August 15, 2018
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Assam CM takes part in the 4 th National Handloom Day Assam’s weavers must strive for capturing the world market: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal
 Bhupen Goswami (07/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : “Our handloom products have the capacity to capture the world market and we need best marketing strategies for that. Traditionally Assam’s women weavers have always been able to earn respect and appreciation from around the world and our weavers now must take up the challenge of supplying enough gamosa in the festive season to make the imported ones unwanted.” Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said while speaking as the chief guest at the state level function of 4 th National Handloom Day organised by Handloom and Textiles Department, Government of Assam at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra. Saying that there is a conducive business atmosphere in the state in the aftermath of Advantage Assam: Global Investors’ Summit which resulted in the signing of over 700 MoUs for investment of Rs 79,000 crore, Sonowal urged the weavers of the state to take full advantage of Act East Policy to gain access to the South East Asian market with their handloom products. Handloom and weaving can be a means for the womenfolk of the state to empower themselves economically and this will result in true implementation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “beti bachao, beti padhao” campaign, he said. Appreciating the Handloom and Textiles department for opening two ‘thread banks’ for the weavers of the state where they can purchase threads at subsidised rates, the chief minister urged the department to take action plans to realise Prime Minister Modi’s '5F' Formula - Farm to fibre; fibre to factory; factory to fashion; fashion to foreign. He also praised the department for earning accolades for the state’s handlooms in Textiles India 2017 exhibition which was held in Ahmadabad last year. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Handloom and Textiles Department Ranjit Dutta informed that ‘Sipinee Samaroh’ (Weavers’ Conclave) will be organised at different parts of the state by his department for which a total budget of Rs 3 crore has been earmarked. He also said that department is giving more emphasis on research and development of handloom products at its Handloom Research and Designing Centre in the city. The department is also mulling a step to provide Rs 25,000 as assistance to those opting for self employment among the 97 trainees who pass out every year from the four Handloom Training Institute in the state, he informed. He also said that threads are being provided to the weavers at 20 percent subsidised rate and mobile vans are also being used for distributing threads in interior places of the state. A handloom policy would soon be implemented in the state and 100 SHGs engaged in handloom in the state would be given financial assistance upto Rs 5 lakh, he said. Hailakandi MLA Anwar Hussain Laskar, Chairman of Khadi and Gramodyog Board Kamala Kalita, Principal Secretary of Handloom and Textiles Department Hemanta Narzary, Director of Handloom and Textiles Department Bishnu Kamal Bora were also present in the meeting among others.
Al Jazeera Holds Discussion On Exercise Of NRC | Samujjal Bhattacharya Makes Process Clear
 Bhupen Goswami (07/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : The process of updating the NRC has not only stirred a lot of controversy in India, its ripples have spread worldwide. The middle-east news broadcaster, Al Jazeera, had also organised a discussion on the process of updating NRC. AASU Advisor Dr Samujjal Bhattcharya participated in the discussion as a representative advocating the process. Participating in the discussion, Bhattacharya enlightened the other participants as well as the broadcaster about the importance and the circumstances under which the whole idea of NRC came into being. While speaking at the discussion, he reiterated “It’s a legal process, it is a transparent process and it is being monitored by the Supreme Court. That’s very important. Nobody should fear. Who have entered upto 1971, irrespective of religion and language, there name will be there in the updated NRC”. Bhattacharya also made it clear on the international platform that Assam is not a dumping ground for Bangladeshis, saying, “It is a question of citizen and non-citizen. The persons who have entered illegally in India, they cannot stay here. India is for Indians and Assam and India is not for illegal foreigners, that’s very clear”. Further, the AASU Advisor also stated that the process of updating the NRC is not being conducted on the grounds of any religion or language; it is only being designed by groups with various vested interests, to look like it is anti-Muslim or anti-Hindu or anti-Bengali. The fact is that these allegations are false, he added.
CM Calls For Formulation Of Policies To Retain MBBS Pass Outs In The State
 Bhupen Goswami (07/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : The Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal led Assam government on Monday said that it has vacancies of more than 3,000 doctors’ posts in public health institutions of the state and there was no need for the fresh MBBS pass outs to leave the state seeking better jobs. As scribed in an official release, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has called for formulation of policies to retain the MBBS pass outs in the state. “On being informed by the Health Department that around 3,000 vacancies of doctors are there in the public health institutions of the state, Sonowal said that policy must be formulated to retain majority of 726 MBBS doctors who pass out annually from the medical colleges for serving the government hospitals,” the release added.
AGP Alleges Centre’s Intention To Pass Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 Will Leave NRC Null And Void
 Bhupen Goswami (07/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : AGP Alleges Centre’s Intention To Pass Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 Will Leave NRC Null And Void.AGP, a coalition partner of the ruling BJP government in Assam, at a press conference in Guwahati said the ongoing process of updating the NRC will be null and void if the Centre passes the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. AGP President and Assam Minister Atul Bora said that the Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015, and the Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015, are vested interests of the Centre to grant citizenship to foreigners of “certain religions” staying in the country illegally. “If the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is passed, the process of updating the NRC will be of no use,” alleged Bora. He said that the central government is trying to grant Indian citizenship to people of certain religions, claiming that they are facing religious harassment in their homelands. The AGP strongly protests any such attempt and will stop such attempts at any cost. According to Bora, AGP has been in talks with other parties like the Shiv Sena, who have presence in the Parliament, over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. “We will foil any attempt to make it into a law.” Bora, who is the state agriculture minister, informed that an AGP team, led by its working President and Water Resources Minister Keshav Mahanta, met the NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela and submitted a memorandum demanding an error-free NRC, touted to be a proof of Assamese identity. “We want an error-free NRC in which name of no foreigner is included and name of no genuine citizen is excluded. The Supreme Court is monitoring the process and we are hopeful of such a genuine document,” he said. Further, he added that the Assam government should deal sternly with people trying to create tension.
