2011

July -  07

News Highlights

 

Social service cum tree plantation

ITANAGAR, Jul 6: North East Development Welfare Society (NEDWS), Papum Pare unit is organizing a mega social service cum tree plantation programme with theme “Go green for clean at DC and DSO’s office premises at Yupia on July 7.

The motto of the programme is to make Papum Pare clean and green for a healthy environment.

Taro Modi, ZPM, I-Borum and Lod Gambo, SDO Yupia would attend the programme as chief guest and guest of honour respectively along with special invitees Tony Koyu, M.D, APIDFC Ltd., NEDWS President Tabom Boje.

Women Self help groups (SHG) from various parts of the district, youth club members and the executive members of NEDWS unit are expected to take part.

 

Bicycle distributed to ASHAs

Tezu, Jul 6: Parliamentary Secretary, Transport-cum-MLA, Karikho Kri distributed bicycles to the ASHA volunteers of Sunpura Circle at function organised by the District Health Society of Lohit District in the premises of the District Hospital, Tezu.

It was also attended by the Deputy Commissioner, R.K. Sharma, Dr. N. Ninu, DMO, Dr. N. Rika, DRCHO, Medical Superintendent, PRI leaders, Medical Officers, and staff of District Hospital, Tezu. DIPRO

 

Road to connect Chambang  with Paa

ITANAGAR Jul 6: All Chambang Area Youth Forum expressed happiness over the construction of new road from Chambang to Paa village under Chambang circle in Kurung Kumey district.

Lauding the MLA Takam Tagar for his initiative in development of road infrastructure, the Forum hoped that the transportation problems of the villagers will be solved after the completion of the said road.

 

Condolence

ITANAGAR, Jul 6: All Puroik Welfare Society condoled the untimely demise of Ame Tongwo, who died on July 4. He was serving as an Agriculture Field Assistant (Jr) under DAO, Seppa.

Late Tongwo was an active member of the society, his sudden demise is a great loss to the Puroik society and the state.

The members of the society prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul.

 

Union demands solution to Thakur issue

ITANAGAR, Jul 6: Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Union (AITU) has appealed to the Govt to disclose the ground reality and bring a solution to the Pradeep Thakur issue at the earliest.

Reacting to alleged insincerity of the state Govt towards the issue, the AITU said Govt should hand over the issue to CBI and NIA for proper investigation and also hoped that the CM would intervene  in the matter for early solution.

It happens with Nyishi community today,  it may happen with other community in days come, the Union said   and appealed to every indigenous tribe to join hand to find out the main culprit behind the Thakur issue.

 

Appointments

ITANAGAR, Jul 6: Tani Lomdak, Tadu Payeng and Tade Mara have been appointed as president, vice president and general secretary of  Upper Subansiri District Unit of All India Central Para-Military Forces Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association, State Committee Arunachal Pradesh along with Oke Yudik, Yatek Sera and Yaniak Dulom as it women wing president, vice president and general secretary respectively.

 

Committee support ANSU movement

ITANAGAR, Jul 6:  While endorsing the movement of the All Nyishi Students Union (ANSU), “G” Sector Welfare Committee, Naharlagun said that reporter Pradeep Thakur, who made derogatory remarks in Times of India on May 4 must be produced  before the Nyishi court.

The Committee further said that bandh call should be continued till detention of Thakur. While extending support to the 36-hours bandh called in Capital complex by ANSU recently the committee also condemned the some self-styled leaders who had opposed the bandh.

 

ESDP on beauticians

ITANAGAR, Jul 6: The Branch MSME Development Institute, Itanagar under the Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises will organize an Entrepreneurship Skill Development Programme (ESDP) for beauticians at N N Charitable Society training Centre, Sagalee from July 13 to Aug 23.

 

‘Fabricated statement’

ITANAGAR, Jul 6:  Reacting to the news item published in a section of local media recently regarding participation of Dobin Doke and Tamchi Kache as president and general secretary respectively of All Arunachal Pradesh Chess Association (AAPCA) in All India Chess Federation annual general body meeting at Chennai on June 30 last,  Hina Nabam Mavan claimed that AAPCA is still headed by Domin Lollen as its president and he is the general secretary of the Association.  Describing the news report as false and fabricated, Mavan said there is no authenticity of claims made by Dobin Doke as he was impeached in AAPCA executive meeting held on May 14 last.

 

Relief assistance to fire victims demanded

ITANAGAR, Jul 6: The Village Development Township Welfare Association (VDTWA) has appealed the  state Govt, particularly, the Upper Subansiri district  administration to provide relief to the fire victims of Nima village. At least three families lost their all belongings including local ornaments, domestic animals,  and school certificates in the devastating fire mishap which occurred at Nima village  in Upper Subansiri on June 23 last, the Association said.  According to preliminary assessment, total cost of the damaged properties will be over Rs 38 lakh, the Association claimed.

 

ACGF academic award

ITANAGAR, Jul 6: The Apatani Career Guidance Forum (ACGF), HQ Itanagar, announced the names of the state toppers of Class X and XII (Science/Arts and Commerce) amongst the Apatani students on the occasion of Dree Festival celebration, Capital Complex  here yesterday. The ACGF’s Annual Academic Excellence Awards’ 2011 were given away by the Chief Guest, Lokam Tasser, Parliamentary Secretary, Food & Civil Supply and Labour and Employment.  Altogether, 30 toppers of Class X and five toppers (3 from Science and 2 from Arts/ Commerce stream) of Class XII students have been awarded on the occasion.

The forum also felicitated Tadu Mamu and Bullo Mamung who have qualified for the prestigious All India Civil Service by cracking the UPSC Exam’ this year. Both of them have become the first ladies from Apatani to qualify for All India Civil Service.

Lokam Tasser also gave away the ACGF’s Career Achiever Award to both Tadu Mamu and Bullo Mamung. The Award consists of a memento and a citation.

 

‘Adhere to guidelines inproject implementation’

ITANAGAR, Jul 6: All East Kameng Contractor’s Welfare Association (AEKCWA) has appealed the concerned executing agencies who are involved in works under various centrally sponsored schemes like SPA, ACA, MSDP, MPGSY etc within the district to strictly adhere to the Govt of India guidelines while implementing the works.

