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People celebrate I-Day despite militants threat
Published on 15 Aug. 2010 11:24 PM IST
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The 64th Independence Day was celebrated across North East states on Sunday under a looming threat of militants-triggered violence and a massive security cordon to thwart any such attempt.
The region defied a joint call by militant outfits of the region to boycott the national day celebration.
Four militant outfits of the region – United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) and Tripura People’s Democratic Front (TPDF) – along with Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF), an umbrella group of several Manipuri rebel groups, have given a joint call for boycott of August 15 celebrations.
They have also called for a general strike from 1.30 am to 6.30 pm on Sunday.
The Assam government today asked the banned ULFA and NDFB militant groups to accept the offer for talks to end the insurgency problem afflicting the state.
Addressing the Independence day function at the Latasil playground here, caretaker chief minister Dr Bhumidhar Barman said the government was sincere in its efforts to restore peace in the state and bring militant outfits to the negotiating table.
“The government is sincere in its efforts and hopeful that Ulfa and NDFB outfits respond positively to the offer and sit for negotiation and help in restoring peace in the state”, Barman said. Claiming that the overall law and order situation in the state was improving, Barman expressed happiness that Adivasi Cobra Militants, Karbi Longri National Liberation Front (KLNLF), United Peoples Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) and Dima Halam Daoga have come forward for talks and decided to shun violence.
On the current updating process of the National Registrar of Citizen (NRC) which hit a roadblock following protests by the minority communities in some districts, Barman said any dispute will be solved amicably. The government’s effort is to prepare a correct NRC and for that reason it had formed a cabinet sub committee to look into the issue. “Any complaints in this regard will be dealt with by the cabinet sub committee which has been assigned to ensure that the NRC was genuine”, the chief minister said.
In an obvious referrence to the All Assam Students Union’s (AASU) agitation against the alleged non-implementation of the Assam accord signed on this day 25 years ago, Barman said his government accorded top priority in this regard. Various clauses of the accord has been already implemented and the government was taking measures to ensure that other clauses also get priority, he said.
In this regard, the government had decided to complete the fencing work along the Indo-Bangla border at the earliest, Barman said. Listing the achievements of the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government in the state, Barman said several measures have been taken in improving the plight of women and children.
ITANAGAR: In a bid to streamline the PDS, Arunachal Pradesh has sought early release of funds from the Centre in the wake of hill transport subsidy being held back for over five years, Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu said today.
Unfurling the tricolour on the 64th Independence Day, Khandu said the state requires Rs 200 crore a year as hill transport subsidy for delivering PDS commodities to fur-flung area in the hilly border state which has poor road connectivity.
“If the problem of hill transport subsidy is not addressed by FCI or the Centre immediately there is a danger of the entire system being damaged beyond repair,” Khandu said, adding the state government was ready to provide land godown and manpower to FCI to deliver PDS items to all districts.
AGARTALA: The central government should chart out a roadmap to bring about a sea-change in the infrastructure of the northeast to make it a self-reliant region, Tripurta Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said Sunday in his Independence Day speech. “Long neglect, deprivation and backwardness makes the northeast region isolated from the rest of the world,” Sarkar said after unfurling the national flag at Assam Rifles ground here. Sarkar, a member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo, said: “The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government has been trying to take absolute control of the states’ power so that the states have remained dependent on the Centre instead of (being) self-dependent.”
Sarkar also strongly criticised the UPA government’s foreign, education and economic policies.
“After 63 years of independence, the government has failed to provide food security to all its citizens,” Sarkar said and demanded that 14 essential commodities be supplied through the public distribution system to check the price rise.
AIZAWL: Mizoram Chief Minister Lalthanhawla Sunday said there was no scope for terrorism in the state, adding that his government was determined to ensure that no one is allowed to take the law into their own hands.
“The Mizoram government has remained responsive to complaints, discontent and doubts of the people... no one would be allowed to break the law,” Lal Thanhawla said at a public gathering at the Assam Rifles ground here after unfurling the tricolour on the occasion of Independence Day.
Highlighting the policies and priorities of his government, Lal Thanhawla said: “Nothing can be achieved by indulging violence and destroying public assets.”
Referring to the Mizoram government’s flagship programme -- the New Land Use Policy (NLUP) -- the chief minister said: “The central government has approved Rs.2,873 crore under special central assistance for implementation of the NLUP during the next five years for rebuilding the rural economy.”
“Over 120,000 families would be benefited by the NLUP, which is aimed at ending the traditional ‘Jhum’ cultivation (slash-and-burn method of shifting cultivation).”
SHILLONG: Unfurling the tri-colour here, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma appealed to all the citizens of the state to hold on steadfastly to democratic values, to progress though discussion and negotiations towards development and progress
“The present government stands committed and has taken meaningful and well thoughts initiatives to steer the path of development on a higher growth rate,” Sangma said.
Stating that Meghalaya’s strength is vast human and natural resources, the Chief Minister said that the state must optimally harness benefit from this for the overall benefit of people and progress of the state.
Urging the people not to extend support to militant outfits, Sangma said, the ideologues of terrorism have little respect for human life. “If we as Meghalayans are forward looking and progressive, if we as Meghalayans look forward to a prosperous and happy future for our children,” he observed.
The Chief Minister said that the ongoing consultations between the banned A’chik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC) militant outfit and the government of India and the Meghalaya government have taken forward and fast tracked for arriving at a durable settlement.
Expressing concerns on the recent developments and attempts to form new militant groups in the Garo Hills, Sangma said that there is a need for constant vigil, and the government will take steps to ensure peace and stability.
Meanwhile, the other six districts, including the three districts of Garo Hills also celebrated a peaceful Independence Day celebration.
IMPHAL: Amid boycotts and general strikes by rebels, ceremonies to mark the 64th Independence Day was held in all the district headquarters and sub-divisional headquarters with the state level ceremony at the 1st MR grounds in which Chief Minister, O Ibobi Singh graced as chief guest of the function.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister appealed to the UNC and other agitating groups imposing economic blockade on the national highway to come forward to the negotiating table and bring an end to the impasse.
Stop calling bandhs and blockades because it gives suffering to common people. Such type of agitations hurting interest of others is against the law. Supreme Court also banned such type of agitation, the Chief Minister said and further appealed to the UNC and ANSAM to come to the negotiating table.
Every matter or issue can be settled through talks, he said.
O Ibobi also condemned the “quit notice”issued by the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) to the non-locals and said that this acts of undergrounds will hurt the interest of Manipuri staying outside the state.
He also assured that government will not leave any stone unturned to protect life and security of the non-locals residing in the state. The chief minister also gave away police medals for gallantry to altogether 20 police personnel. The celebrations were also held in the districts headquarters of the state.

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