Privilege Notice Against Assam Home Secretary: Speaker Sumitra Mahajan
 Bhupen Goswami (06/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today said a notice for breach of privilege moved by TMC leader Saugata Roy against Assam Home Secretary and DGP for allegedly manhandling four party members was under her consideration. Mr Roy raised the matter in the Lok Sabha during the Zero Hour alleging that four Trinamool Congress (TMC) members from the Lok Sabha were manhandled when they went to Silchar to assess the situation last week after the publication of draft National Register of Citizens (NRC). "It is under my consideration," Ms Mahajan said when the TMC leader raised the matter. On August 3, the TMC leaders were detained at the airport while attempting to visit Assam to review the situation after the publication of the draft NRC.Last week, the TMC had alleged that the detention and "manhandling" of their party MPs there showed there was an "undeclared emergency" in the country. COMMENT Home Minister Rajnath Singh had on August 3 accused the MPs of creating an "unruly situation" at the Silchar airport and said they were detained in view of intelligence inputs received by the Assam government on the law and order situation.
MoU signed to supply organic goods from Nagaland to Myanmar
 Bhupen Goswami (06/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Kaung Myat Mingalar Company Limited and Nagaland contractor & supplier, D. Yongnyak signed MoU on July 26 in Kolkata for supplying organic goods from Nagaland to Myanmar. “This year alone five MoUs have been signed between Myanmar and North East (NE) India, mostly from Mizoram and Nagaland,” a release from U Yan Fa Kyauk, Project Director, Kaung Myat Mingalar Company Limited said. “Two MoUs were signed for supplying of products from North East to Myanmar and three MoUs import and export of services and goods from India to Myanmar and vice versa,” the release added. One MoU was signed by Shwe Naung Yan Company, which is owned by a Myanmar based Naga businessman, and two others with North East Indian company and an Indian bank. The project aims at setting up an MFI (Micro Finance Institute) at Indo-Myanmar borders as well as import and export of farm products like cardamom and varieties of pulses and soya bean, it further stated, adding it will boost the economy of the rural and remote border areas.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, Rio Could Not Conduct Aerial Survey Of Rain-Affected Nagaland
 Bhupen Goswami (06/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Sunday could not conduct the aerial survey to assess the flood and landslides-hit areas in Nagaland. Rijiju along with Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and central and state government officials boarded a Mi17 Indian Air Force helicopter from Dimapur airport to assess the damages in Kiphire district bordering Myanmar and Nagaland state capital Kohima. They were also scheduled to inspect the Doyang hydro-electric project in Wokha developed by North Eastern Electric Power Corp Ltd to see the rise of water level which has been affecting downstream including Assam’s Golaghat district. However, the survey could not land in Kohima owing to foggy weather and had to return to Dimapur. Rijiju reportedly promised Rio that an Internal Ministerial team would be sent to Nagaland within a week to prepare a correct projection of the financial requirement.assured to provide all assistance to the State to deal with the natural calamity that caused loss of human lives and damage to properties besides cutting off many parts of the State. Rio expressed appreciation to the Centre for positively responding to the difficulties being faced by Nagaland due to calamities caused by heavy rainfall in the state. Rio took to twitter to say, “I welcome Union Minister @KirenRijiju to #Nagaland. We are humbled and grateful for the help and support that you are providing at such a critical time”.Expressing concern that basic commodities must reach the far flung areas, Rijiju said that Indian Air Force would be kept on standby to aid the state. He was visibly surprised to learn about the magnitude of devastation in Nagaland’s capital Kohima. “This is one of the worst natural disasters Nagaland has witnessed. Ten people have died and lakhs have been affected. My government is making all efforts to reach out to every affected family,” Rio told IANS over phone. He said that he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking immediate help to tackle the crisis. “We have briefed Rijiju and showed him photographs of the landslides and affected people. We are hopeful that the central government will extend all its help to the state,” the Chief Minister said. Rio also requested the Minister of State to grant ex-gratia to the 10 who died. He said the ruling People’s Democratic Alliance members have decided to contribute one month’s salary and all party workers will give voluntary donations to manage the immediate requirements. The Chief Minister also sought voluntary contributions from all government servants.
