Floods in Assam, Manipur CM attacked: North East weekly update

Posted on September 6, 2008

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“Banned outfit Ulfa has termed central government’s attitude towards the flood affected people of Assam as discriminatory. Already Central government’s Rs 1000 Crore relief package to Bihar has snowballed into a major controversy in Assam with couple of organizations attacking chief minister Tarun Gogoi for failing to secure a similar relief package for Assam.”[Source: Economic Times]

I don’t blame them. The discrimination against North east is just so obvious. And am not talking about Goverment. My problem is with mainstream media. I really wonder don’t anybody feel ashamed of this failure to include problems of north east as part of India’s national problem.

As much as my heart cries for the flood victims of Bihar, but they are not the only one. But do we see enough coverage of the Assam Floods on the national news channels? At least I don’t.

So anyway I thought of doing this. Starting from this week I’d be doing a weekly roundup on North East.

Assam

A total of 19 of the state’s 27 districts are hit by the floods displacing about 1.5 million people and killing 17 with the overall situation continuing to be critical,” Assam relief and rehabilitation minister Mr Bhumidhar Barman told IANS. A government statement said 2,500 villages were hit by the floods, affecting nearly 400,000 hectares. The cumulative figures are from the first wave of floods that began 28 May. This is the second wave of floods that began a fortnight ago.” [Source: Statesman]

Two wildlife sanctuaries, famed Kaziranga National Park, a world heritage site and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary have also been severely affected. 60% of Kaziranga is under water 4 Rhinos and several deers are dead.

The state’s lifeline to the rest of the country – National Highway Number 31 – has also been cut off by floodwater.[BBC]

Manipur

We thought it was only Raj Thackeray and the likes who were posing a threat to the idea of one India. Welcome to Manipur home to two dozen militant groups fighting for the past 4 decades demanding seperate homelands or regional autonomy. A number of militant groups have bases in Myanmar with Manipur sharing an unfenced border with the junta ruled country. More than 10,000 people have lost their lives to insurgency in Manipur during the past two decades.

One such militant group ‘the separatist Peoples Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Prepak) claimed responsibility of an attack on the life of Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. They said this was a warning to Mr. Singh to mend his ways. This was the 3rd attack on Mr. Singh’s life in the past 2 years.   [Source: Reuters, BBC]

A piece of good news from Manipur is that sports person Tombi Devi has done the state proud by being one of the two sportspersons from the Northeast to take part in the Beijing Olympics. Now she has been conferred the Arjuna Award for the year 2007.

The 26-year-old soft-spoken judoka was ousted in the first round of the Olympics at Beijing, but she made history by becoming one of the nine Olympians the state has so far seen being honoured with the Arjuna Award. The only other sportsperson from the region to take part in the Beijing Olympics is archer L. Bombayla Devi of Manipur, who had an early exit.

Tombi has added another feather to Mayai Lambi Sports Academy’s cap after being named among the 11 sportspersons selected for the prestigious award. [Source: Telegraph]

Tripura, Meghalaya

All across the nation you have angry citizens protesting against one thing or the other. If it’s against TATA’s Nano factory in Shingur then its angry students along with political parties and NGOs (of course) against mining of high-quality uranium, available in plenty in Khasi hills located in the western part of Meghalaya.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Donkapur Roy has emphasised a need to reach a consensus amongst all stake holders in the issue of Uranium mining. The Unranium Corporation of India Limited is exploring the possibility of mining in the region which has been opposed by the Khasi Students’ Union on grounds of health hazards.[Source: Kangla Online, Economic Times]

Nagaland

This particular state is a total knock out. You read the news related to Nagaland and you feel like you are in Mars. Names, abbreviations, situations, incidents, political outfits nothing just nothing is familiar. You google you can’t find anything. You go to wikipedia. Nothing. Zilch. I just don’t get it. So far as I know only Jammu and Kashmir has a independent status in the constitution but it seems in effect Nagaland is totally independent of India.

Who is aware of something called the Hebron Camp. And an organisation called GPRN/NSCN. I don’t but I should. We should. Meanwhile these are the news related to Nagaland from Morung Express.

Hebron camp continues killing spree: The immediate hurdle towards unity, peace and reconciliation of the Nagas, at a present time, is the continuous torture and killing of innocent public by Hebron Campers…The inhuman torture and killing of a civilian, Mr. Phukheto Chishi of Nihoto village once again not only raises the issue of the violation of human rights by those at Hebron Camp but also questions their pledge given to Naga frontal Organizations for reconciliation of the Nagas. The extreme torture and subsequent killing of the victim has easily stamped Hebron Camp as the perpetrators of the crime.[Morung Express]

I have no clue what is this all about. Naga reconciliation? What reconciliation? With who, on what? Who are these Hebron Campers?

Also crime against woman is on the rise in Nagaland. Dimapur has become the rape capital of the state. In the recent past there have been 3 terrible incidents of rape and murder. After the rape, and subsequent murder, of a 15 year old student of Carmel Higher Secondary School and the rape of a daughter by her father recently, the latest victim is a pregnant mother of two of Old Showuba village who was reportedly gang-raped by four college students. [News, Editorial]

Arunachal Pradesh

Assembly elections are due in Arunachal Pradesh next year so the state is having its own share of political sweet nothings. The key player being newly appointed Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee president Nabam Tuki, who is also PWD and urban development minister in the Dorjee Khandu-led Congress ministry, on August 30. In the 60 member assembly Congress has 44 MLAs and rest are all independent, so there is hardly any opposition from BJP and now Mr. Tuki’s intends to regain the two Lok Sabha seats currently held by BJP. [Telegraph]

Mizoram

Nice to hear that even though Mizoram is reeling under acute famine due to bamboo flowering, there has been no starvation death thanks to proactive measures taken by the state government. That’s what Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said during the independence day celebration in the state. [Hindu]

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