Itanagar, Sep 26 (IANS) Arunachal Pradesh is seeking help to find out how a female Royal Bengal Tiger was killed at the Itanagar zoo, an official said Wednesday.
Agartala, July 7 (IANS) UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee has won the support of all key regional parties in the northeast, Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro said here. Of the eight northeastern states, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur are ruled by the Congress. The CPI-M rules Tripura, the Naga Peoples Front (NPF)-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN) governs Nagaland while the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) is in power in Sikkim. Faleiro, who is accompanying Mukherjee in his election campaign, told reporters: "(Mukherjee) met most Congress chief ministers, senior party leaders and leaders of the important regional parties."
Guwahati, July 6 (IANS) United Progressive Alliance (UPA) presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee Friday sought the support of leaders of the Congress and other regional parties of the northeastern states for the July 19 election. Mukherjee arrived here in the morning and held several meetings. Besides the Congress leaders of Assam, he also met the president of the Assam's main opposition party All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) Badaruddin Ajmal, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and Arunachal Pradesh Congress president Mukut Mithi. Mukherjee is scheduled to visit Tripura Saturday. "I came to Assam umpteen times in the past and spoke to all of you either on behalf of the government of on party matters. Today, I am here not to speak on behalf of the government or the party. I have resigned from both the government and the party. I am touring the states just to convey my gratitude and thanks to everyone for their cooperation all these years," said Mukherjee while interacting with the reporters. "Several regional parties in the northeast as well as in other parts of the country extended their support to me as the UPA's presidential candidate and I am thankful to them," he said. "In India, the president's job is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and I'll do my best to perform my duty if I get an opportunity," he said. On UPA constituent Trinamool Congress' support, Mukherjee said: "They are yet to take a decision but I hope they would also extend their support to me as the UPA's candidate." The UPA's presidential candidate refrained from making any comment on the National Democratic Alliance's presidential candidate and former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma.
New Delhi, July 5 (IANS) A strategically important 480-metre bridge built on River Simen in Arunachal Pradesh by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), an agency of the defence ministry, has been declared open by Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju. The bridge, a key link on the Akajan-Jonai-Pasighat National Highway-52 in the state bordering China, will facilitate faster movement of troops, war machines and equipment to the frontier. On the occasion, Raju said the opening of the bridge with national highway double lane specifications will usher in a new era of development for the civil population, army and paramilitary forces and a host of other agencies working for infrastructure development of the region. The bridge will also facilitate early completion of the broad gauge rail conversion project between Rangiya and Murkongselek, he added. The existing rail-cum-road bridge was a major bottleneck for smooth flow of road traffic. The minister said the bridge works, at a cost of Rs.24 crore, had continued even during monsoons and during day and night by using generators. Local MP Ranee Narah, BRO Director General Lt. Gen. S. Ravi Shankar, 3 Corps General Officer Commanding Lt. Gen. Arun Kumar Sahni, 56 Infantry Division General Officer Commanding Maj. Gen. Sanjay Kulkurni, Defence Ministry Additional Secretary A.K. Bishnoi and Border Roads Development Board Secretary Subash Sharma were also present at the inaugural ceremony.
Shillong, July 5 (IANS) China was once an enemy of India but now relations between the two countries have changed and both are learning to live as good neighbours, T.K.A. Nair, adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said Thursday. "The ideas which India had about China once are no longer relevant now since a great deal of change has since come on account of changing global economy," Nair said at the inauguration of the newly-launched Post Graduate Executive Programme (PGPEx) on International Business with a special reference to China at the Indian Institute of Management-Shillong. "We have to learn live as friendly neighbour with China; we have to learn to deal with China, we have to compete with china. They are your neighbours and you have to live with them," Nair said, stressing on the need to improve relations with China. "We should remember that times have change and we have to learn to live with and take advantage of the changing times." Nair also reminded the gathering about the prime minister's constant reminders that India cannot choose its neighbours but should instead take advantage of current developing scenarios where economy, trade and commerce serve as a determinants towards growth in positive relations. On China's economy, he said: "China is not one of the emerging economies but a leading economy and therefore, the role of China in the global economy is bound to go up. We should look for the future to develop our relations through trade and commerce." India and China fought a bitter border war in 1962, with Chinese troops advancing deep into Arunachal Pradesh and inflicting heavy casualties. The border dispute with China was inherited by India from the British rulers, who hosted a 1914 conference with the Tibetan and Chinese governments that set the border in what is now Arunachal Pradesh. China has never recognised the 1914 boundary, known as the McMahonLine, and claims 90,000 square km, nearly all of Arunachal Pradesh, as its own territory.