Alleging that the executing agencies are not properly complying with the laid down guidelines which resulted to poor quality and slow progress of works, the association urged the HoDs and authorities to pay attention towards the problem.

Meanwhile, the Association in a separate release, appealed the East Kameng deputy commissioner to ensure that the heads of department stay at Seppa and attend office regularly.  Common people, who are visiting offices for urgent official works are facing lot of problems due to absence of heads of department in offices, association said.

 

Condolence

ITANAGAR, Jul 06: Indigenous Faith and Cultural Society of Arunachal Pradesh Youth Wing condoled the demise of Tapun Gao, Priest of Pasighat Central Gangging who died on July 2 last at Pasighat.

 

Handique  writes to Azad

ITANAGAR: Union DoNER Minister  B K Handique has written to the Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad seeking the latter’s intervention to fill up the 103 number of faculty positions lying vacant in the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), Shillong.

Handique mentioned that out of 137 posts in the institute, only 34 have reportedly been filled up, which has resulted in dislocation of academic and health care activities in the Institute. He also said that this matter was leading to agitations by students demanding posting of adequate number of faculty.

“During my visit to Shillong on July 2 and 3, I found the environment in NEIGRIHMS is vitiated due to inadequate faculty and the resultant agitation by students”, Handique,  said in his letter to Azad.

 

Two fake certificate dealers arrested

ITANAGAR: A team of police personnel from Police Station Banderdewa led by its Officer in-charge SI Krishanendu Dev arrested two persons, who were involved in issuing fake driving license, school leaving certificate and mark sheet in the name of Principal and Head Master of various government schools of Arunachal Pradesh.

A case has been registered at Police station Banderdewa and investigation is on.

Meanwhile, NSUI, Papum Pare District unit President Teli Naga said that many businessmen from other state enter Arunachal Pradesh without proper Inner Line Permit (ILP).

It appealed to the concerned authority to deploy more police personnel in Assam-Arunachal boundary particularly in Banderdewa check gate to check such unwanted practice.

 

DC calls for early execution of all ongoing projects

Yingkiong: Upper Siang deputy commissioner Liyon Borang called upon  all Head of departments to expedite the ongoing project works and developmental activities for early completion.

Chairing the  coordination meeting of all head of offices and administrative officers of the district at his office conference hall yesterday, the DC advocated for strong work culture and close coordination among various departments and officers concerned of the district.

MLA Alo Libang, who also attended the meeting, urged upon all HODs to be sincere, dedicated in their works and always be friendly and helpful in manner.

News Impact

Readers Forum

 

What is DC upto?

Dear Editor,

As it happens everywhere, authorities in Aalo were uncomfortable and hostile to uneasy questions raised by ‘Paktu Area People’s Forum’ on the arbitrary distribution of works. In the meantime some miscreants damaged properties on the disputed site. The authorities, instead of trying to find out the miscreants who did that, took the opportunity to book the leaders of the Forum without any prima facie evidence, thereby trying to intimidate the people and "setting an example" for anyone who dared to raise their voice against them.

Some of these booked people weren't even present at Aalo when the alleged incident happened, a fact which the concerned authorities were fully aware of. And so when they surrendered, the police didn't even find any reason to ask for their remand. The alleged four are highly respected members of the society and the first class magistrate also found it fit to grant them bail. But for reason unknown, the D.C interferes in the peaceful proceedings, rejects the bail and take them into judicial custody for seven days. It is also alleged that the D.C displayed his personal hand gun in a very conspicuous and intimidating way while talking with the accused. These premeditated acts of denial of justice, humiliation and intimidation proved too much for them that they assaulted the D.C, an act, which, in itself is condemnable. Though one may understand his zeal for maintaining law and order, but his extra ordinary interest to take the four into custody raises serious doubts about his intentions.

Have not Mr. Amjat Tak been instructed during his training to gauge the sentiments and mood of the people he governs before taking serious law and order decisions? Does he not know the difference between a hardened criminal and an accused(?) social worker? Does his way of working include not ascertaining the veracity of an accusation which might have serious impact on the society? What has he accomplished by his deeds? And, when will these end? You do not have to stretch your memory too far to see that since the posting of the present D.C, these types of arbitrary actions have become very common and the angst of the public has been made evident in more than one occasion. Does he understand or even try to understand the psyche of the tribal people?

Yours,

Kasap Bagra

Higi Bagra, (on email)

 

 

Thanks for highlighting the problem of Tirap

Dear Editor,

This is in response to the two news article titled ‘The Untold Saga of Tirap and UG groups running parallel administration in Tirap’ written by Taba Ajum and published in your daily in yesterday and today’s edition respectively. First of all on behalf of hapless citizens of Tirap, I want to thank journalist Taba Ajum for taking so much pain to visit Tirap and trying to present the pain of poor people. In contemporary time, if am not wrong he is the first Arunachalee journalist to make ground visit of Tirap and write exclusively about terror created by monster called NSCN. His rare contribution will be remembered forever by poor and helpless citizen of Tirap. I also would like to thank The Arunachal Times newspaper for always highlighting true fact of Tirap and for their exclusive coverage of the district. In true sense we believe that media has vital role to play in order to highlight problem of insurgency. While rests of Arunachal are dreaming of better future, we resident of Tirap feel that we are going back to 19th century. The roads of district most of which were built during Tirap Frontier Tract days is slowly vanishing. Health-care and electricity supply is non-existent in many areas. We really appreciate Taba Ajum for bringing such facts in front of media.

However I beg to differ from his report that NSCN are building churches for people. Most of the citizens of Tirap are believer of churches and we have our own source of funding for building churches. We will never seek fund from an underground organization to build church which we consider as symbol of purity. May be one or two churches were built by them in some interior areas but majority have got nothing to do with NSCN. We feel that those people, who are against church, might have feed him such wrong information. Coming back to main topic, we hope state govt under new CM will take some drastic measures to bring in some development in Tirap. We also need love, support and care from rest of Arunachal in our fight for survival. Especially we pin hope on apex student organization AAPSU to keep fighting for us. We appreciate AAPSU for their continued struggle against NSCN and NPF too.

