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States across northeast celebrate I-Day
Correspondent/PTI SHILLONG, AUG 15:
Published on 15 Aug. 2009 11:38 PM IST
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Braving the inclement weather and defying the boycott call, Meghalaya celebrated the 62nd Independence Day across the state. The outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council had called for 24-hour general strike to boycott India’s freedom saying “it is against the Indian colonialism.” However, the incessant rain dampened the celebrations with a small crowd turning up at the main venue of Polo Ground. The thinly-attended celebration at Polo Ground was marked by a variety of programmes. Security and police forces were deployed at all strategic points. Frisking of passers-by was carried out at different places to detect movement of armed ultras. Unfurling the tri-colour here, chief minister DD Lapang appealed to the people of the state to come together to work and to build a strong and vibrant Meghalaya. “Our State is in the road of progress,” he said while urging the people to show their wisdom to grasp new opportunities and convert our economic potential into a new wealth, new employment opportunity and better standard of living for all sections of the society. Reaffirming the government’s commitment to the principle that inspired the freedom movement enshrined in the Constitution, the Chief Minister said, the state has achieved a lot in term of social and economic development. He also stressed the need of maintaining political stability, peace and a harmonious environment to achieve economic growth and prosperity of the state. “We must remember that without lasting peace in our State there can be no sustained progress and development,” Lapang said. On terrorism, the Chief Minister urged the people of the state to stand united against the threats emanating from terrorism. “Terrorists, with their disruptive agenda, will never succeed in discouraging us from our resolve to build a strong Meghalaya, or from working with our neighbours to eliminate this menace from our region,” he said. In other district headquarters of the state, people in thousands celebrated Independence Day amidst tight security. GUWAHATI: Asserting that Assam’s problems cannot be solved through violence and insurgency, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday urged all militant outfits to come for talks if they wanted the state’s development. “Assam’s problems cannot be solved through violence and militancy. Only through the democratic process, developmental schemes and work can its problems be solved. Assam’s people today have realised that”, he said unfurling the tricolour here. “It is the duty and responsibility of the government to protect its people. The government is bound to take strong action against all those negative forces indulging in insurgency and creating a violent situation in society by killing innocent people”, he warned. “Due to militancy many innocent people died, several rendered disabled for life, women became widows and children orphans. Government will never tolerate such activities of insurgents and will take all measures to stop them”, Gogoi asserted. “Even today we urge every extremist outfit to abjure violence, surrender their arms and come to the negotiation table if they want Assam’s development”, Gogoi said. Like every year, ULFA has called for a general strike on Independence day. “Amidst militancy, floods, erosion, unemployment problems, we have been successful in taking forward the state in the positive direction of development and progress”, Gogoi said. Security has been put on high alert throughout the state which has witnessed attacks on railways, oil refineries and vital installations almost every year around Independence day and Republic Day by ULFA in support of its demand for sovereignity. A major disaster was averted with seizure of seven powerful IEDs yesterday from Assam-Meghalaya border and another from Bongaigoan district after intelligence inputs that ULFA and NDFB activists might try to disrupt the celebrations. IMPHAL: In Manipur the 62nd Independence Day was celebrated amidst tight security deployment with Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh unfurling the National Flag at first Manipur Rifles battalion ground here. After unfurling the national tri-colour, Singh took the salute from participants in the march past and also distributed medals to some police personnel. Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister appealed to militants to lay down arms and join the national mainstream by participating in development programmes. “Violence will not bring any solution,” Singh said adding that peace was required for effective implementation of various development programmes in the state. Police and para military forces were deployed at various parts of the capital complex here in view of the 24-hour general strike called by insurgent outfit Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF). However, normal life was effected in Manipur with the strike called by an MPLF boycotting Independence Day celebrations, official reports said. Markets, shops and business establishments remained closed while transport services between Manipur and neighbouring states and within the state were cancelled in view of the general strike. All roads in the capital here wore a deserted look as people remained indoors, the reports said. Police and central para-military forces were heavily deployed at all vulnerable points. ITANAGAR: The technical and financial bidding for a 718-km stretch of the ambitious Rs 5,500 crore Trans-Arunachal