Guwahati, July 3 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said Assam's erosion problem will be included in the list of the country's natural disasters, a move that will enable the state government to spend central relief funds (CRF) to tackle the issue. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said Tuesday that the move will also enable the state to receive more central funds to tackle the problem and also extend financial help to people affected by erosion. "The prime minister during his meeting with the state cabinet at the airport near Guwahati on Monday recognised the erosion problem of Assam. He assured ther ministers that he will take steps to enlist erosion in the list of disasters," Gogoi said. According to Gogoi, Manmohan Singh also said he will take up the matter with the Planning Commission so that more funds are allocated to the state to check the menace of erosion. "Earlier, we were not able to extend financial assistance to the people affected by erosion, which was not included in the list of natural disasters," Gogoi said. The state has lost about estimated 4.50 lakh hectares of land to erosion in the last few decades. The Assam government had also started a project to reclaim land. The prime minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi visited Assam Monday and made an aerial survey of some flood-hit districts. An aid package of Rs.500 crore for the state was announced. The floods, which have hit all 27 districts and affected 21 lakh people, have caused the deaths of about 65 people, and iundation of large stretches of land, including crop land. "An early warning system is a must to help the people. It also helps in rescue and relief operations. We have also requested the central government to set up a regional office of the Central Water Commission in Assam, which would also help the state in dealing with flood situations," the chief minister said. Gogoi also appealed to the Arunachal Pradesh government to reconsider the issue of setting up a North East Water Regulatory Authority (NEWRA). "The formation of NEWRA will help all the northeastern states, including Arunachal Pradesh." The formation of NEWRA has been delayed as Arunachal Pradesh has been opposing it, apprehending that formation of such a regional water regulatory body will deprive the state of its hydro power potential.
Shillong/New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) Units of the Indian Army have stepped up relief efforts in the northeastern states after swollen rivers caused devastation in the region, leaving over 75,000 people homeless Sunday in Meghalaya alone, an official said. The swollen Brahmaputra and Jingiram rivers submerged whole villages in Meghalaya. More than 15,000 houses went under a sea of floodwater, West Garo Hills' district commissioner Pravin Bakshi told IANS. The Jinjiram, one the major rivers in Garo Hills, caused havoc after it breached a major embankment, flooding low-lying areas. No loss of life has been reported so far. The district administration has sought boats to evacuate people from the flooded region with the help of civil defence and Home Guards. Bakshi said that 15 camps have been set up to accommodate the displaced people. A total of 122 relief and rescue teams have been deployed in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh where overflowing Brahmaputra and its tributaries have caused havoc, army spokesperson Veerendra Singh said in Delhi. Relief operations are on in Sonitpur, Kamrup, Barpeta, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Dhemaji, Baksa, Nalbari and Darrang areas in Assam, and Changlang in Arunachal Pradesh, according to Singh. The army teams, he said, were using 122 boats and outboard motors and 540 life jackets to rescue thousands of stranded people. So far, around 3,500 people have been rescued, while over a hundred injured have been given medical aid. Besides 180 food packets, around 3,000 kg of ration provided by the civil administration have been distributed among people stranded in isolated areas. Helicopters are also being used for the relief work. "The army reconnaissance teams with the help of civil administration are identifying all affected areas to provide immediate relief to the people," Singh said.