Water Had To Be Released Due To Higher Inflow To Doyang Reservoir: NEEPCO
 Bhupen Goswami (06/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : With Assam infuriated with North Eastern Electric Power Corporation’s (NEEPCO) decision to release waters causing heavy floods in Golaghat, NEEPCO, on Sunday, has clarified that the water inflow to Doyang reservoir in Wokha district of Nagaland was much higher than the normal range of inflow, compelling release of excess water by opening the gates at 5.30 am on July 27 in a controlled manner. It said excess water beyond the capacity of the reservoir cannot be absorbed by it and flows to the downstream area. According to reports, NEEPCO Senior Manager LA Kharmawphlang stated that this was foretold to the Assam administration during a series of meetings. He pointed out that incessant rainfall in the upper catchment area caused the reservoir water level to increase abruptly since July 25. According to Kharmawphlang, the recent flood in the Golaghat district was due to unprecedented rainfall in the entire catchment of Dhansiri river and that the Doyang catchment was only a part. He said the water inflow to Doyang reservoir was more than 600 cum/sec since July 27, and it rose to more than 1,150 cum/sec on July 31. It was stated that NEEPCO shared information with Golaghat District Disaster Management Authority on a regular basis regarding the increase of water level in the reservoir as decided at a meeting at Golaghat DC’s office on May 17. NEEPCO further informed that due to existence of Doyang storage reservoir, the flood peak was getting moderated to the extent of the capacity of the reservoir permits. It said the Doyang project authority has been maintaining a close contact with the district administration concerned and information regarding release of excess water through the spillway gate was being shared well in advance enabling actual flood forecasting. Golaghat police on Saturday reached the Doyang Hydro Electric Project of NEEPCO to take the Head of plant, P Das to Golaghat police station for questioning following an FIR lodged by BJP MLA of Khumtai constituency against NEEPCO’s Doyang project in Golaghat police station on Friday. The FIR blamed the company for the current flood devastation in the district. Reports said, a Golaghat police team picked up Das for questioning but was stopped on the way towards Bhandari in Wokha district by Nagaland police personnel. Later, he was taken to Bhandari police station after which Assam police served him a summon to come to Golaghat police station and was released after recording his statement. Das had reportedly stated the plant had followed all necessary safety measures and issued advisories to all villages downstream in Nagaland and Assam through the district administration before the release of water from Doyang dam.
Tripura’s Jamiat Ulama-E Hind Demands Government To Take Steps For Peaceful Bakra Eid
 Bhupen Goswami (06/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Tripura’s Jamiat Ulama-e Hind requests BJP-IPFT government to take necessary measures so that the Muslim population can celebrate the upcoming Eid al-Adha without any fear. Speaking to the media in the central mosque Gedu Mia Masjid, President of the Tripura State Jamiat Ulama-e Hind, one of the oldest bodies of the minority Muslim population of the state, Mufti Tayebur Rahaman apprehended that this time during the Eid al-Adha, they may not be able to follow their age-old ritual of slaughtering animals like a cow. He alleged that the Muslim population is being targeted for their food habit of consuming beef after the new BJP-IPFT government came to power in Tripura. Rahaman further said that a huge section of people in Tripura are connected with the business of selling cow, buffalo and goat, but of late it has come to notice that if any vehicle is carrying a cow, it is stopped and checked. Due to all these, they are facing a loss in their business and demand the government to take necessary steps to stop all these.” The Muslim leader suggested that the government has to take advance measures so that sacrifices can be done during Eid al-Adha in a peaceful manner. He also informed, “I along with other members, immediately after the formation of the new government, met the Chief Minister in his official residence, informing him about these issues. The CM assured to look into them.” He also demanded change in the Wakaf record.
People, Whose Names Are Not In The List, Will Not Be “Jailed Or Deported”, Clarifies Hajela
 Bhupen Goswami (06/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : After the publication of the NRC draft had created a lot of buzz, NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela on Sunday said, people, whose names have not been mentioned in Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft, will not be “jailed or deported”. Almost 40 lakh people have been left out from the draft that was released on July 30. The draft incorporated names of 2.89 crore people out of 3.29 crore applicants. Responding to questions on as to where these 40 lakh people would go, Hajela said, “Among the 40 lakh people, whose names are not in the list, can again apply for the same through claim form (Claims and Objections), which we will take between August 30 and September 28. After that we will call these people one by one for inquiry so that they can keep their side in front of the committee”. “Later on, we will take a final decision on this before final NRC is published. Similarly, people can submit objections forms between the same dates”, he added. “After we will publish the final NRC list post the completion of Claims and Objections, people will still have the right to appeal in the Foreigners Tribunal if they are not satisfied with the result of the process. 64 Foreign Tribunals are currently working here. They have already declared few people as foreigners in the past,” he informed. The NRC coordinator further said that no legal action would be taken against people whose names are not in the list. “People must be wondering what we should do now. Currently, no legal action can be taken against these people. Nobody can take away their rights from them. The Supreme Court has clearly stated this in its order,” said Hajela. Earlier, the apex court had said that the process of filing objections by those whose names are not listed in the NRC draft should be fair.
Three notorious poachers nabbed by forest and police officials in Orang National Park
 Bhupen Goswami (06/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :In a joint operation carried out by forest and police officials on Saturday night, three notorious poachers have been nabbed in Orang National Park. The three poachers have been identified as Md. Nurjamal Rahman, Md. Sadikul Islam and Md. Niyamat Ali of Bacha Simolu, Sonitpur district. It may be stated that the three of them had entered earlier entered the park along with four other men in the month of June to hunt down rhinos. But officials were able to avert it and successfully arrested two of them while the other five managed to escape. Finally the forest and police officials nabbed three of the absconders whereas the search for remaining two is on.