Yours,

T Wangsa, (on email)

 

 

Questions we need to ask

Dear Editor,

We always persuade people in times of communal harmony, for peace and unity as an Arunachalee citizen. But the fact is that we all as Arunachalees have never tried to compromise and introspect among ourselves. Instances are innumerable. Two ladies set out for Mount Everest expedition together still lot of emphasis was given only for one with a perception that common men wouldn't be able to read through the words of media. This is with regard to other paper as well. There has always been a race among all of us as if we are hungry for vanity. Now we see that ANSU and ANYA are debating over the bandh leading to question of ANYA leaders' mandate. How narrow we are.

I hope the cost of self introspection wouldn't brand me as another Pradeep Thakur. Am I really an Arunachalee, is the question one needs to ask.

Yours

Concerned citizen, (on email)

 

 

We need an answer from ANYA

Dear Editor,

This is in response to ongoing feud between two factions of ANYA. Who are these people to claim that they are the leader of all Nyishi youth? Do you have the mandate of all Nyishi youth? How and who have elected you as the leader of the association? This is the question you need to answer to all Nyishi youth. Unless there is a set up electorate process to elect the president, anyone can constitute a general ANYA body and elect anyone unanimously as its president.  The ongoing feud between two factions has given me a opportunity  to constitute my own ANYA body and elect me as the president and I’m sure many more ANYA president will come in near future. You see these so called leader who only represent few countable people has made the mockery of the oldest Nyishi organization just for their personal gain.

The activities of Achung Yumlam is highly anti Nyishi which no Nyishi person will support unless he or she has something to gain but still he claims to be the leader of Nyishi youth is both joke and disgraceful.

Yours,

A citizen,  (on email)

 

 

Surrendered to insurgents and the Indian Army

Dear Editor,

I would like to recall the incident of 14th February 2010 last,  wherein a gun battle took place between two underground armed outfits at Khonsa village which is situated just at the outskirts of the district headquarters, Khonsa. Stray bullets landed even inside the campus of Ramakrishna Sarada Mission Girls’ School which is one of the two premier educational institutions of the district. The incident was followed by shutting down of the whole market area and closure of government establishments and offices apprehending escalation of the gun battle. Cadres of the outfit were seen strolling on the streets.  As such Govt. employees posted there started to flee from the district for fear of getting caught in between. Even schools were closed down as fear psychosis gripped Khonsa town. The district headquarter of Tirap was virtually under the total control of the cadres of the armed outfits. It was the same story in the nearby Villages. The villagers were not allowed to move out of their villages and their mobile phones were seized. They couldn’t even go to clear their jhum fields. This incident is just an instance. With such incidents occurring every now and then, it has become a way of life for the people of Tirap district.

Such situations cause severe food shortage and hunger as people are being prevented from doing seasonal cultivation of the year.

About 10,000 people have been reportedly displaced till now due to such occurrences. The condition of the women and children are deplorable and educational institutions pathetic. Villagers are put at continuous risks of life and property and they have forgotten the very essence of the term ‘Dignified Life’. Many lives have been lost, most of which have remained unreported. Yet neither the State government of Aruanchal Pradesh nor the Union of India has  extended any assistance so far, or for that matter, has  even cared to listen to the woes of the people.

The other side of the story is more or less the same. For an instance, take the  recent arbitrary confinement and torture of the Chief of Khela, Tumwang Lowang, on 25th of June last by the personnel of 19-Assam Rifles under the command of one Major D’Costa. The Paramilitary Force through a release on the 29th of June, 2011 denied of torturing Tumwang Lowang and clarified that he was only summoned to the 19-AR camp to answer a few questions related to underground operations in the area. Interestingly, the release in a local daily on the 5th of July showing Tumwang Lowang with his injury marks inflicted by the security personnel clearly reflects the fact. Further, the 19-Assam Rifles asserted that Tumwang Lowang provided food and shelter to the cadres of underground outfits. In this regard however, the compulsions of the villagers should be taken into account before drawing up conclusions. It is a ‘between the Devil and the Deep Sea’ like situation in Tirap. With no one at hand to go to for immediate help, the villagers are at times compelled to provide whatever the armed outfits ask for due to fear of losing their lives. It should seldom be supposed or alleged by the security forces as sympathizing or sheltering any one.

Such acts by the security forces not only lead to a sense of alienation but are also an insult to the traditionally and customarily honored institution of the Noctes. The security forces should rather adopt confidence building measures so that  people may be able to confide in them without sense fear or compulsion.

Even after witnessing all these, the Govt. is yet to wink. This complete silence of the Govt.  on the Tirap imbroglio is nothing less than surrender of Tirap district to Assam Rifles and  insurgent groups. God bails out this unfortunate district and its people.

Yours,

Japon Lowang

Arunachal Citizens Rights, (on email)

 

 

 

 

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----Editor

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Aalo remains tense, Marde acts tough

Aalo, Jul 6: The State Home Minister Takar Marde rushed to Aalo and took stock of overall situation. Addressing a gathering at DC Conference Hall, the minister took strong note of assault on District Magistrate during hearing of bail petition and condemned the ugly incident .

“DC is the direct representative of the President of India and district executive should be given due respect. Govt. will not tolerate such kind of activities to create an un-conducive society to live in,” stated home minister. He urged the youth force to shoulder education, socio-economic causes instead of resorting to disruptive activities.

Calling for an immediate solution through discussion and sitting across the table the Minister gave a loud and clear message not to tolerate lawlessness in the society and disclosed that IRBn and additional forces have been reinforced in the district to tackle any kind of incident and Superintendent of Police has been given a clear signal to act tough against accused and inactive police men will not be spared.

The MLA Aalo East Jarkar Gamlin elaborated the incident leading to present chaos in the district and said all contractual works going on in the township is the prerogative of MLA which is executed in consultation with core committee on development in the Aalo East.  If Paktu Ao Youth Welfare Association has any problem, his doors are kept open for discussion and association members did not come to him for talk in any point of time. The MLA Mechuka PD Sona also expressed his concern on the assault to DM and said that this kind of incident is not indicative of a civilized and intellectual society and insisted on sorting out ways and means to diffuse the on going crisis at Aalo.