highway to be constructed by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, has been completed, Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu said here on Saturday. Addressing the Independence day rally after unfurling the national flag, Khandu said that out of the total length of the 1559 km two-lane proposed highway from Tawang in the western part of the state to Kanubari in the east, PWD will construct 418 km for which the Detailed Project Reports (DPR) are under preparation. The remaining Tawang-Nechipu and Pasighat-Mahadevpur sections are being developed by the Border Road Organisation. The highway, one of the important components of the Rs 24,000 crore package announced last year by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will run through the middle of the border state touching 11 of the existing district headquarters. The rest of the five districts including the state capital will be connected with the Trans-Arunachal Highway with links involving construction of another 848 km of two way roads, Khandu said. These roads expected to completed in five years will provide inter-district connectivities in this land locked hilly land where road density is very low and for inter-district movements vehicles have to take routes through neighbouring Assam. To put the state capital on the air map of the country, the Itanagar green field airport project is under process for sanction. Forest clearance for the land earmarked has already been given and environmental impact assessment is complete, Khandu said. The defence ministry which signed an MoU with the state government for redeveloping airports at Pasighat, Aalo and Ziro has already started the process for operationalisation of these airports, he said. The defence ministry has also started work to upgrade and operationalise the advance landing grounds (ALGs) at Tuting, Mechuka, Vijaynagar and wallong, all located close to the international border. The DPR for the highway connecting Itanagar with the rest of the country will be completed by September and the construction of the road link is expected to take three to four years, he said adding that all the PMGSY roads in the state will be completed by 2011. AIZAWL: Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla on Saturday said that his government would not allow people to be terrorised by militants and would leave no stone unturned to usher in a responsive and corruption-free administration. In his Independence Day address after unfurling the tricolour at the Assam Rifles ground here, Thanhawla said: “There will be no leniency on anti-social elements such as armed militants, unlicensed arms holders and illicit arms dealers who pose threat to the peace and tranquility of our state”. He also said that besides the establishment of a Vigilance Commission, the state Anti-Corruption Bureau is being strengthened and would be headed by an Inspector General grade of police officer. Poverty alleviation of the people living both in rural and urban areas would be given top priority, the chief minister said, adding that the New Land Use Policy (NLUP) would soon be launched throughout the state for the purpose. The NLUP has in its package, more rural harvest and urban self-employments, marketing of products and rural and urban housing for the poor, he said. He added that efforts were being made to establish a separate High Court in Mizoram. The Union Ministry of Food Processing had sanctioned Rs 60 crore and Rs 15 crore for setting up of a Mega Food Park and an Abattoir respectively, he stated. AGARTALA: Tripura Chief Minister, Manik Sarkar on Saturday reiterated his appeal to the insurgents to return to mainstream to build a developed state. Hoisting the tri-colour at the Assam Rifles ground here, Sarkar said, Tripura wanted to stand on its own feet, develop the state to ensure food, shelter, cloths and education for all and peace was the precondition of the development. “We want all sections of people come forward to build a new tripura and bring back insurgents, who chose a wrong path,” he said. The chief minister, who is also the home minister of the state, took the guard of honour from the security forces. GANGTOK: Sikkim Chief Minister, Pawan Kumar Chamling on Saturday outlined the human resources development as his government’s main priority was to tap vast economic and employment opportunities available in the state. The academic infrastructure needs upgradation to provide quality education to the children and youths of the state, he said at a function at Palzor Stadium to mark the 62nd Independence Day celebrations. He said that the state government has set up a state knowledge commission to recommend both short-term and long-term measures to usher in reforms in the field of education. Similarly, the state government has launched capacity building programmes to impart skills and technical knowledge to youths to equip them with professional needs of employment opportunities in the private sector, the chief minister said, adding all government departments had been asked to spend 10 per cent of their allocation for the purpose. Chamling announced a slew of schemes for health and social welfare of the local people, including health insurance coverage scheme for every Sikkimese person above 45 years and another health insurance scheme to cover medicare requirement of the entire population and said that an adequate budgetary provision will be made for these schemes. He also announced construction of a number of statues and temples to promote religious ethos among the people and to develop the structures as spiritual tourism.

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