seller, could only manage to earn about Rs 2,000 a month. The couple lost their only son in an accident. Kusumbor Choudhury, City Project Officer, CMMU told News 18, “These women will now be able to earn at least Rs 10,000 every month. Initially, they will drive till 6 in the evening.” After being trained for two months, Anaki Ray (46) feels proud to be a rickshaw driver. “Initially, we trained for 2 hours from 6am every day. Later, it was extended to 4 hours,” she informed. Anaki chose to drive a rickshaw because it was becoming increasingly difficult to meet the needs for the family of four. “My husband is a daily wage labourer and my two sons are unemployed. I worked as domestic help for three years, but it hardly met our needs. Taking up this profession, I’ve something to look forward to now,” she said. The 13 women drivers will be part of the Bongaigaon Auto Union that has lent support to the initiative. Each of these ladies would also be issued a helpline number enabling them to contact the police and ambulance service in times of emergency.
Assembly election dates for Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland announced
 Bhupen Goswami (18/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :Assembly elections in Left Front-ruled Tripura will be held on February 18, while people in Meghalaya and Nagaland will vote on February 27.Assembly elections in Left Front-ruled Tripura will be held on February 18, while people in Meghalaya and Nagaland will vote on February 27. Counting of votes in all the three sates in the north-east is on March 3. The model code of conduct has come into effect from today in Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura ahead of the assembly elections in these three states, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti told reporters in New Delhi today. All the three states have 60 seats each in their assembly. The Congress is in power in Meghalaya, the Left Front is running Tripura and the Naga People's Front in alliance with the BJP is in charge in Nagaland. BJP leaders have been visiting the north-east in recent times to firm up election plans. The Congress is also looking to strengthen its presence in the region, which the BJP has been taking inch by inch with the victories in Assam and Campaigning in Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland will heat up, now that the assembly election dates have been announced. In December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Meghalaya and Mizoram in what was seen as the launch of the Bharatiya Janata Party's campaign for assembly elections in the north-east this year. BJP president Amit Shah also went to the north-east last week to prepare the party for the fight ahead. Electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper trail (VVPAT) will be used in the assembly elections in Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti told reporters in New Delhi today. He said election officials have made good efforts to assure basic facilities and arrangements for people with special needs to help them vote. Voter assistance desk will be set up at every polling station, Mr Joti said.The model code of conduct has come into effect from today in Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura ahead of the assembly elections in these three states, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti told reporters in New Delhi today. The limit of election expenditure in the three states shall be Rs. 20 lakh per candidate, Mr Joti said.In Nagaland's 60-member assembly, the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland is in power led by the Naga People's Front and supported by the BJP. The BJP is trying to make inroads into the state with Congress losing ground as the main opposition party. Internal troubles in the Naga People's Front might end up helping the BJP though. Former Nagaland Chief Minister and Lok Sabha parliamentarian Neiphiu Rio has formed a new political party, breaking ties with the NPF, and may even join hands with BJP workers attend a local party meeting in Jaintia Hills district, Meghalaya. The Congress is in power for the last eight years in Meghalaya. Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had brought more stability for the party, though the BJP is now looking to take Meghalaya using the development plank. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December opened several infrastructure projects ahead of assembly elections in Meghalaya.The Left Front led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI(M) has been in power in Tripura since 1993. It is seen as the strongest bastion of the Left in the country with Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, 68, completing his fourth term. This time, the BJP is eyeing the state and has got a boost after six Trinamool Congress and one Congress legislator joined the party. The BJP is also trying to form an alliance with regional parties to consolidate anti-Left votes.Tripura, ruled by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar's Left Front, has to elect a new assembly by March 6. The terms of the Meghalaya and Nagaland assemblies end on March 13 and 14. Mukul Sangma's Congress government rules Meghalaya and in Nagaland, the Naga People's Front-led Democratic Alliance, backed by the BJP, is in power with TR Zeliang as Chief Minister. The Nagaland government had asked for the election to be put off until there is a solution to the insurgency in the state.Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'development blitz' ahead of the assembly elections in Meghalaya and Mizoram will not go unnoticed by the Congress, especially after it lost Manipur in March this year despite winning the most number of seats but short of majority in the 60-member assembly. The BJP, which won 21 seats, formed a coalition government in the eleventh hour with state parties. After taking Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, the BJP is looking to score victories in Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland, and make its score an eight out of eight. In Assam, the BJP with its allies won a whopping 86 of the 126 assembly seats in May last year. Party leaders were then unanimous that the victory was powered by good partnerships and the decision to project strong local leaders, like Sarbananda Sonowal -- who was made Chief Minister -- and Himanta Biswa Sarma, who switched sides from the Congress.Assembly elections in five more states are due this year -- Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram. These elections are seen as critical ahead of the national polls next year. There are eight states in the north-east region -- Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The commissioner said, VVPATs will be used with EVMs during the polling in the three states. The expenditure ceiling for candidates in the polls will be Rs 20 lakh, he added
CM kicks off Chief Minister’s Tea Tribes’ Football Tournament 2017-18
 Bhupen Goswami (17/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today ceremonially inaugurated the Chief Minister’s Tea Tribes’ Football Tournament 2017-18 at a programme held at Deshabhakta Tarun Ram Phukan Indoor Stadium in the city. The chief minister also unveiled the winner’s cup of the tournament. Theme song of the tournament was also released in the programme where the team jerseys were also unveiled. Informing that the tournament will cover more than 750 tea gardens of 80 Assembly Constituencies in the state where a total of 2000 teams would participate in three tier format of sub-divisional, district and state levels, Sonowal affirmed the state government’s commitment to make Guwahati the sports capital of the country and big push to create adequate sports infrastructure for mushrooming sporting talents. Successfully hosting many big tournaments of international level in the last one and half year has boosted the state’s credibility as a sporting venue of global standard, he added. Sonowal stated that sports symbolises friendship, camaraderie and universal brotherhood. Dedication, determination, discipline and hard labour are the inherent tenets of sports. Quoting the famous lines from a Dr. Bhupen Hazarika song “the whole world is a playground, sports is the harbinger of peace”, the chief minister said that peace and harmony can be promoted through sports. Saying that only government effort would not suffice to bring sports revolution in the state, the chief minister urged the corporate houses and business establishments to sponsor talented local players and collaborate with state government to create sports infrastructure in the state. Sonowal also said that identifying sporting talents from within the tea community is one of the key focus areas of the Government, Sonowal said that Chief Minister’s Tea Tribes’ Football Tournament has been started with this aim to spot talents from the interior tea garden areas and those talented footballers will be trained at the sports school which will be set up by the government for brining laurels to the state and the country. He also announced that the players from the finalist teams would be taken on exposure tours to major sports hubs of the country and provided opportunity for interaction with the renowned football coaches. He also reiterated the government’s commitment to award Rs 1 crore to players hailing from state who would win medals at Asian level and above and give appointment at ACS, APS levels to the players selected for taking part in Olympics. The chief minister also urged the tea garden owners and management to wholeheartedly participate in this process of identifying and nurturing sports talents for the state and expressed hope that this tournament would bring about a lot of enthusiasm among tea tribe youths for making sports a way of their lives. Minister of State for Tea Tribes Welfare Department Pallab Lochan Das, MLAs Sanjay Kishan, Teras Gowala, Member Secretary of State Level Advisory Committee for Students and Youth Welfare Lakhya Konwar, Principal Secretary of Tea Tribes Welfare Department Ajay Sankar Tiwari also spoke on the occasion.