The senior citizen of Paktu Ao Welfare Society, Paktu Ao Youth Welfare Association, Women Welfare Association univocally condemned the assault on DM as such attack is an attack on the highest institution in the district. The Association members also spelt out their desire to sit on negotiation table and pleaded for granting of bail to open up grounds for talks.

Meanwhile, the district authority has promulgated 144 CrPC at Aalo to control further escalation of law and order problem. Peace initiative was on to defuse the present crisis by the senior members of Paktu clan and Galo Welfare Society. The Officers and Officials of DC office today observed pen down strike protesting the assault on the DC.

 

Appeal to review all the MoA/MoU signed for 168 small/mega dams in Arunachal

ITANAGAR, Jul 6: The Forum for Siang Dialogue (FSD) appealed to the State Government to review all the MOU/MOAs signed with various Power developers for construction of 168 small and dams in Arunachal Pradesh.

“All those MoAs and MoUs have been entered into with the powerful corporate by the previous Governments without the knowledge and consent of the indigenous tribal people of the state who have been the real owners of the land, river and forests, FSD said in a release while demanding their immediate review in the larger interest of indigenous people of the state..

While expressing its strong resentment over the meager compensation paid to the affected people FSD demanded for reviewing the rates for the compensation of land to be acquired for the purpose and get the consent of the Gram Sabha for the implementation of the projects. “Lest, people would be compelled to approach the Apex Court against the arbitrary decision of the government,” the forum threatened.

While welcoming the historic judgement of the Supreme Court in the Greater Noida Authority case, Forum said that it is the victory of all the people fighting for their land rights against the mighty corporate and corrupt politicians dealing the state of affairs in depriving the rights of the indigenous land owners, for the interest and profit of the corporate only. The historic judgement where the Supreme Court has stated in it's decree that people have not been taken into confidence and the consent had to be obtained from the grass root/gram sabha. And the compensation amount for the land was not at all at par with the present market value or at par with the purpose of the land acquired.

It hoped that the Supreme Court judgement will be a boost for the people, Ngos and Public forums to fight for their rights and to see that the indigenous real owners of the land are taken into confidence and their consent taken before any project is implemented in any area. The FSD and the rest of the Adi people doubts the policy of state government that it is an indirect attempt to eliminate the Adi people, it’s culture and economy in the name of development by the influx of thousands of labourers and outside influx coming into the Adi land for construction of the three Mega Dam on Siang and other Dams on all the Adi region. And we feel that all the freedom fighters did not give their life and save our land to be submerged under water and be compensated at a throw away price, it said.

 

AAPSU for revocation  of order banning land allotment

ITANAGAR, Jul 6: All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) appealed to the Land Management department to revoke its earlier order banning allocation of land in capital complex.

Ban on land allotment in capital complex since last two years has encouraged many individuals to indulge in illegal encroachment of government land. Besides, it led to huge loss of revenue for the state government.

Revenue earned from land allotment is the major source of income generation of the State Government. But, by banning land allotment, the Government has incurred heavy revenue loss, AAPSU said.

The apex students body also urged both the Land Management and Education Departments to demarcate land of all educational institutions including schools, colleges and other properly. AAPSU further urged the authority concerned to carry out eviction drive against all illegal encroachers throughout the state.

 

Pen down strike

ITANAGAR, July 6: The All Arunachal Pradesh Civil Service Officers Association (APCSOA) has decided to observe one day pen-down strike on July 7 in protest against the attack on West Siang deputy commissioner Amjad Tak.

The pen-down strike will be effected across the State by all APCS officers posted in the Capital Complex, District Headquarters, ADC, SDO, EAC, CO  H/Quarters.

During the course of the pen-down strike, the APCS officers would boycott all public and public related issues/works. Only government matters and internal file movement would be attended to.

Meanwhile, the Upper Siang unit of APCSOA vehemently condemned the manhandling of the deputy commissioner Amjad Tak in his office chamber by bail petitioner/detainee.

“Such act is not allowed in civilized society where few people take law in their own hand with vested interest,” said the APCSOA unit

It also expressed deep concern over such kind of repeated activities in the DC office premises in the state during recent past and also demanded exemplary punishment to the perpetrator of crime.

Meanwhile,  Itanagar unit of APCSOA  unanimously condemned the reported physical assault on district magistrate.

Describing the incident uncalled for, the Association unit further urged the APCS officers posted at Aalo to deal with the matter strictly  and also demanded exemplary punishment to those who are involved in the incident.

 

Modify the eligibility criteria: AARCA

ITANAGAR, Jul 6: All Arunachal Registered Contractors Association (AARCA) has appealed the Chief Engineer Rural Works Department to modify the eligibility criteria of the firms and contractors mentioned in the  notification issued on Sept 10, 2008 for the benefit of firms. As per the notification vide No SRWD/PMGSY/19/2003-04  dated 10 Sept, 2008, the contracting firms who already owned two or more contracts within the Arunachal Pradesh are not eligible to participate in any bid process under the  said scheme of PMGSY.

Such laid down conditions do not  find any mention  in the PMGSY scheme manual, the  association claimed while adding  that the members of the Association who falls under such category are totally deprived of their rights to participate in the open tender bid.  Firms who already owned two or more contracts works have right to participate in the bid process under the same scheme, Association said and appealed the CE to rectify the said notification.

 

STDC demands DC to improve power, PDS supply

ITANAGAR, Jul 6: Irritated over erratic and insufficient power supply, the newly formed Seppa Township Development Committee (STDC), in a memorandum, has demanded the East Kameng deputy commissioner to do the needful to provide  uninterrupted power supply in Seppa township.

The people of the district are not only suffering from insufficient power supply but also facing adequate shortage of all essential PDS items, LPG, clean and hygienic drinking water etc., the Committee said.

Ruing the present unhygienic condition of the Seppa township, the committee demanded the deputy commissioner for early completion  of the ongoing project for improving road, drainage and water supply projects in the township. It also demanded the DC to initiate stern action against all ‘irregularities’ in various departments.

The copies of memorandum were also submitted to Minister, RWD and Health, Parliament Secretary (Forest and Environment), MLAs of Seppa East and West, Chayang Tajo, SP, Seppa and all HoDs. It alleged that the people of the district had been overlooked by the various HoDs, public leaders and NGOs due to which no developmental activities have taken place.

