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NE snubs separatists to celebrate R-Day
Correspondent/PTI/IANS GUWAHATI, JAN 26:
Published on 27 Jan. 2011 12:58 AM IST
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People in northeast India defied calls by separatist rebels to boycott Republic Day and joined the celebrations across the region amid a strike called by the militants Wednesday, officials said.
The proposed peace talks with the ULFA and other insurgent outfits in the state have heralded the beginning of a new age in Assam, Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik said today.
Unfurling the tricolour at the official Republic Day function at the Latasil Parade ground here, Patnaik said a conducive atmosphere had been created for peace talks following ceasefire agreements with various militant outfits in the state.
The Governor also congratulated the people of Assam for their positive stand on the peace process.
Expressing his happiness at the improvement in the law and order situation in the state, he reiterated the government’s strong measures against any extremist outfits indulging in violence.
On the occasion of Republic Day, Patnaik urged all to pledge themselves to unitedly work for peace, uphold the state’s unity, work for welfare and unity of the people and development of the state so as to be one of the most developed states in the country.
Referring to the Garo-Rabha ethnic trouble in Goalpara district along Meghalaya recently, the Governor said, due to his government’s timely action the situation was controlled and normalised.
“This proves that my government is prepared to face any situation and efficiently tackle it. There are some elements which try to destroy the age-old unity among the various ethnic groups in the state. But I urge all to remain peaceful”, Patnaik said.
Stating that no foreigners names would be included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) during its upgradation, he said that at the same time measures were taken to see no genuine Indian citizen was harassed during the process.
The government was taking steps for the socio-economic development of the minorities, ethnic, scheduled tribes and castes, backward communities,ex-tea tribes.
Recognising the large scale destructions brought about by the annual floods in the state accompanied by erosion, he said, the government has undertaken the `Assam Integrated Flood and River Bank Erosion Risk Management Project’.
For proper utlisation of the water resources in the state, he said, the Assam Water Resources Management Authority would also be set up soon.
Recognising the apprehensions in the minds of the people here about the proposed construction of mega dams in neighbouring states, Patnaik said, the state government had taken up with the central government to address the genuine concern about downstream impact of these dams.
Along with the rest of the country, the 62nd Republic Day was also celebrated in Meghalaya.
Besides Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya, where Governor R. S. Mooshahary unfurled the national flag and took the salute at the ceremonial parade.
This year also the Republic Day celebration was marred by the customary shutdown of public life clamped down by the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC).
It may be mentioned Tuesday night, Meghalaya police nabbed two HNLC rebels along with two AK rifles, four magazines and 85 rounds of live ammunition from Jowai, the district headquarters of Jaintia Hills district. The HNLC, which conducts hit-and-run operations from its hideout in Bangladesh, has been demanding a sovereign Khasi homeland in the eastern part of Meghalaya.
“It is a matter of great pride that the law and order situation in the state continues to be stable, peaceful and well under control,” Mooshahary said after unfurling the tri-colour.
However, the Governor lamented the recent outbreak of ethnic violence between Garo and Rabha tribes in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills region, which he said, “leaves unpleasant memories of the minds of the people.”
He added: “adequate measures have been taken to restore normalcy and assistance has been provided to re-build their homes and able them to return to their normal activities,” he added.
The Governor also appealed to the people of the state to extend their full support and cooperation to the government for maintaining peace for the developmental of the state.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who unfurled the tri-colour at Baghmara in South Garo Hills district, bordering Bangladesh, appealed to people to the people of state to maintain peace and harmony for the progress and developmental of the state.
Meanwhile, on the other hand, the Garo hills-based Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC), currently under ceasefire, is organizing a concert at Tura in West Garo Hills district to spread the message of peace and unity.
The 62nd Republic Day was today celebrated amid tight security deployment in Manipur in view of the boycott call given by several insurgent organisations.
The main function was held at Kangla Fort here with governor Gurbachan Jagat unfurling the tricoulour and taking salute.
In his message to the people last evening, the Governor appealed to insurgents and militants to lay down arms and join the mainstream by participating in development programmes being launched for welfare of the general public.
The celebrations were boycotted by various insurgent groups, including Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF) saying that Manipur was ‘forcibly merged’ with the union in 1949.
