Hello and welcome to another episode of Northeast in a Nutshell. From Manipur heading to elections to political murmurs in Mizoram, we have a packed week for you. So let’s get started, this time, with Manipur first. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the BJP’s “double-engine” government has laid a strong foundation for Manipur for the next 25 years.

Addressing an election rally in Imphal East district, Modi said the stability and peace achieved in the last five years have to be made permanent, urging the people of the Northeastern state to re-elect the BJP government.

A day before the PM, Home Minister Amit Shah said the government will hold peace talks with all Kuki militant groups in Manipur and their issue will be resolved in the next five years.

As the problem of Bodo militancy was solved in neighbouring Assam, no Kuki youth will have to carry arms anymore, Shah said at an election rally in Manipur’s Churachandpur district.

Continuing with the BJP in Manipur, the party has assured that they will focus on unemployment and earmark Rs 100 crore to address the concern if the party comes back to power after the assembly election.

In an exclusive interaction with EastMojo, minister Th Biswajit said after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, the BJP has been ensuring and giving lots of opportunity to youngsters.

The interview has been linked here:

Not to be left behind, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of peddling “lies” at his Manipur rally and asked why he was “completely silent” on the state’s fundamental issues such as AFSPA, MSP and rising prices of essential commodities.

Ramesh, a Congress senior observer for Manipur Assembly polls, slammed the prime minister for his remarks at the rally in Imphal, saying “the Jagadguru of Jhoot (world leader of lies)” was true to his nature.

Prepoll violence continued in Manipur, with proscribed outfit People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) claiming responsibility for the bomb blast at Wangoo Tera area that injured two Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel in Kakching district on Sunday evening. 

The incident happened when the troops were patrolling the area on election duty. As per the outfit’s statement, the attack was “part of expressing solidarity to the boycott call by Coordination Committee (CorCom)”, an umbrella outfit, for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in Manipur on Tuesday.

Manipur Governor La Ganesan appealed to the people of the state to vote freely and without any fear in the upcoming Assembly elections as this right will determine the destiny of the people in the coming five years.

Stating that he was in favour of smooth and peaceful passing off the election process without any major untoward incident, the governor further appealed to the people both in the valley and hills to avoid any kind of violent activities to enable the people to exercise their franchise freely and fairly.

And now, Assam: 

Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has installed lifts and escalators in stations having large footfall as part of its commitment towards improvement of passenger amenities and making railway stations more commuter friendly in the region.

The NFR has also decided to provide more lifts and escalators to make it easier for passengers to board trains effortlessly.

Assam-based Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) has collaborated with a Finnish company to manufacture ethanol out of bamboo, a top company official said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a CII event virtually, managing director of NRL Bhaskar Jyoti Phukan said the company has invested heavily in a bio-ethanol plant.

The MD said to reduce carbon emissions, the company is trying to get out of captive power generation and get connected to the grid for which it has done a power purchase agreement with a green power producer.

He said that India needs to get out of the volatility of crude prices.

Bangladesh is focusing on strengthening connectivity with India, especially Assam, through all modes in order to boost trade between the two nations, the neighbouring country’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud said on Thursday.

Addressing an Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) event here, he also deliberated on the similarities of food, attire, culture and language between Assam and Bangladesh.

President Ram Nath Kovind arrived in Guwahati on a three-day visit to Assam, where he will take part in a series of programmes including the launch of the 400th birth anniversary celebrations of legendary Ahom general Lachit Borphukan.

President Kovind, accompanied by his wife and daughter, landed at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati in a special Indian Air Force flight, and he was accorded a warm welcome by Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and senior officials.

The Centre has provided Rs 129 crore for setting up a centre for management of Paediatric and Adult Haematolymphoid Cancers at Dr. B. Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI), Guwahati.

A statement released by the Ministry of Development of North-East Region on Friday said in the last 11 years, 3,855 childhood and adult hematolymphoid cancer patients reported to BBCI for treatment. Moreover, due to dearth of adequate facilities other than the BBCI in the north-east, there may be many more patients who need this specialised care but do not get it close to home and must travel to other centres across the country.