Meanwhile, the All East Kameng Fair Price Shop Welfare Association has once again appealed to the Directorate of Food and Civil Supply to take early steps for proper and timely supply of rice and recovery of the lapsed supply at the earliest and also to increase the quota.  

The Fair Price Shops here are out of stock due to non-supply from the depot, the association said while describing the hardship faced by the people due to acute shortage of rice..

“The limited rice quota which the East Kameng district is drawing cannot suffice the ever growing demands,” it said.

It lamented that the directorate of civil supply, in an earlier occasion, had promised the association to supply rice under appropriate quota and assured to enhance APL rice on population basis. But it never materialized.

 

HM visits Pasighat, takes stock of law and order situation

PASIGHAT, Jul 6: Home, PR and RD Minister Takar Marde, who arrived here yesterday held a series of development cum consultative meetings with the police, district administration, PRI member, students’ organization and business communities today.

Marde accompanied by Education Minister Bosiram Siram, DC Onit Panyang, SP Alok Kumar, president DCCI Tatong Padung and local senior officers and leaders inspected the Pasighat police station to have first hand knowledge about the functioning of the police station.

Advising the police officials, the minister said that they should work vigorously to check the growing crimes, law and order problems for a peaceful civil society. He urged to pay full respect to their uniform stating it is the symbol of unity, integrity, strength and capacities to deliver public services to the society. He, however, expressed his satisfaction over the functioning of the police station and further assured to look into the need based demands in modernization of the police station.  During another consultative meeting at Dharamsala located at Pasighat main market, the minister held a wide-ranging discussion on law and order situation with the local MLA B. Siram, DC, SP, president and general secretaries of Pasighat Market Association. The minister advocated for strict adherence of law and order in market area and instructed the police authorities not to plead for unjustified bail in favour of miscreants under any circumstances or political pressures.

The existence of a peaceful civil society cannot be imagined without administration and police as both are the vital wings of government, added Marde.

In another meeting convened at the Siang Guest House today Marde took stock of the achievements in development sector so far. He also discussed various problems faced by the PRI members and officers in implementing government scheme and projects in the district.

Issues like law and order, shortage of police personnel, land encroachment and eviction drive, improvement of education sector etc were also discussed.

The Home Minister urged the government officers and PR leaders to extend their full cooperation in state building processes.

Supporting Siram’s appeal Marde said, ‘The state cannot run towards progress without having own revenues resources’. He called all the senior citizens, PRI members and govt officials, student unions and common people to accept all the ongoing hydropower projects of the state initiated by the government in larger interest of the people and progress of the state in particular and the nation as a whole.

The meeting was attended by  the DC, SP, HODs and ZPMs and PRI functionaries and Law experts.

Earlier in the morning Bogong Students’ Union met the minister and apprised him of the various problems of the township including land encroachment and eviction drives in particular.

In all the meetings, Siram, DC Onit Panyang, SP Alok Kumar also spoke and shared their valuable suggestions. DIPRO

 

Police, Protestors and Power in Assam

Sanjay Barbora

The June 22 Rally and its background:

On June 22, 2011 the news media in Assam reported the events that occurred during a rally that was organised by Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, a peasant-based organisation in Assam. KMSS had organised the rally to protest the government of Assam’s renewed attempts to evict poor tribal and non-tribal workers from the hills that surround Guwahati. The organisation felt that these evictions were unilateral, unfair and illegal under the Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. In their protests, they alluded to the fact that much of Guwahati has been built on lands that belonged to the indigenous tribes of Assam, who are now ironically being evicted, along with workers of other ethnicities at the behest of a land mafia.

The participants of the rally were rebuffed when they sought to present their case to the authorities in Dispur. Mr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is a cabinet minister in Assam, later mentioned that the administration would not engage with “trouble makers and professional agitationists” on the issue of the evictions. Sarma has never been very fond of KMSS and its articulate general secretary, prominent Right To Information (RTI) activist, Mr. Akhil Gogoi. Prior to the Assam assembly elections in 2011, Gogoi and his organisation had held several press conferences, where they highlighted cases of corruption pertaining to the Congress (I). Sarma was singled out for criticism by the organisation. However, the minister is a formidable opponent, not least because he controls the omnipresent 24-hour news channel, News Live. The channel editorial slant is uncomfortably convergent with that of the ruling Congress (I). However, the administration’s unwillingness to talk to KMSS is strange. The political history of contemporary Assam, since the 1980s, has been marked by ruling governments striking an understanding with professional agitationists, be they All Assam Student Union (AASU) in the 1980s, or the different armed opposition groups currently engaged in ceasefires and suspension of operations with the state and central governments today.

The KMSS rally of June 22, 2011 was a massive gathering of thousands of people. The organisation is used to staging such large-scaled political campaigns, and has done so on other occasions. In all their events, the police and administration have taken an adversarial position to their demands and Gogoi and his comrades have been roughed up on more than one instance. However, there have been no reported deaths during earlier campaigns and demonstrations. KMSS usually employs stewards from amongst its members and they in turn are able to ensure a degree of discipline and also protect members of the rally from police violence. The agitation, with its attendant sloganeering, is also a very disciplined affair that usually happens in the presence of media persons. Therefore, this is the first time that a KMSS rally has led to the damage of property, injuries to police officials and subsequent deaths of four people. The organisation, however, maintains that it was the police that started this rampage and there is enough reason to take this claim seriously.