Meanwhile, Manipur police averted a major tragedy by defusing a 15-kg remote control IED found planted at Lamlong Bazar in Imphal east district.
The IED containing 10 kg of RDX, two lathode bombs, 42 detonators, four 9 mm ammunitions was planted in the market area.
Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh Governor Gen (Retd) J J Singh today called upon the people to resolve to make 2011 a violence-free year.
“Let us decide to decimate the roots of insurgency and violence before it causes permanent damage to our state”, the governor said in his Republic Day speech at Indira Gandhi Park here this morning.
“Let us deal with the anti-social elements, miscreants and terrorists with an iron fist but cover the fist with a velvet glove while dealing with our innocent citizens affected by such acts of violence.
“With an iron fist, we will pulverize the enemy and with a velvet glove, we will protect and preserve our citizenry”, the governor added to the thunderous applause of the people. He said the continued acts of extortion and violence in two districts of Tirap and Chnaglang and the attempts by certain banned organizations to spread the tentacles of insurgency in the foothill areas adjoining Assam was a cause of concern for the state government.
“The killing of eight innocent government employees, including a physically challenged person at Assam-Arunachal Border last year immensely pained me.
The situation at Khonsa in Tirap district was becoming tense again with frequent inter-factional clashes between various outlawed organizations”, he said.
“While fighting the nefarious designs of these organizations is the primary responsibility of security forces, it is also the obligation of each one of us to support them in their efforts”, he said. Timely supply of information and non-cooperation with such criminals can greatly augment the combat capabilities of our forces, he added.
Referring to the frequent bandh calls given by various organizations, Gen Singh said that such activities put the entire economic activity and governance in the state to a standstill.
“Bandhs can never be a substitute for meaningful dialogue”, he said and appealed to the organizations to engage in a peaceful dialogue for the redressal of their genuine demands.
“I would also like to tell them that in future, such bandh-calls shall be strongly and strictly dealt with. The governor also highlighted the major achievements of the state government in various sectors and highlighted on plans and programmes to be implemented in the state.
The state government also awarded 41 persons with gold medals, silver medals and commendation certificates for their meritorious services on the occasion.
Tripura governor D Y Patil today appealed to the insurgents to eschew violence, join the mainstream and participate to build up a prosperous and developed state.
Hoisting the tri-colour at the Assam Rifles ground here said, the state can not prosper properly if all sections of people do not take initiative and support the process of development.
“I take the opportunity to appeal to the misguided youths to eschew violence and pledge to join hands for development of the state”, he said.
The governor took guard of honour from paramilitary forces including CRPF, Assam Rifles and Tripura State Rifles. He said, the state government laid top priority in developing communication network within the state and neighbouring Bangladesh.
The work of conversion of railway track from meter gauge to broad gauge from Lumding to Agartala would be completed by 2012 and the work of linking of railway line from Agartala to Akhaura in Bangladesh has already started.
Patil said the state had achieved considerable success in higher education, health and family welfare and agriculture sectors.
Mizoram Governor Lt Gen M M Lakhera today thanked the law enforcement agencies, NGOs, churches, media and the people for helping Mizoram become one of the most peaceful states in the country.
Delivering his gubernatorial address to the people of the state after unfurling the national flag at the Assam Rifles ground here, Lakhera said that the people should continue to be vigilant against sectarianism of all kinds and elements that can hurt the well-maintained social fabric and harmonious co-existence.
Reiterating the state government’s commitment to build a stronger and self-reliant Mizoram, he said he was happy to witness the launching of the New Land Use Policy (NLUP), the flagship programme of the Congress government in the state.
“Through this massive programme, we hope to bring about revolutionary changes towards economic self-sufficiency, land reforms, restoration of ecological balance, growth and poverty alleviation,” the governor said.
He also made special mention of the generation of hydro electric power on public private partnership mode and that the 60-MW Tuirial Hydro Electric Project has been revived.
He said that the state government would spare no efforts to ensure availability of essential commodities even in the face of a series of problems in lifting the commodities.
He appealed to the people to work together for progress and prosperity and rededicate themselves to strengthen the unity and integrity of the nation.

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