9 Oil Tankers Set Ablaze in Assam, NSCN(K) Militants Suspected for Attack
 Bhupen Goswami (17/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :Before the Republic Day and Global Investment Summit, suspected that NSCN and ULFA insurgents set fire on 9 oil tankers carrying crude oil near Jagun along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh Border. There is, however, no report of any human causality as the drivers and handymen of the tankers managed to escape. Police said that the incident took place at Namsik near Jagun in Tinsukia district of Assam today evening. “The oil tankers carrying crude oil from Kharsang and were on their way to Digboi. The ten vehicles stopped at Namsik for halt and were waiting for some other tankers to join them before proceeding to Digboi. However, five youths came and set the vehicles on fire one after another,” said the police while adding that nine vehicles have been set on fire. “It is difficult to name any outfit so far but NSCN (K) is active in the area and we suspect their hands behind the incident. The anti-talk faction of ULFA has also been active in the area. It can also be a joint operation by the NSCN (K) and Ulfa faction,” said a senior police official. The incident assumes significance as security had been intensified in and around the Tinsukia district recently following intelligence reports that a group of anti-talk faction of ULFA terrorists had entered the State to carryout subversive activities ahead of the Republic Day celebration. The attack took place near Namsaki Reserve Forest along the Assam-Arunachal border. No casualty was reported.Ahead of Republic Day, miscreants set ablaze nine oil tankers in Assam’s Tinsukia district at around 4.30 pm on Tuesday. The attack took place near Namphai Reserve Forest along the Assam-Arunachal border. No casualty was reported.Assam DGP Mukesh Sahay said the attack could have been carried out by NSCN-K militants. Fire tenders from neighbouring areas in Tinsukia were rushed. Additional DGP RP Meena also moved to the site to review the situation. The Army, assisted by Assam Rifles and Assam Police, has launched area domination operations in and around the border areas. Meanwhile, security forces of Dao Division in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam apprehended one NSCN-(IM) member on Tuesday. Based on specific inputs about the presence of an over ground worker of NSCN-IM at Niausa village, an operation was launched in southern Arunachal’s Longding district. The suspect, identified as Wangnyai Wangsu, reportedly revealed the outfit’s plan to recruit more cadres. Rs 3240 and multiple mobile phones were seized from him. In a separate operation in Tinsukia, a self-styled sergeant major of NSCN-K was apprehended at Ledo along the Assam-Arunachal border. The arrested cadre admitted to being part of the Himalayan group of the banned outfit, and had undergone weapons training in Myanmar. His wife is also believed to be an active member of the outfit. “In view of the upcoming Republic Day celebrations, Pangsau winter festival and panchayat elections in Arunachal, constant vigil is being maintained. All the units are on alert,” said Defence PRO, Col Chiranjeet Konwer. In January last year, two jawans were martyred when militants attacked an Assam Rifles foot patrol escorting tourists to the annual winter festival at Pangsau along Indo-Myanmar border.
BJP's take on granting Indian citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshi refugees remains the same
 Bhupen Goswami (17/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :Amid the controversial debate of granting Indian citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshi refugees, the take on this topic by State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders remains the same i.e they are adamant on granting citizenship to these refugees. In a recent development, various BJP leaders stated at the Nagarik Sabha held in Silchar that the party’s take on the issue remains adamant. If the need be they will amend the Citizenship Act to provide citizenship to the refugees. The meeting which was organized with the aim of discussing about the publication of NRC Draft was attended many senior leaders of the party namely former Union Minister Kabindra Purkayastha, State Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, MLA Aaminul Haque along with many other dignitaries. Reportedly, Kabindra Purkayastha had stated that even if the names of the refugees were not mentioned in the NRC Draft, they will be granted Indian citizenship. Whereas, Minister Parimal Suklabaidya was found stating that the refugees need not worry as the Center and the State government is led by the BJP party. It may be mentioned that these remarks has garnered a lot of criticism.
Noted Bodo Novelist Chittaranjan Mushahary passed away
 Bhupen Goswami (17/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :Noted Bodo novelist Chittaranjan Mushahary passed away last night at his own residence in Belguri, Kokrajhar. He was suffering from multiple diseases and was admitted to a hospital, sources said. Several Bodo organisations have expressed deep condolences over Mushahary’s death. Chittaranjan Mushahary was born in 1945 and has written many Novels and short stories. He had won many awards including the Praban Bongayary Award (2015), Rangsar Literary Award and Someswary Brahma Literary Award. He was born at Belguri village of Kokrajhar district in Assam. His father was Longkeswar Mushahary and mother was Durgabati Mushahary. He started writing during his childhood. He was perhaps best known for his 1962 novel Jujaini Or (Fire of Husk), and he has written around 65 over novels and 4 short story collections book.
Two brothers from Lanka shot dead at Dimapur
 Bhupen Goswami (17/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : In a shocking incident in Dimapur, two men were shot dead, after unknown armed men opened fire at them on Wednesday morning. “Both showed no signs of life and they were declared dead on the scene,” Police confirmed the incident. The deceased were identified as Abdul Latif and Najim Uddin from No.2 Tangiya in Kaki, Lanka. According to sources, they were brothers and the dead-bodies have been brought back to their home. Sources also said that they were driving a truck loaded with stones. Though the motive of the attack was not yet known, locals suspected that they had received extortion demands and were killed allegedly for failure to pay up gangsters. Meanwhile, locals also demanded justice for them and asked the administration and police to take strict and quick action against the culprits.