A court in Assam’s Morigaon district has sentenced a man to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment after he was found guilty of repeatedly raping his minor sister resulting in her pregnancy.

The court of Additional Sessions judge, who also acts as the special judge under POCSO Act, handed down the sentence to the 23-year-old man on Monday.

And now, onto Meghalaya: 

The committee constituted to prepare a roadmap for the preservation of Umiam Lake, located in north Shillong, has decided to carry-out a site inspection on March 1 to assess the ground reality.

Umiam is one of Meghalaya’s oldest reservoirs created in the 1960s by damming the Umiam river.

The meeting was attended by different departments like Forest and Environment, Power, Tourism, Fisheries, State Pollution Control Board, Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council among others.

Amid mounting protests over the appointment of the contentious new chief executive member (CEM) of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC), highly placed sources in the Meghalaya government told EastMojo that Rakesh A Sangma will tender his resignation from the post next week.

The protesters in Garo Hills have been demanding the removal of newly-elected CEM Rakesh Sangma, claiming that his identity as an indigenous Garo is doubtful.

As Meghalaya is slowly inching towards the 2023 general elections, a flurry of political activities is being witnessed in the state. On Tuesday, three leaders from different political parties and others joined the National People’s Party (NPP).

The Indian Army has now got a gecko to its name. A herpetologist from Assam, Jayaditya Purkayastha, has named a new species of bent-toed gecko, which was found at a military station, after the Indian Army.

The new species from Meghalaya was recorded from Umroi Military Station in Ri-Bhoi district and its scientific name was given as Cyrtodactylus exercitus (in Latin, exercitus   means army). The name was given to honour the Indian army for its service to the nation. 

Onto Mizoram now: 

The BJP Mizoram unit submitted a memorandum to state governor Dr. Hari Babu Kambhampati urging him to impose a president’s rule due to the alleged lawlessness in the state under the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga.

MNF is a member of BJP led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and an ally of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre, but the party does not work with the BJP in Mizoram.

In its memorandum, the BJP alleged that there was total absence of good governance in the state resulting in misuse of public money through unfair means. 

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga presented the state budget for 2022-23 with a total outlay of Rs 14,008 crore, and no proposal for levying new taxes or increasing existing rates.

He also presented the supplementary demands for grants for the 2021-22 fiscal, amounting to Rs 6,025.44 crore.

The memorandum said there was rampant corruption at every level administration where ministers and high officials of the state are suspected to be involved in various dubious business deals. Zoramthanga, who holds the finance portfolio as well, said the state is facing a major financial crisis due to the inadequate release of the share of taxes from the Centre.

Of the total outlay, 28.57 per cent has been earmarked for capital expenditure, while revenue expenditure accounts for 71.43 per cent of the estimate.

A total of 29 boys and girls, who had fled Myanmar along with their parents in the face of atrocities last year and taken refuge in Mizoram, are set to appear in the state board examinations for classes 10 and 12 later this month.

Mizoram Education Minister Lalchhandama Ralte said that 27 students have registered for the Class 10 examination and two for Class 12.

Mizoram completed 35 years of statehood after the signing of a Mizo peace accord between the Union government and Mizo National Front (MNF), the erstwhile underground headed by late Laldenga in June 1986.

As the day falls on Sunday this year and due to COVID-19 pandemic, no official functions were held to celebrate the statehood day. He said that Mizoram got a peace accord signed in 1986 and after a year Mizoram attained statehood in 1987. He said that the government of India has given a statehood with special protection to the people of Mizoram in February 35 years ago. 

Now, news from Nagaland: 

The 13th district of Nagaland, Tseminyu district, which was notified on December 20 last year, was officially inaugurated by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in Tseminyu.

Thousands of Rengmas, young and old, gathered at Rengma Sports Association ground at Tseminyu to celebrate the inauguration of the new district. The inauguration ceremony began after the chief minister unveiled a monolith at the deputy commissioner’s office complex to mark the district’s inauguration, in the presence of the lone legislator from the Rengma Naga tribe, R Khing, Advisor to the department of Animal husbandry & veterinary services, woman resources development.