National Register of Citizens (NRC) : TMC Delegation To Visit Assam Again
 Bhupen Goswami (05/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : fter failed to hold any meeting or meet any person whose name did not figured in Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Bengali speaking majority town of Silchar in Barak valley of the state, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has vowed to resend its delegation to Assam again. An eight member delegation of TMC comprising MPs and MLA of the party was on its way to Assam’s Silchar town to assess the situation after release of the final draft of the NRC. The delegation was detained at the Kumbhirgram Airport in Silchar. Next day, the delegation in two teams was send back to Kolkata and Delhi. After arriving Kolkata, the TMC delegation alleged that they were manhandled by Assam police in the Silchar airport. The TMC vowed to send its delegation again to Assam to assess the situation of Assam in post NRC draft publish. TMC MP Saugata Roy raises issue in Lok Sabha, says Assam authorities move was breach of MPs’ privilege. Roy said that the “freedom of MPs has been eroded by Assam government” and that he would give a privilege notice on the issue. Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Agarwal (Law and Order) had clarified that the delegation of the MPs and MLAs of Trinamool Congress has been taken in “preventive detention” under section 151 of the CrPC. The leaders were detained in view of a possible disruption of the law and order situation in Barak Valley, especially during the ongoing drive for concluding the process of NRC in the state. The TMC’s decision to send a party delegation to Assam’s Bengali dominated Silchar town invite flak to the party from all concerned circles. Asom Gana Parisad (AGP) alleged that TMC’s coming to Assam was aimed with fomenting trouble over the issue of the NRC. BJP claimed that the Trinamool delegation went to Assam to provoke tension in the region and possibly to fuel a “civil war” on the lines of their party supremo Mamata Banerjee’s comments. Meanwhile Guwahati police commissionerate has prohibited the TMC delegation, leaders from entering the city.
Kiren Rijiju Led Central Team To Visit Flood Affected Areas Of Nagaland
 Bhupen Goswami (05/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju will lead a Central team of officers on a visit to the flood-affected areas of Nagaland today. It will review the rescue and relief measures taken by the State and Central government agencies. An official release said, the team will comprise officers from the NDMA, the NDRF and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. It will visit the affected areas of Dimapur and Kohima. A team of 35 rescuers from the NDRF is already deployed in Nagaland to assist the State administration in the relief and rescue measures, distribution of essential material and providing medical support to the affected people. Various places in the state have been affected by heavy rains and landslides during the current season. Two Air Force helicopters have also been deployed in the state for lifting and dropping of essential commodities.A teams of 35 rescuers from the NDRF is already deployed in Nagaland to assist the State administration in the relief and rescue measures, distribution of essential material and providing medical support to the affected people. Various places in the state have been affected by heavy rains and landslides during the current season. Two Air Force helicopters have also been deployed in the state for lifting and dropping of essential commodities.
Death Toll Rises To 43 As Flood Situation Worsens In Assam
 Bhupen Goswami (05/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : The flood situation in Assam deteriorated on Saturday with two more deaths reported in Sivasagar district, taking the toll to 43, while nearly 1.1 lakh people remain affected across six districts in the state. According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), two persons lost their lives in flood-related incidents at Sonari revenue circle of Sivasagar. With this, the total number of persons losing their lives in the two waves of flood this year in different parts of the state rose to 43. The ASDMA said over 1.09 lakh people are affected at present in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Darrang, Golaghat, Sivasagar and Charaideo districts. As per the ASDMA report on Saturday, Golaghat is the worst affected with over 91,000 sufferers, followed by Lakhimpur with almost 6,000 people affected in the deluge.
Assam Governor Calls For NRC In Each State For Country’s Internal Security
 Bhupen Goswami (05/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi today said that every state must have a National Register of Citizens (NRC) which should be updated regularly as it would be effective in dealing with issues related to the country’s internal security. The NRC should not be just for Assam as it is now, but for every state in the country, according to Jagdish Mukhi’s interview .His remarks come amid a raging debate on Assam’s National Register of Citizens after the final draft list of the exercise left out over 40 lakh people. The publication of the final draft of the NRC on July 30 was an “historic event”, he said and assured all Assamese people that not a single Indian’s name would be excluded in the final register. “I feel that every state in the country must have an NRC of its own. Once it is prepared by all the states, it should be updated every ten years after the census report is published. “If this can be done, then the internal security of the country will be perfect. The central government and all the state governments have the right to know who are the foreigners living illegally in their area”, He added.
Two More FIRs Registered Against Mamata Banerjee In Assam
 Bhupen Goswami (05/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI :Two more FIRs were registered in Assam against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and members of a Trinamool Congress (TMC) delegation, which went to Silchar for allegedly creating disturbances on the basis of religion, a senior police official said on Saturday. A total of five FIRs have been registered against Mamata Banerjee in Assam since the publication of the NRC final draft on July 30. Two police complaints were also filed against Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in West Bengal on Friday. Police said effigies of Banerjee, who is opposing the NRC in Assam, were burnt and protests held against her across Assam oon Saturday. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Ranjan Bhuyan said the two FIRs were registered at Guwahati and Silchar for allegedly creating disturbances on the basis of religion.