4240 Gram Panchayats (GP) in the North-East to be connected via satellite connectivity: MoS Manoj Sinha
 Bhupen Goswami (17/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :Union Minister of State for Communication, Manoj Sinha on Tuesday said under BharatNet the government has been planning to connect 4240 Gram Panchayats (GP) in the North-East by broadband by satellite connectivity within December, 2018. Participating in a Conference on Implementation of BharatNet and other major telecom projects in NER, the Minister said that the government has achieved a significant milestone under BharatNet by connecting over one lakh GPs across the country with high speed optical fibre network as per the declared deadline of 31st December, 2017. However in the eight States of NER, 7338 GPs out of 12,017 GPs were taken up in Phase I and it is only 2240 GPs that are service ready due to capacity of agencies implementing the project, various development activities like expansion of National Highways and law & order issues. Minister of State for Communication, Sinha explained that under Comprehensive Telecom Deveopment Project for NER, 6673 towers are to be setup to provide connectivity to 8621 villages along the National Highway, at a cost of Rs. 5336 crore. “MOU was signed between BSNL and USO Fund to setup 2817 mobile towers by BSNL in Arunachal Pradesh and 2 districts of Assam,” said the Minister adding, “the work of setting up of 2004 towers in six States has been initiated by Bharti Airtel in December, 2017, which is to be completed in 18 months.” Meanwhile, speaking on the occasion, Assam Minister of IT, Keshab Mahanta assured all the support from Assam government for all the telecom projects in the State. Minister Mahanta also mentioned that soon the government of Assam will come out with a new ROW policy to facilitate the telecom infrastructure projects in the State. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Pema Khandu, DoNER Secretary, Naveen Verma and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
Rajyavardhan Rathore offers Rs. 2 lakh to archer Gohela Boro
 Bhupen Goswami (17/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Tuesday announced to release a fund of Rs. 2 lakh for national level archer Gohela Boro, who has been suffering from a degenerative disease. The amount will be sanctioned from the National Welfare Fund of Sportsperson. Gohela Boro has won 72 medals, which includes 34 golds at National and State level. She had also won gold medal at the Kerala National Games in 2015. She has been admitted to AIIMS, Delhi after being diagnosed with Systematic Lupsus Erythematosus (SLE) and Anti Nautrophil Cytoplasmic (ANCA), a rare autoimmune disease, in November 2016 due to which her toes and fingers started decaying. Tags : Rajyavardhan Rathore archer Gohela Boro
Despite Supreme Court ban, buffalo fights held in different places of Assam
 Bhupen Goswami (17/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : The traditional buffalo fight was held at several places in Assam despite strict orders by the Supreme Court. Local buffalo keepers of Ahatguri and its neighbouring areas have organised buffalo fight after a gape of two years at the Lakshminath Bezbaroa Khetra on January 15. It should be mentioned that buffalo fight has been a popular game in undivided Nagaon district on the occasion of Magh Bihu since a long time. Some buffalo keepers organised the events at Dharamtul, Kaliabor and Raha. Meanwhile, a symbolic buffalo fight was held at Nazira in Upper Assam. In view of a Supreme Court ban, the traditional buffalo fight on the occasion of Magh Bihu was not held there. For the villagers at Ahatguri in Morigaon district, buffalo fights are not only a tradition organised for pure entertainment during Magh Bihu, but it also acts as a meeting ground for people from all religious faiths. According to sources, the buffalo fight at Ahatguri began in 1972.