During a consultative meeting of the committee studying implementation of Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act, 1989, with the various stakeholders, on Thursday, Advisor Excise Zhaleo Rio shared that the state government has not taken any decision to lift the Act. During the meeting at the Nagaland Civil Secretariat Conference Hall in Kohima, Rio said that the meeting was being held to discuss and know the stand of the stakeholders.

The Atoqa Tea Producer Company Limited (ATPCL) will welcome United Sikkim FC 11 on March 8, 2022, along with former Indian football captain Baichung Bhutia and Renedy Singh at the closing ceremony of the Sumi Hoho Trophy. An exhibition match in solidarity with grassroots football in the state would be played between Sumi 11 and Baichung 11 USFC on March 9, 2022, at 9 am during the closing ceremony.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio conveyed his condolences on the demise of Pastor Melhite Kenye who passed away on Tuesday in Chümoukedima. Late Melhite Kenye, who had just celebrated his 100th birth anniversary on January 6, 2022, was a renowned and distinguished personality of Nagaland.

He was a Guinness World Record holder for discovering the tallest paddy plant in the world in 1988. For this feat, he was also awarded the Governor’s Gold Medal in 2002.

Onto Sikkim now: 

Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang on Friday said that his government in coordination with the Centre will extend all support to bring back the 20 students from the state, who are stranded in crisis-hit Ukraine.

The chief minister said that his government has contacted the Ministry of External Affairs and provided the details of the 20 students of Sikkim presently stranded in that European country.

In the case pertaining to the vandalism at Tashiling Secretariat on February 15, Sikkim Police has arrested two individuals in the case on February 23.

Speaking at a press conference, Sikkim Police DIG Bhim Kumar Tamang and SP (East) Siva Prasad Yellasiri shared, “Accused Joseph Rai, 22, and Abel Rai, 23, are siblings and resident of Kshyam, Munsong in North Bengal. They were based in Sikkim since 2019, meandering across the state, living in abandoned buildings and jungles. They are school dropouts studying somewhere in Kalimpong.”

And now, Tripura: 

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed a petitioner seeking an independent and impartial probe by an SIT into the alleged incidents of violence which took place in Tripura last year to move the state High Court, which is seized of a similar matter. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant also directed the state police to not take any coercive action against petitioner Ethesham Hashmi in case he chooses to appear before the Tripura High Court physically.

Chairman of Advisory Reforms Committee of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma has requested the tribal council authority to set up a language development committee for the non-Kokborok speaking tribes.

Ten indigenous tribes out of 19 tribes of the state are considered as non-Kokborok speaking people.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Wednesday urged the business community of Bangladesh to invest in Tripura as the state is all set to become a trade corridor for the entire Northeast region.

Deb was speaking at the inaugural function of the second edition of the Bangladesh Film Festival. The Maitri Setu’ (Friendship Bridge) on the Feni river in south Tripura was virtually inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina in March last year.

Onto Arunachal now:

A special court in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tirap district designated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) on Thursday sentenced a man to life imprisonment for sexually assaulting a minor girl.

The court convicted one Mikjan Longri, a native of Kharsang Village in Changlang district, under Section 06 of the POSCO Act for ‘aggravated penetrative sexual assault’ on the minor.

A supervisor of a road construction company engaged in the construction of Miao-Vijaynagar road has been allegedly kidnapped by unknown miscreants from Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh.

The victim has been identified as Rahul Sharma, 28, resident of Ratangarh in Rajasthan’s Churu district. Sources in Arunachal police informed that it is not yet clear whether it is the handiwork of miscreants or any banned outfit.

Arunachalee youth John Lapung  is among the 50 boxers to represent the country in the 2022 ASBC Asian Youth and Junior Men’s and Women’s Boxing Championships.

The continental showpiece event is scheduled to be held in Amman, Jordan, from March 2-16. Lapung, a native of Seppa in Arunachal Pradesh’s East Kameng district, would represent India in the junior boys (U-17) category.

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Credits

Voiceover: Rifa Deka

Script: Amit Kumar

Editor: Nitunjay Bora


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