Protest Against NRC Draft:TMC Observes ‘Black Weekend’ Over ‘Manhandling’ of MPs in Silchar, Assam
 Bhupen Goswami (04/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : The Trinamool Congress (TMC) will observe "black day" throughout West Bengal on Saturday and Sunday to protest the detention and "manhandling" of its leaders at the Silchar airport in Assam. TMC secretary general and West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said the party will observe "black day" in every block and district of the state."We condemn the way the public representatives were manhandled and detained by the Assam police at the Silchar airport. They being MPs had every right to visit a place, but all rules were violated and our party delegation was stopped. This is shameful," he told reporters. An eight-member TMC delegation comprising six MPs, an MLA and a state minister was stopped at the Silchar airport when its members tried to enter Assam's Cachar district to assess the ground reality after the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published in the north-eastern state on Monday."The way our MPs were stopped only proves that the BJP is trying to hide something. We will fight till the end and expose them," Chatterjee said. The TMC top brass has asked the party's district units to organise protest rallies in various parts of the state and wear black badges on Saturday and Sunday. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, however, has accused the members of the TMC delegation of creating an "unruly situation" at the airport. He said they were detained in view of intelligence inputs on the law and order situation received by the Assam government. Maintaining that the MPs were extended all courtesies, the Union home minister said since there was no return flight to Kolkata or Delhi from Silchar, the MPs spent the night at the airport guest house and left for Kolkata this morning and had an onward flight to Delhi. "With folded hands, the district magistrate requested them to return. But without paying heed to the request, the MPs got into shoving, in which two women security personnel were injured," he said.On August 2, a TMC delegation was prevented by the district administration from going out of the Silchar airport and interacting with the people as soon as it arrived in the state. “We were supposed to interact with some people in Silchar. However, when we landed, the district administration and police officials stopped us from getting out of the airport and later were confined to a room,” a TMC member who was a part of the delegation told media. Following the detention of the TMC leaders at the Silchar airport, the party created an uproar in the Lok Sabha, over the issue, shortly after its proceedings began. The protest was led by TMC’s Kalyan Banerjee, who moved a privilege motion over the issue. Union Minister Rajnath Singh, however, told the Lok Sabha that the leaders were detained to maintain law and order in Assam.
Assam CM Sonowal reviews flood situation Asks to raise two new SDRF Battalions and construct high rise structure
 Bhupen Goswami (04/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has asked the Revenue and Disaster Management department to come up with innovative steps like constructing high-rise structure to give succor to the people who suffer from perennial flood in the state every year. Reviewing the second wave of flood that six districts of the state are reeling through at the conference room of his office in Janata Bhawan this evening, Chief Minister Sonowal said that capacity should be built through permanent strictures to save the people of the state from the perennial flood in the state. He said that the department of Revenue and Disaster Management should come up with ideas to strengthen the infrastructure to mitigate the sufferings of the people caused by the flood. Chief Minister Sonowal asked Revenue and Disaster Management department to come up with model estimate to construct high-rise structure in the flood prone areas. The high-rise structure will be a multi-purpose building which can be used as safe shelter during flood. During non-flood season the building can be used for socio-cultural functions and other community related activities. He also asked the department to prepare model estimate for converting the dykes as road cum embankments to lend capacity building as well as economic prosperity of the rural areas. It may be noted that from June 13 to August 3, Assam has had two waves of flood affecting 163 villages and 10.99 lakh people. Sonowal asked Revenue and Disaster Management department to ensure that the district administration in the affected districts should remain on their toes to reach out to the flood affected people and expedite rescue and relief work. Altogether 388 relief camps have been set up and 440 relief distribution centres have been opened to distribute relief items to the flood affected people. Chief Minister Sonowal said that the SDRF personnel should be provided with modern gadgets and two battalions would be raised to pan out the services of SDRF battalions in all the affected areas of the state. 41 deaths have already been reported and Chief Minister Sonowal directed ex-gratia amount to be handed over to the next of the kin of the decease within 48 hours. Sonowal also asked Revenue and Disaster Management department to develop inter- departmental synergy and together with Agriculture Department to carry out district mapping and segregate 27 lakh farmers of the state into three categories and train them for three types of cropping depending on intensity of flood that affect several parts of the state during monsoon. Sonowal also directed Revenue and Disaster Management department to maintain a close vigil on 24X7 basis and assess flood data to face any kind of exigency at any given point in time. Minister of State Irrigation, Revenue and Disaster Management Bhabesh Kalita, Principal Secretary Finance Samir Sinha, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Sanjay Lohiya, Commissioner and Secretary to Revenue and Disaster Management Rajesh Prasad, ADGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, PWD Commissioner R. Kemprai, Commissioner and Secretary Agriculture Amlan Baruah and a host of other government senior officers were present at the meeting.
Security Beefed Up Before Independence Day Celebration In Assam
 Bhupen Goswami (04/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Security measures have been beefed up ahead of the Independence Day celebration in the state. This was disclosed by Director General of Assam Police , Kuladhar Saikia in Guwahati on Saturday. The DGP said that he was in constant touch with his Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh counterparts regarding security offensive against militants in bordering areas of both the states. “ We have asked both Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh police to carryout offensive against militants in Assam bordering areas. In some districts of the states, section 144 have been imposed so that vested elements can’t create any disturbance in the run up to the Independence Day celebration”, said Saikia. Militants outfits including ULFA ( I) and others who have not joined in peace talks with Government of India had jointly called for Independence Day boycott in the NE region in previous years. The Assam – Meghalaya and Assam – Arunachal Pradesh bordering areas have witnessed militants’ activities in recent past. Saikia further added that overall situation in Assam remains peaceful in post NRC draft published.