The Police in Assam

In a state like Assam, where political dissent is directed at the other military arm of the Indian state – its army – the police remain a formless, less tangible target of ideological ire. It is, after all, still subject to civilian authority and control. Unlike the army, local people man its ranks and they are deployed within the state. However, the Assam police have an unenviable record of human rights violations. Like most police forces all over the world, they transgress and act with impunity with alarming regularity. They exist as a spectral mixture of two forms of violence (that which exists outside the law and that which exists as part of the law) within the institution itself.  As an institution of state surveillance and control, the Assam police have a habit of conjuring up ghosts and spirits at crucial moments of political strife in the state. One remembers the arrest of human rights activist Mr. Lachit Bordoloi, on February 11, 2008, when he was charged in a conspiracy to hijack an aeroplane from Guwahati airport. They also feature in acts of violence and intimidation against people of neighbouring states. The media in the neighbouring hill states continue to document the manner in which their citizens are subjected to indignities by Assam’s powerful police force. In 2010, the Assam police featured prominently in a border dispute involving business interests and organisations from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Such incidents are made more unsavoury by innumerable acts of bribery and bullying that Assam’s policemen subject travellers from the hill states when they have to cross Assam. This has become a humiliating narrative for tribal people from Assam’s neighbouring states. At times like this, the Assam police’s interest seem to converge with an ugly, chauvinistic tendency in a public sphere dominated by corporate mass media. Often political commentators and civil society actors in Assam have defended the police when it comes to border conflicts with neighbouring states. Sometimes, one is unable to distinguish points of divergence in political narratives emanating from civic organisations and the police version of political realities in Assam.

However, the police are not friends of civil society activists. Akhil Gogoi finds himself bogged down by complaints filed by individuals who act on instructions from the police. Yet again, civil society in Assam is angered manipulation of the truth, just so that the police can serve power while appearing to preserve the law. This is significant in a place where more than ten thousand people have died since the beginning of army operations in the early 1990s. In addition to the dead, thousands still live in makeshift relief camps, as a result of ethnic conflicts in different parts of the state. However, these events never elicited the kind of emotional empathy from other citizens that one sees now. The deaths and displacements were events that seemed somewhat unintelligible to the outsider and those who spoke about them, did so in a language that relied on descriptions of the particular and minutiae of political events. It is partly to KMSS’ credit and partly due to its ability to connect to a wider audience that one sees a renewal of discussion against state hubris in Assam.  

Activism in Contemporary Assam

Akhil Gogoi represents a new phase of political dissent in Assam. He is both combative and comfortable during press conferences. He frustrates and charms his detractors at public meetings. On September 10, 2010, India’s minister for environment, Mr. Jairam Ramesh was the special invitee at a public meeting in Guwahati. Gogoi constantly heckled the minister, who is able to hold his own under adverse conditions. There were times when it seemed that the minister would take offence but Gogoi managed to placate him with the odd kind word and loud, mischievous asides that defused the tension and elicited laughter from the crowd, as well as the minister. On other occasions, he has used the dais to belittle policy makers and well-paid consultants when he disagrees with their political positions, especially on matters pertaining to privatisation of natural resources. He does so without rancour or personal malice. What helps his cause is the fact that he is above reproach in matters pertaining to personal wealth and power.

In 2010, he received the RTI award by the Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF), in a televised ceremony. He is involved with the National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM) in India. KMSS has full time activists, who are from the rural areas and many well-wishers among the middle class in Assam. It raises funds through public appeals and donations and much of it is spent in campaigns aimed at probity in governance and public life. The organisation’s core work has to do with land rights for landless agricultural workers and for farmers who have been displaced by natural calamities. These struggles, when seamlessly combined with issues of good governance, transform Akhil Gogoi from being a local peasant leader to a national activist and whistle-blower.

In this, he is markedly different from other political dissenters in Assam. Radical activism in Assam has been inward looking and subjected to periods of unintelligibility that are emphasised by a lack of communication with other, analogous movements within the region. However, the state has been in ferment, with demands for the right to self-determination that led to unprecedented political mobilisation through the 1990s and 2000s. However, these movements have not had the kind of national visibility that Gogoi and KMSS have managed. While the human rights movement started by the late Parag Kumar Das and his colleagues (in the early 1990s), has made efforts to connect with a wider audience, they have not managed to shake off the self-absorption and melancholia associated with radical dissenters in Assam. It is difficult to imagine any of the persons connected with this melancholia receive an award for their kind of activism.

Akhil Gogoi looks for reform within an imperfect system and hopes that the powerful will heed his warnings. His notion of justice is intrinsically linked to constitutional provisions and appeals to progressive law. When he demands something, he threatens agitation and blockades, not bombs and violence. He represents a pared down, manageable voice of dissent who the state can talk to, if not appropriate. If the government of Assam fails to engage him and continue to detain his kind under dubious charges, they will be left with ghosts, phantoms and a violent political abyss in due time. This would be disastrous for a land and people seeking to emerge from three decades of untold brutalities. (The author is a sociologist and a human rights activist)

 

Dree Festival celebrations at West Kameng

Correspondent

BOMDILA, Jul 6: The Apatani major agricultural Dree Festival was celebrated enthusiastically at Bomdila general ground on July 5 with traditional fervor and gaiety.

Gracing the occasion as chief guest, Dirang MLA Phurpa Tsering appreciated the Apatanis for their peace loving nature and maintaining their culture and tradition despite severe onslaught of modernization. He said, ‘Apatanis and Monpas share and practice the principles of peace, non-violence and community brotherhoodness which is not only good for them but also for entire Arunachal Pradesh’. The MLA also appreciated the celebration of Dree festival in rest of the districts in the state and donated Rs. 1 lakh to the Bomdila Apatani Dree Festival Celebration Committee as a token of love and appreciation.

While wishing peace and prosperity to Apatanis throughout the coming year, West Kameng District Deputy Commissioner and guest of honour of the ocassion Rinchin Tashi said that Arunachal festivals like Mopin, Solung, Nyokum, Lossar and Dree in today’s context has great social significance and promoted universal brotherhoodness among all the tribal people.

Celebration committee chairman Dr. Hage Lasha while welcoming all the guests narrated the social significance of the festival.

General Secretary of the celebration committee Kago Aling briefed the Dree mythology and greeted everyone on the happy occasion.

Ziro-Hapoli MLA cum Parliamentary Secretary for land management Padi Richo donated one mithun and prominent public leader Nani Opo also donated one cow to the Dree Festival Celebration Committee, Bomdila for successful celebration of the festival.

Meanwhile, Dirang MLA Phurpa Tsering joined the Dree festival celebration of the Apatanis at Dirang during the second half and appreciated the Apatanis for celebrating the festival in every nook and corner of the state. He said that such celebrations promoted unity, fraternity and better understanding among all the tribal people of the state. He also donated Rs thirty thousand to the festival celebration committee as a token of love and appreciation.