Akhil Gogoi To Contest Polls In 2021; Work To Start From March
 Bhupen Goswami (15/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :Firebrand peasant leader Akhil Gogoi will contest the next Assembly polls in Assam, the groundwork for which will start soon with the possible renaming of his political party or even the birth of a new one. Mr Gogoi, who is the adviser to the farmers' body Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), said while he was not averse to having an alliance with like-minded forces to fight "fascist BJP", he would prefer to create a third alternative excluding the Congress. "We are going into electoral politics. We have had debates, within the KMSS and nationally, whether fascism could be resisted only by movements. We reached the understanding that without parliamentary politics, BJP's communal fascism cannot be resisted," Mr Gogoi told PTI in an exclusive interview. He had discussed the electoral move in the executive committee meeting of the KMSS on December 28, the day after he was released from jail, where he had been lodged for three-and-a-half months on charges framed under the sedition and National Security Act. "We already have a political party, the Ganamukti Sangram, which was set up in 2015. Now we will make it broad based to include all sections of society. We may form a new entity also. The formal work on the political front will begin from the end of March this year," Mr Gogoi said. The party will focus on two aspects initially resisting "fascism" and expanding the political front across the state, he added. Mr Gogoi said in reply to a question that the outfit would not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. "We will not fight in 2019 although we will oppose the BJP. We will take time for a proper political understanding and creating a strong network. We will contest the Assembly polls in 2021," he said. The RTI activist told PTI that he would travel to almost all parts of Assam to know about people's grievances before forming ground-level committees. He expected to have at least five members in the political party from each village. Asked if fighting the BJP meant an alliance with the Congress, Mr Gogoi said, "We are not ready to form an alliance with the Congress. There has been no discussion internally on this." Senior Congress leader and former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had on several occasions expressed his willingness to have a tie-up with the KMSS to oust the BJP from power in the next election. The 41-year-old peasant leader stressed that Indian society was at an important turning point, where identity movements were on the rise. "You can take any example -- the Bhim Sena, Patel agitation, Dalit movement by Jignesh Mevani or the adivasi struggle in Jharkhand. All these identity and ethnic movements are becoming more important and are uniting with an electoral understanding to resist fascism," he said. He said there was a movement towards forming a third alternative uniting Dalit and sub-nationalist struggles across India. "There is another very interesting aspect. Till now, movements such as the Dalit struggle were confined to identity politics. But for the first time, land rights issues are being raised. That is why democratic and anti-imperialist movements are also trying to unite," he said. The KMSS leader also said to fight BJP, the option of forming a united alliance with opposition parties was also being discussed. COMMENTS"The deliberation is going on whether we can include the Congress, AAP, TMC, Left and other anti-BJP parties in the greater opposition to stop the BJP," he said. On January 9, Akhil Gogoi joined newly-elected Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani's 'Yuva Hunkar rally' in Delhi along with student leaders and others to demand the release of Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad.
Assam CM distributes appointment letters to 2305 newly recruited constables of Assam Police Sonowal exhorts new recruits to work with honesty and dedication to safeguard people’s life and property
 Bhupen Goswami (12/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :CM distributes appointment letters to 2305 newly recruited constables of Assam Police Sonowal exhorts new recruits to work with honesty and dedication to safeguard people’s life and property Dispur, Jan 12: In a major move to strengthening the rank and file of Assam Police, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal distributed appointment letters to 2305 newly recruited constables under Home Department in a programme held at College of Veterinary Science Playgroung in the city today. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sonowal exhorted the new recruits to work with honesty and dedication to safeguard people’s life and property in the state. “The Assam Police will have to work as a symbol of honesty, integrity, courage and humanity to win the confidence of the people. Ensuring safety and security of the people and their property is their main responsibility. The police force has a huge responsibility which they must execute with a sense of equality towards all”, Sonowal said. Stating that the state government since the time of assuming power launched an unrelenting fight against corruption, illegal migration, insurgency and pollution, the Chief Minister pointed out the recruitment of constables as an example of its commitment towards making administration transparent and corruption free. He also highly appreciated the transparent manner of recruitment carried out by the State level Police Recruitment Board. “Whatever we do, it would be transparent and corruption free”, Sonowal asserted. “People of the state too wanted the government to rid the administration from the ills of corruption. Following the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, our government achieved several milestones during last one and a half years with unequivocal support from the people”, he said. Further urging the newly recruited constables to perform their duty with honesty, integrity, courage and compassion, Sonowal asked them to serve the people without discrimination. “Wherever you are posted, work with honesty and integrity. Consider the entire state as your mother and work in such a manner that people feel a sense of security by your presence”, the Chief Minister emphasized and called for strengthening harmony and unity amongst all. Sonowal in his speech also urged the Assam Police to extend all cooperation to the tourists visiting the state so that they feel fully secured and carry the message to their own land. This would greatly facilitate tourist footfall in the state, he quipped. DGP Mukesh Sahay while delivering the welcome speech said that the recruitment of the new constables would greatly enhance the capabilities of Assam Police. He also mentioned that during last one and a half years, 343 sub-inspectors, 27 assistant jailors, 122 staff in other posts of the force were recruited apart from appointment of 8 office assistants and 29 grade IV staff on compassionate ground. Dispur MLA Atul Bora and Chief Secretary Vinod Kumar Pipersenia also spoke on the occasion. Chief Minister’s Media Adviser Hrishikesh Goswami, Chief Minister’s Legal Adviser Santanu Bharali, Additional Chief Secretary Alok Kumar, DGP (Home Guards and Civil Defence) AP Raut, Special DGP Kula Saikia, Principal Secretary (Home & Political Department) LS Changsan and host of other senior officers of Assam Police were present in the appointment letter distribution programme.