Assam Police Detains NEEPCO General Manager Of Doyang Hydropower For Golaghat Flood
 Bhupen Goswami (04/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Golaghat police on Saturday morning detained General Manager (GM) of Doyang Hydro Electric Project of NEEPCO (North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd) – P Das from his official residence and has been taken to Golaghat police station . Golaghat police was assisted by its Nagaland counterparts in detaining the GM of Doyang Hydro Electric Project. Assam BJP MLA Mrinal Saikia from Khumtai constituency in Golaghat district had registered a case against NEEPCO’s Doyang Project at Golaghat police station on Friday last . Blaming NEEPCO for the current flood devastation in Golaghat district, Saikia said that the company had not followed any guideline in releasing excess waters from dams of the Doyang hydro electric project. For releasing of excess waters from dams of the hydro electric project, the Doyang river have been flowing over danger level in downstream areas of Golaghat district for the fourth day on Saturday. Surging water of the river had submerged vast areas in the district and triggered flood fury in the district. “ NEEPCO without informing Golaghat district administration had released excess waters from the dam of its Doyang Hydro Electric Project which is located in upper stream and result was flood devastation in downstream Golaghat district. NEEPCO should pay compensation to people for the loss of property and lives”, said Saikia. The BJP MLA also vowed to take legal action against NEEPCO. Two other elected representatives from the district, Assam Agriculture Minister Atul Bora and Sarupathar MLA Roslina Tirkey also blamed NEEPCO for the flood fury in the district. Situated on the River Doyang, a tributary of the River Brahmaputra, the Project with a capacity of 3 X 25 MW and an estimated annual generation of 227 Million Units was commissioned on the 2nd week of July’2000. The Project is located in Wokha District of Nagaland. NEEPCO has been a trusted power generation company in the North Eastern region of India and beyond since 1976, working closely with the Ministry of Power and the north eastern states to act in their best interest in tapping the enormous power potential of the region and the country. Incorporated in 1976 to plan, investigate, design, construct, generate, operate and maintain power stations in the North Eastern Region of India under the Ministry of Power, Government of India, NEEPCO is conferred with the Schedule A Miniratna Category-I CPSE status and operates 6 hydro, 3 thermal and 1 solar power stations with a combined installed capacity of 1347MW. NEEPCO has 2 power projects under development which include 110 MW Pare HEP and 600 MW Kameng HEP which is scheduled for commissioning within the financial year 2018-19.
Assam : Golaghat District’s Flood Situation Remains Grim, Affected People Blame NEEPCO
 Bhupen Goswami (04/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : The flood situation in Golaghat district of Assam remained grim for the fifth day on Saturday. Over one lakh people have been affected in the current flood which has been regarded as one of the worst flood experienced by locals in last 30 years. Death toll due to flood in the district rose to five on Saturday with recovery of a person’s body. The man was washed away by gush of floodwater near Doyang in Assam – Nagaland border. Flood affected people who have taken shelters in relief camps , schools, public places blamed NEEPCO ( North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd) for the flood fury in Golaghat district. Flood affected people alleged that NEEPCO without informing Golaghat district administration released excess waters from dams of its Doyang hydropower project which is located in hilly areas of bordering Nagaland states. The result of releasing NEEPCO’s excess water from dams triggered flash flood in downstream Golaghat district. Flood affected people have setup makeshift shelters on NH – 37 and other state PWD roads. District administration has set up relief camps for flood affected people. SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) and NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) personnel were put into service to rescue marooned people. The district’s Numaligarh, Khumtai , Sarupathar and Merapani revenue circles have been affected in the current flood, which was triggered from incessant rains in the eastern Assam and neighboring hilly state of Nagaland .
TMC Leaders File Complaint Against Assam Chief Minister
 Bhupen Goswami (04/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Mahua Moitra, All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) MLA from West Bengal’s Karimpur, TMC leaders Mamata Thakur and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar have filed a police complaint against Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal pertaining to the incident where the party leaders were detained at Silchar Airport on August 02. A delegation of TMC party was arrested under Section 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and was made to halt the night at a guest house near the airport. The delegation claimed that they were allegedly manhandled and physically assaulted by the authorities at the airport. The delegation comprised of MPs Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Ratna De Nag, Nadimul Haque, Arpita Ghosh, Mamata Thakur, Minister Firhad Hakim and MLA Mahua Moitra, was scheduled to visit Silchar on the issue of Assam’s NRC draft. Moitra allegedly had assaulted a lady constable, who restrained her at the Silchar airport. According to reports, Moitra was seen physically assaulting a female constable, even after the latter pleaded the lawmaker to calm down. Other party workers were seen sitting on the conveyor belt in the airport as a mark of protest against the draft. The draft list left out nearly 40 lakh people in Assam, incorporating names of 2.89 crore people out of 3.29 crore applicants. The first draft was published on December 31, 2017, and names of 1.9 crores of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated. The NRC draft features the names, addresses and photographs of all Indian citizens, who have been residing in the northeastern state before March 25, 1971.