During the day-long celebration at Sangti village, both the Zilla Parishad members of the two blocks, senior public leaders, Dirang heads of departments and guests from other communities also attended the joyous festival celebration. Several traditional cultural items, games and sports and competitive events for children were also arranged on the occasion followed by community feast.

The Dree festival at Dirang had been successfully organized under the able guidance of festival committee chairman and superintending engineer (electrical) Er.Tasso Hinda and vice-chairman and Dirang additional deputy commissioner Habung Donyi besides contributions from other Apatani community members.  

At Roing,   the Dree, the major festival of Apatani community was celebrated with great enthusiasm.

The chief guest of the occasion, MLA Laeta umbrey said the Apatanis are not only an advanced tribe  in Arunachal but also in whole country. He lauded the handicraft and handloom products, and agricultural practice of the community.

 The MLA further informed that a common Festival Hall shall be built under his initiatives and with the contribution  and financial assistance from celebration Committee.

Lower Dibang Valley Deputy Commissioner Garima Gupta and Superintendent of Police, Veenu Bansal were present as Special Invitees.

Apart from members of Apatani community, Govt officials, public leaders and general public attended the festival. Local dishes, traditional dances, Games and Sports and literary activities were  other highlight of the celebration.

 

Public health busy deserting pro-poor advocacy through superficial sympathy

By Ajay K Tripathy

The international media is over reporting Gulam Nabi Azad’s latest remarks on homosexuality, which he made before few days in the presence of Prime Minister. Time would say whether minister’s remark was a slip of tongue, misquoted-report or an attempt to please the majority.

In February this year more than a dozen women died at Jodhpur’s well known hospital. Just after four months, June 2011, of those maternal deaths at least one & half a dozen children died in Kolkata’s reputed hospital. In fact, both the incidents have shocked the entire country as those happened in government hospitals. Moreover, in West Bengal’s case the health ministry is with the popular chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the Union Minister of State for Health, Dinesh Trivedi, is also from Bengal.

Ironically, our civil society organisations or at least the NGOs working in the field of Population & Health find these maternal and child deaths bit unfit for calling a fast either at Jantar Mantar or Raj Ghat. The international media hardly covered these deaths like Azad’s comments; whereas the Indian media might be closing those files once the National Human Rights Commission sent notices to the respective state governments.  

Although health is a state subject, however, since the implementation of National Rural Health Mission and its Janani Suraksha Yojana the Government of India plays an important role in program monitoring. What kind of monitoring were conducted at Rajasthan and West Bengal that failed to save mothers and children even those were closer to cities, so, what would be happening at rural and tribal areas? Why those high risks cases were not identified during the antenatal or postnatal check-up and suitable actions were taken beforehand?

The UPA-1 government spent lot of time in unsuccessfully punishing Dr. Venugopal, the former direct of AIIMS; so, why the UPA-2 is not showing same interest in two UPA-ruled States? In fact, what happened in Jodhpur and Kolkata clearly reflects the poor state of health administration even after the enhanced budget allocation for country’s health sector. Why these deaths were not even discussed in such an important national event of public health, although convergence is an important strategy for HIV/AIDS control, which was attended by the Prime Minister, Health Minister, UPA Chairperson as well as several politicians and elected representative from across the country?

It was expected that the activists would raise their voices against those unusual maternal and child deaths, happened in shot-span, as most of the poor people depend upon the government hospitals for preventive and curative healthcare. The kind of seriousness civil society showed in the name of tackling corruption and black-money is not demonstrated here. Many large NGOs or foundations working in India are worried to raise voices, because, they may lose grants and other privileges. So, who cares for the deaths of children or their unlucky mothers?

Time has come for the public health sector to be rational in their approach, as inequality and inequity are highly prevalent in India. Unusual growths of profit or surplus making hospitals in India have further widened the gap between the haves and have-nots. So, most of the poor people would continue to depend upon the missionary and government hospitals.

Everyone must appreciate the fact that the poorest of the poor deserve equal quality and quantity of healthcare in India like his or her wealthiest counterparts. Thus, the public health professionals must do some serious introspection; especially while dealing with the public funds. Ignoring the genuine health needs of poor as well as mothers and children, or just shedding crocodile tears for these, could become a historical blunder in India’s public health sector. Poor people deserve empathy but not any kind of irrational sympathy. (Ajay K. Tripathy is a Health Economics & Policy scholar at the Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore.  These are the professional views of author; but not of any institution. Email ajaytripathyindia@gmail.com)

 

Workshop on Panchayat held at Nafra

BOMDILA, Jul 6: A workshop on Panchayat in the West Kameng district was held at Nafra today. Reportedly, the workshop is first of its kind in the district after two decades.

Presiding over the workshop, Zilla Parishad Chairperson Logiang Rikhong took strong exception to some of the schemes being carried out without the knowledge of the Panchayat bodies. Logiang asserted that the Panchayat bodies should be given due recognition and matters which come under the 29 subjects should be consulted with Panchayat bodies.

 The ZPC further said that is not education and degrees but the dedication and zeal of the panchayat members which matter.  He also called upon the Member Secretaries of the respective Anchal Samiti Blocks to play a pivotal role in motivating, educating the grass-root members.

Earlier, ADC cum District Panchayat Development Officer B. Dehingia in his keynote address dwelt at length on the evolution of Panchayat Raj in the state and the role of the PRI members and the Member Secretaries in realizing the true dreams of an ideal Panchayat.

Underscoring the importance of timely and regular meetings and interactions at the designated levels, DPDO Dehingia opined that, far-sightedness, proper planning and active participation of the Panchayat leaders is the need of the hour if development is to be achieved in true sense.

Besides others, EAC cum Member Secretary of 8 Nafra Anchal Samiti Block Suraj Gurung, CO cum Member Secretary of 9 Jerigaon Anchal Samiti Block TD Bapu, ZPM Leki Dongru, ASM chairpersons Monjen Kasidu  and Agani Nikhangju, Gram Panchayat Chairpersons and Head of the Offices of Nafra took part in the one day workshop.