Mission 2019: BJP plans to attract 2 crore hearts with Millennium Vote Campaign
 Bhupen Goswami (12/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has begun its preparation for the upcoming 2019 General election and for the various State elections in the country. Under the guidelines of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP has targeted the youth of the Nation as its priority. Organizing a campaign titled ‘Millennium vote campaign’ they want to attract over 2 crore youths born in the year 2000 towards the saffron party. This 2 crore youths will vote for the first time in the 2019 parliamentary election. To attract these youths who will achieve the voting rights for the first time, the BJP leaders headed by the PM organized a meeting on Thursday at Prime Minister’s residence in New Delhi. In the current year, the States of Karnataka, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan will face the public for a new government. A possibility of election is there in Tripura and Meghalaya in the month of February. The election of Karnataka State assembly will take place on the month of May. A strategy to attract those youths born in the year 2000 towards BJP’s ideology, the ‘Millennium vote campaign’ is a plan to be noticed. According to reports the Party headquarter have ordered the social media team to start its preparation for the cause. The BJP does not want to leave any stone unturned in their preparation for the upcoming elections in the country. The party will launch a mobile application ‘Millennium Vote Campaign’ on 18th of February this year. Earlier the Prime Minister has hinted about this strategy in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme. The PM said “I welcome them, those who took birth in the beginning of 21st century to the democratic system of the country. They will vote for the first time in the upcoming 2019 election and this will mark a new beginning in the nation. It should be mentioned that the saffron party has gave its importance on the youths in their preceding election. It should be also mentioned that several youth leaders from Gujarat along with students from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) do not agree with the principles of the BJP. Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti leader Akhil Gogoi always felt that the saffron party is biased towards the Hindu community. Therefore only time will say what fortune the new strategy holds?
Assam CM Sonowal distributes Scooters among 1000 HS passed girl students
 Bhupen Goswami (12/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday ceremoniously distributed non-gear two-wheelers (Scooters) to top 1,000 girl students, who qualified the Higher Secondary examination in 2017 conducted by Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC). Aimed at empowering girls to actively participate in nation building, the Chief Minister urged students to work with dedication and explore all opportunities to fulfill their dreams. On the other hand, the Chief Minister stated that Gunotsav will bring qualitative improvement in the education sector of Assam. The CM also urged officials to include plantation drives in schools from next phase of the Gunotsav programme.
Dhula incident: Curfew lifted but CrPC 144 still in force
 Bhupen Goswami (12/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Curfew has been withdrawn from Dhula area in Darrang since Friday morning. Informing AIR Guwahati Darrang DC Ashok Kr Barman said, the curfew is being withdrawn from the area as situation is now under control and normal life can be exhibited in the area. The curfew was imposed since 10th of January after a mob protested the death of a man named Hasen Ali in police custody. The protesters vandalized vehicles and pelted stones to the police which forced them to open fire. The administration later clamped curfew to control the situation. The police firing left a person death and several injured. The administration has announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the next of kin of Moidul Islam who died in the police firing.
Rangia Incident: 5 teachers and Goria Yuva Chatra Parishad's general secretary arrested
 Bhupen Goswami (12/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : In connection with Rangia’s Red Horn Public School’s clash, Police arrested 5 teachers and the general secretary of Goria Yuva Chatra Parishad. On 4th January, a clash occurred between the school management and army. Red Horn Public School is still under the supervision of army. As per report, all the teachers and parents protested against army when news of closing the school came out. Around 300 students are studying in the school. All the teachers and parents and locals protested on 4th January and during protest protesters destroyed the wall made by army in the school premises. Army filed an FIR against the protesters for destroying the public property. Police arrested all 6 protesters including 5 teachers on the basis of the FIR and send them in the judicial custody for 14 days.
Six youth on the way to NDFB (S) training arrested in Charaideo district
 ANN News (12/01/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Six youth were arrested on a joint mission by the Indian Army and the Assam Police at Sapekhati in Charaideu district. According to source the convicts were arrested in the Assam-Nagaland border.

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