Air cargo development will be a major breakthrough in connectivity scenario of the region: Minister Patowary
 Bhupen Goswami (03/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Recalling that the per capita income of Assam was higher than the national average prior to independence, Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary underlined the State Government’s commitment to reopen all the trade routes to bring back economic prosperity to the state. Minister Patowary stated this by while attending a workshop on ‘Air Cargo Development – End to End Logistics Value Chain’ held at a city hotel today. The workshop was organised by Airport Authority of India (AAI) in association with the Industries and Commerce Department, Government of Assam. Minister Patowary highlighted the fact that Assam is India’s shortest route to South East Asia. He stressed that the Trilateral Highway, linking of the Brahmaputra River up to Chittagong Port and access to the sea routes will boost trade and commerce activities in the region. ‘Assam Government plans to connect seven capitals of ASEAN with Guwahati under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) for which it has committed Rs. 100 crore for the viability gap funding’, added Patowary. The Minister called upon the farmers to switch to organic farming which fetches higher value in the market thereby increasing the farmer’s earnings manifold. He cited the recent case of gold tea selling at a record price of Rs. 39,001 per kg at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre. ‘AIDC is working on a project of air cargo terminal for perishable cargo worth Rs. 20 crore at LGBI Airport Complex, Borjhar to support the farmers in exporting fresh horticultural produce to national and international destinations’, said the Minister. He also advocated that air cargo development will be a major breakthrough in connectivity scenario of the region. Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said that intra- connectivity in NE needs to be increased for which 42 airports of the region have been recognized under UDAN scheme to turn it into a major hub. Ravi Capoor, Additional Chief Secretary of Industries and Commerce Department, underscored the region’s advantages in terms of connectivity, tourism, natural resources and rich agriculture produce. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, AAI, added that SpiceJet has already collaborated with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), an apex body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to export the regional fruits to Dubai. Commissioner Dr KK Dwivedi; Commissioner and Secretary Ashutosh Agnihotri; DK Kamra, Regional Executive Director, AAI were present in the meeting besides representatives from various industrial, pharmaceutical, logistic and packaging companies.
SITA submits expert committee report to revive ASCARD Bank
 Bhupen Goswami (03/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : In a bid to revive the already defunct Assam State Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development (ASCARD) Bank, Vice Chairman of State Innovation and Transformation Ayog (SITA) Dipok Kr. Barthakur submitted the Final Report of the Expert Committee on ASCARD Bank to the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at the latter’s office at Janata Bhawan today. The SITA Vice Chairman was accompanied by Chairman of the Expert Committee Bhaskar Barua and Chief Executive Officer SITA K K Nath at the time of submission of the report. Taking into consideration the important role the bank could play in supporting the agriculture and allied sectors in the State, the Governing Body of SITA in its meeting on 29 th August 2017 decided to constitute an Expert Committee to study the causes of sickness and possibility of a revival plan for the Bank under the Chairmanship of retired IAS officer Bhaskar Barua with other members including Samir Baruah, Corporate General Manager (Retd.), Indian Overseas Bank and Kashinath Hazarika, ex-CMD. The Expert Committee submitted its report after having 26 rounds of discussions with Bank Management, State Cooperation Department and other stakeholders. The Committee examined and reviewed every details of the Bank and came to the conclusion that the Bank may be considered for revival, provided there is complete support from the State Government and commitment from both Government and the Bank to abide fully by the recommendations made by the Committee in its Final Report It may be mentioned that Assam Cooperative Land Mortgage Bank (ACLMB) and the Primary Land Mortgage Banks (PLMBs) established in 1956 were converted into Assam State Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development (ASCARD) Bank in 1991. It was created for development of agriculture and allied activities and agro-based industries. Established under Cooperative Societies Registration Act, the Bank had 28 branches in the districts with its Headquarters at Guwahati. The Bank had gone sick since the year 2000 onwards on account of poor administrative control, lack of follow up of loan repayments with accumulating NPAs, poor monitoring and recovery of loans, discontinuation of refinance from NABARD from 1995 and other issues related to poor management.
NRC Issue: TMC Delegates Detained Overnight At Silchar Airport, Sent Back Home
 Bhupen Goswami (03/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : Assam police stayed firm on their decision to not allow any panic or tense scenario in the State as the eight delegates of Trinamool Congress (TMC), who reached Silchar yesterday to scrutinize the situation post National Register of Citizens (NRC) final draft publication, were detained at the airport itself and are being sent back home. The team comprising MPs Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Ratna De Nag, Nadimul Haque and Arpita Ghosh West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim and legislator Mohua Moitra who were to address senior citizens at Silchar arrived from Kolkata at 1.05 PM and then planned to come to Guwahati to see how the NRC process has affected the people of Bengali origin. The delegates were detained at the Silchar Kumbhirgram Airport overnight and were not allowed to step outside; as authorities feared a tense situation the TMC delegates could create in the State. The Cachar district administration had also clamped Section 144 CrPC at Silchar prohibiting gathering of more than five persons. Six of the delegates were sent back to Kolkata today morning at 9.20 AM by an AIR India flight while remaining two of the eight delegates were supposed to be sent back by a Jet Airways at 2.10 PM. The delegates were detained under Section 151 at the airport, informed Assam AGDP Mukesh Aggarwal.Besides Roy, MPs Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Ratna De Nag and Nadimul Haque, West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim and MLA Mohua Maitra were in the delegation. They were sent by there by TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to assess the situation in Assam post-NRC. After they landed at the airport yesterday afternoon, they were stopped and taken under preventive detention. Banerjee had accused the BJP of imposing "super emergency" in the country. TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Banerjee had opposed the NRC in Assam, saying it will lead to “civil war and bloodbath in the country” as over 40 lakh applicants have been excluded in the final draft of the citizen’s register.