Shillong, July 1 (IANS) Two earthquakes of moderate intensity hit northeastern India Sunday. The first measured 4.8 on the Richter scale, with its epicentre located at the Arunachal Pradesh-Tibet border, and occurred an hour after midnight Saturday, the Regional Seismological Centre here told IANS. Eight hours later, another quake, measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale, jolted the region. Its epicentre lay in Phek district of Nagaland. Besides Meghalaya and Nagaland, the other states which felt the tremors included Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. There were no reports of casualties or damage to property. India's northeast is considered the sixth major earthquake-prone belt in the world. The region experienced one of the worst earthquakes, measuring 8.7 on the Richter Scale, in 1897 that claimed the lives of over 1,600 people.
Shillong, July 1 (IANS) An earthquake of moderate intensity jolted India's northeast Sunday morning. Officials said there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage to property. The quake measured 5.8 on the Richter scale. According to the Regional Seismological Centre here, the epicentre lay in Phek district of Nagaland. Besides Meghalaya and Nagaland, the other states which felt the tremors include Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, an official added. India's northeast is considered the sixth major earthquake-prone belt in the world. The region experienced one of the worst earthquakes, measuring 8.7 on the Richter Scale, in 1897 that claimed the lives of over 1,600 people.
New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) The charters of institutions that speak for the northeast should be re-looked at to remove their weaknesses while the people there should transform themselves to get to know each other better, a noted author said at a seminar here on restoring peace in the region. "There are weaknesses in the institutions that speak for the northeast. Their charters need to be re-looked at," Sudeep Chakravarti said at a seminar here on "Seeking Our Collective Peace: The Northeast India Diaspora Looks Into Solutions for Peace and Development in the Region". The reference was to the Ministry of Development of North East Regiment, which is headed by a minister of state at the centre, and the North East Council (NEC) comprising the governors and chief ministers of the eight states of the region. Pointing to the "disconnect" in the NEC, he said a golf club had been sanctioned for Jorhat town in Assam while other development projects were on hold. "In the 12th (Five Year) Plan, Rs.80,000 crore has been sanctioned for the northeast but only Rs.10,000 crore will go down (on development projects)," Chakravarti lamented. Minister of State for Rural Development Agatha Sangma was meant to inaugurate the conference but backed off at the very last minute, apparently to avoid media scrutiny on her father, P.A. Sangma, contesting the presidential election as a candidate of the BJP and some other opposition parties. "She had confirmed and reconfirmed her attendance. Then she told me she couldn't come because of a religious ceremony in Tura (in Arunachal Pradesh). I told her she should issue a statement. She has done so, so I won't circulate that here," said Binalakshmi Nepram, founder of the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network, one of the organisers of the conference. Nepram also pointed out that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who represents Assam in the Rajya Sabha, and other MPs from the northeast had been informed about the conference but had not responded. Urging greater interaction between the people of the region, Chakravarti said they "should transform themselves from those who talk to those who are listened to". In this, Chakravarti was echoing the lead speaker, veteran journalist B.G. Verghese. "We need to write an integrated history of the northeast. Many in Tripura don't know about Arunachal Pradesh, for instance," he said. Patricia Mukhim, editor The Shillong Times, took this one step further. "Do we have a singular purpose. Are we agreeable to come under one umbrella? It is a tall order but tall orders can be brought down," she said. "If we agree to connect, we can learn about each other rather than come to Delhi to learn about each other," Mukhim added. Chakravarti also took a swipe at the controversial Armed Forces Special Act, whose repeal has been widely demanded from the region. "It helps (Manipur Chief Minister) Ibobi (Singh) than it does the DG of the Assam Rifles," he said and left it hanging. It was left to Pradyot Deb Burman, editor of The Northeast Today magazine, to flesh this out. "AFSPA has more to do with ethnic domination than with security," Burman contended.