Prior to the meeting, a Green drive was conducted at the EAC’s office complex and its surroundings by EAC Gurung where a total of 70 Deodars and Kriptomarias were planted by the Panchayat members of Nafra  and Jerigaon blocks to commemorate the International Year of Forests. DIPRO

 

Workshop on snake bit treatment

ITANAGAR, Jul 6: Keeping in view the increasing snake bite cases in the fringe areas of Namdapha National Park during 2009-10,  a workshop on snake bite treatment protocol cum medical camp was conducted at Miao by the management of Namdapha Tiger Reserve in collaboration with the Indian Medical Association, Tinsukia Branch, according to an official release..

Ashok Kr. Mallik, a scientist from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore who is also doing research on snakes gave a power point presentation basically on identification of  poisonous and non-poisonous snakes. The participants were very interested in the topic and participated in the interaction session.

T.Mara,ADC Miao attended the occasion as chief guest.

Dr.K.Chakraborty of Indian Medical Association, Tinsukia delivered a power point presentation on the snake bite treatment protocol.

Various Govt. officials, public leaders attended the workshop.

Many incidences of snake bite were observed in the fringe areas of Namdapha National Park during the year 2009-10 and many of them have succumbed to the snake bites, the release said.

As per the latest report, one person died due to snake bite in the fringe areas last month. With the increase in the incidence of snake bite cases people started treating the snakes as enemy and started its killing.

It is hoped that the workshop will go a long way in creating awareness among people to stop further revenge killings of snakes, the release added..

Simultaneously the specialist doctors of various disciplines from Indian Medical Association Tinsukia Branch took part in the camp and conducted general health check up of about 231 patients and administered free medicines. Interestingly, more than 50% of the patients treated  were suffering from eye and dental problems.

 

Aligning Savings with Credits

Policy Response of Apex Bank

Vijay Swami

Learning from the grave experiences, APSC Apex Bank Arunachal Pradesh has started loud thinking on ‘aligning savings with credits’. The brunt of customer’s loss of trust, pressure from the depositors and above all insecurity of the very services of staff had posed an unimaginable challenge to the Managers and administrative officers to ‘bring back those glorious days’. It was till 2005, the empire of Apex bank was ‘too big to fail’ but later became ‘too big to save’.  With all pleasant and unpleasant experiences, the officers emboldened themselves to lift derailed economy and system and put it back on the right track.

Today when we see the functioning of the bank at various places and the zeal of staff, it seems everyone in the bank have realigned themselves and tuned               to exert skill in cu-              stomer services and administration. Sometimes it is essential to have learning experiences. It is not a rare case in itself. It happened in most developed countries too.  In mid-2008, even industrial countries financial system collapsed due to global meltdown. The best of the banks also could not save themselves from the situation. The problem that was initially considered to be a limited problem, found deeply embedded with unusual recession. President Barack Obama, in a candid statement, has said that “while the cost of action will be great, I can assure you that the cost of inaction will be far greater, for it could result in an economy that splutters along not for months or years but perhaps a decade.”

For good commercial banking, political economy consideration is not a good thing. However at times, if used properly, it becomes a stepping stone. It seems, Apex bank did a right thing and made it a stepping stone to rejuvenate its’ entire machinery, posed a new outlook, mustered goodwill and strengthened troubled assets into corpus fund.

I am writing this based on my recent interaction with the Branch Manager of the Apex Bank Hapoli,  Gyamer Toffu. Hapoli branch is gearing up to shift the bank in its’ new premises, with latest facilities.  It was noticed that everyone in the bank knows ‘only the new face of the premises will not attract the customers but the working style of staff, approach, honesty and non-favoritism’. We, the people of Arunachal Pradesh wish every success to Apex Bank Hapoli branch to set a glaring example.

Apex bank has 32 branches all over the state, out of which five branches, Mechuka, Tuting, Dambuk, Jenging and Sangram, are rendering banking services where no other bank has reached. One thing no one can deny is the ‘the outreach of Apex bank in far flung areas’. Looking back in 2000, the total turnover of Apex bank was 74 crores, however with steady growth, in 2005 it reached 211 crores. It was surely a quantum jump within five years. Some of the branches like Pasighat, Roing, Naharlgun etc. had the highest transactions. However, with growing confidence, the empire overlooked the banking rules causing sliding downfall.

The new policies of Apex Bank now define “Banking with Social Responsibility”. Microfinance will be one of the major areas of work that will address the issues of weaker section. It definitely goes well with the announcement of Union Finance Minister, Creation of ‘India Microfinance Equity Fund’ of Rs. 100 crore with SIDBI, and creation of Women SHG’s Development Fund with a Corpus of Rs. 500 crore to empower women and promote their SHGs. It is not only Andhra and Maharashtra can set up examples in SHGs but Arunachal too can do. The declaration of Arunachal Finance Minister Kaliko Pul in 2009 about setting up special Microfinance Cell in the state and develop “Microfinance Vision 2011” targeting to formation of 5000 SHGs is a glaring example of seriousness of the policy makers to reach to the weaker section.  It’s right decision of Apex bank to harp upon the SHG movement.  

The new vision of Apex bank envisages strengthening of internal audit of every branch, recommendation of every loan based on personal visits to the proposed venture and the applicant, three tire system of scrutinizing the loan application, computerization, promotion of daily deposit scheme and introduction of ’Combo Saving Scheme’, a new innovation of Apex Bank.  It’s proposal of setting up “R-SETI” Rural Self Employment Training Institute at Ziro is already in the pipeline that will train the entrepreneurs in technical know-how, saving norms and banking system before giving the loan.   

The banks can very well focus on Ziro Plateau as the people are quite enterprising. Apex bank’s decision of setting of R-SETI at Ziro is quite apt as the area has great potential in agriculture, animal husbandry, weaving, rural tourism and business enterprises. Along with daily deposit scheme, extending micro credits will bring the large number of customers to the bank. The co-operative sector of banking needs to grow especially in the light of SBI’s overcrowding with government transactions and 70% of its credit goes to non-priority sector. We have then only good alternative, well outreached Apex Bank in far flung areas, customer friendly and that address the issues of priority sector. The only hunch is, Debt Recovery Tribunal is situated at Guwahati and the co-operative banks do not fall under its’ perview. The state and bank has to devise new mechanism of their own for the purpose. (The writer is a Fulbright Fellow and Co-coordinator of Support Center State Microfinance Vision, Arunachal Pradesh)