Assam TMC Chief Quits Party In Protest Against Mamata’s Opposition To NRC Draft
 Bhupen Goswami (03/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : The Chief of Assam unit Trinamool Congress (TMC), Dipen Pathak has quit the party on Thursday in protest against Mamata Banerjee’s opposition to Assam NRC (National Register of Citizen) final draft. The TMC Assam unit chief has resigned from the party on the day when an eight members (Six MPs, one West Bengal minister and a party functionary) team came to Assam. Pathak, TMC’s first MLA in Assam Legislative Assembly from 2011 to 2016 had led the party from grass root level. “I have decided to quit TMC in protest against Mamata Banerjee‘s opposition to Assam NRC final draft. Her comments on Assam NRC are disturbing. I can no longer stay in TMC”, said Pathak. He alleged that despite repeated request to TMC leaderships to raise Assam’s flood problem issue at national level, Mamata and her team paid no attention to Assam unit’s request. “Now Mamata Banerjee has sent a team of MPs to Silchar to assess Assam situation after NRC final draft. The party has no interest for the well-being of Assam. TMC’s stand on Assam NRC draft is related with election”, alleged Pathak. The outgoing TMC Assam unit chief added that the party leadership had not discussed anything with him over party delegation’s visit to Assam’s Silchar town. “I can’t allow any political force to create disturbance in Assam. Till now Assam is peaceful but TMC leaderships wanted to create trouble here such that it gets some political mileage by emotionally blackmailing common people”, added Pathak.
Assam Flood, Erosion Cannot Be Declared As National Problem: Centre
 Bhupen Goswami (03/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : In a setback for Assam, the Centre has clarified that as informed by the Disaster Management Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the existing guidelines of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) do not allow for declaring a calamity as a ‘National Calamity and Disaster’. On Thursday, Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Arjun Ram Meghwal confirmed that the Government of Assam had indeed requested the Centre to declare “flood and erosion” in Assam as a “national problem”. However, in the event of disaster of a “severe nature”, financial assistance towards the notified natural calamities, including floods, is met from the SDRF, which is further supplemented from NDRF, in accordance with the established procedure. The subject of flood management including erosion control falls within the purview of states. The flood management and anti-erosion schemes are planned, investigated and implemented by the state governments with their own resources as per priority within the states concerned. The Union government renders technical guidance and promotional financial assistance to states, he pointed out. In Assam, a total of 141 projects costing Rs 2383.11 crore were approved and included under FMP. During the XI Plan, 100 projects with an estimated cost of Rs 996.14 crore were approved, while during the XII Plan, 41 projects with an estimated cost of Rs 1386.97 crore were approved. Central assistance amounting to Rs 748.86 crore was released during the XI Plan and Rs 64.89 crore during the XII Plan. Further, Central assistance to the tune of Rs 245.49 crore has also been released during 2017-18 to the Government of Assam. Since the start of the XI Plan, the total Central assistance released to Assam under FMP has stood at Rs 1059.24 crore till March 3l, 2018. A high-level committee under the chairmanship of the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman was constituted by the Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region on October 4, 2017, for proper management of water resources in the region. The Brahmaputra Board was constituted with the objective of planning and integrated implementation of measures for control of flood and erosion in the Brahmaputra Valley and related matters. The Brahmaputra Board advises the NE states on water resources development issues, including flood management. The Board has prepared 57 master plans, suggesting appropriate measures for water resources development and flood control.
Manipur Forms Two Committees To Monitor Inrush Of Illegal Immigrants
 Bhupen Goswami (03/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : The Manipur state government has constituted two separate committees on the state and district level to monitor the influx of illegal immigrants in the state after the publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh shared on Thursday. The Chief Minister said during a press conference that the two committees will start taking steps to check and verify the people. He mentioned that on Thursday, the Manipur police identified 29 people who are not permanent residents of the state at the airport in Imphal. “In relation with Assam’s NRC list, Manipur government is inquiring about influx of illegal immigrants from Assam and neighbouring states. We have taken measures to prevent entry of illegal immigrants and formed two committees – state level and district level monitoring committees,” Singh shared in the press conference. “From reliable sources government got info that some illegal immigrants are coming to Imphal by air. So, the state government has established a check point inside Imphal airport premises and today we identified 29 people who aren’t permanent residents of the state. Police is monitoring,” he added. The NRC final draft was released on July 30 and had the names of 2.89 crore people out of 3.29 crore applicants, leaving out more than 40 lakh people.
Ganja weighing nearly 1.5 quintal recovered from Kanchenjunga Express in Tripura
 Bhupen Goswami (03/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : In a search operation taken out by RPF in Agartala Railway Station, a huge amount of ganja has been seized in Tripura on Friday. The ganja was packed in several packets and weighed nearly 1.5 quintal. The police recovered the packets from the toilet of one of the coaches in Kanchenjunga Express. No person has been apprehended in this regard. On the other hand, four drug peddlers including two women have been arrested from Dharmanagar in Tripura along with a huge amount of ganja.
Flood situation at Golaghat's Khumtai worsens: Historic Dhudor Ali threatened
 Bhupen Goswami (03/08/2018)
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 GUWAHATI : As the flood situation worsens in various districts of Assam, the situation of Khumtai under Golaghat district is deteriorating day by day. Reportedly, more than 15 villages in the region have been submerged by the rising water of Dhansiri River and resulting in a great loss for the locals out there. Locals are taking refuge in relief camps as their homes are being submerged in water whereas animals are in search of highland. Moreover, the historic Dhudor Ali is also under risk as the rising flood water threatens to break it down. It may be stated that the in the last four days flood situation has worsened in Khumtai. As per a report, Golaghat is the worst-affected district with 54,135 people displaced by floods, followed by Sivasagar (17,905) and Lakhimpur (14,052).

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