January 23


Jawans, militants die in gun battle along Arunachal-Assam border

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Jan, 22:  Two soldiers of 13th Assam Rifles have lost their lives and three more reportedly injured in an encounter with ULFA (I) at Barabasti, 12th Mile on NH-53 between Jairampur in Changlang and Jagun( Assam) this morning.

One of the personnel who lost his life has been identified as Khamtai Wangsu from Pangchou Village under Longding district of Arunachal Pradesh.

The militants ambushed an Assam Rifles convoy, triggering an encounter which lasted for hours along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.

The Assam Rifles vehicle was escorting the tourists returning from Pangsau Pass Winter Festival in Nampong.

 Sources from Jairampur informed that the vehicle was attacked by grenades and loud explosions were heard. Sources also informed that more than fifty ultras were involved in the coordinated attack.  The ultras lobbed grenades at Army vehicles and started firing from both sides, sources added.

 In a press statement, PRO of Indian Army, Guwahati stated that in retaliatory action, "two terrorists of CORCOM(Coordination Committee), a conglomeration of militant organizations   have been killed by Indian Army". The bodies of two dead were recovered with a G3 Rifle and Pistol. The massive search operation has been launched using helicopter, it added.  

Meanwhile, United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-Independent) in a press statement mailed to media houses in Assam claimed the responsibility for attack. In a joint CorCom statement, it hailed the action of their cadres for the successful operation.

The ongoing encounter has reportedly left many tourists who have attended Pangsau Pass Winter Festival stranded at Jairampur and Nampong as all roads leading to the Assam in the area have reportedly been closed in pretext of search operation.

The coordinated attack of terrorists on Assam Rifle convoy has reflected intelligent failures of both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh Police and the Army.

Meanwhile, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has condemned the ambush.

Expressing grief on behalf of the people of the state, Khandu said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of the bereaved families at this difficult time."

"The people of the North-East and particularly Arunachal Pradesh will always remember the ultimate sacrifice of these brave personnel - the "Friends of the Hill People", the Chief Minister said.

Condemning the incident, Khandu emphasised that all steps should be taken to bring the perpetrators of the attack to book.

Khandu announced ex-gratia from Chief Minister's Relief Fund as per government laid down norms to the next of kin of Khamtai Wangsu.  





Trip to Tuting

Monday Musing

[ Tongam Rina ]

They say that memorable trips are made on a whim. It appears so, at least in this case.

On a whim, I joined an all women team of three from Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies, Rajiv Gandhi University who were on a trip to Upper Siang for a study.

We started our journey in one early chilly morning from Itanagar for Yingkiong. Few hours later we were in Pasighat. Change of vehicle, we started for Yingkiong via Mariyang.

After few kilometers of good roads, we hit the typical Arunachal road; forever under-construction, chopping off hills that inevitably result in landslides during the monsoon, at the same time destroying whatever is left of an existing road.  The road to Yingkiong was no different. The rain earlier had ensured that we literally slither upwards on mud road. The driver told us that on sunny days, it is friendlier as he negotiated the roads, cursing along.

More than six hours later, we found ourselves at a Government Guesthouse in Yingkiong.

The next morning, caretaker of the Guesthouse, prompted us to eat, "Tuting ka rasta bahut dur hain, khana jaldi nehi milega". The left over rice was turned into hot fried rice in no time. Stuffed, we headed out just before seven AM.  After few kilometers out of town, we were on bumpy, narrow road again. The only saving grace was the mighty beautiful Siang, flowing majestically below. It's a soothing sight. One forgets the bad road, as it constantly changes its colour. At some point, it turns emerald.  Serene and enchanting.

And a bad jerk forced me to look at the road again. The road is so bad that one can't drive more than 15 kilometers per hour.

One bad move from the driver because of the bad road could literally end the journey. Alarming it might sound but it has ended many journeys forever. That is the reality of our roads.

Even though the Siang River was a big comforter, one wonders why the road building activities have already been restricted to papers. The people of the interior areas, more so, the border areas have been deprived of roads, forcing them to look for avenues outside, abandoning their villages. One wishes that the central govt which has taken up the border roads come up with better ideas to connect the state.  Sending   ministers with promises of better road infrastructure is not enough.  

More than nine hours later, we finally made it to Tuting.




Traffic wardens to get back to work

ITANAGAR, Jan 22: The representatives of the Itanagar Traffic Wardens (ITWs) have reportedly agreed to resume their duties unconditionally after getting an assurance from the Chief Secretary that government is aware of the some of their genuine problems and they would be sorted out strictly within the ambit of law and prescribed Rules and Regulations.

A meeting was called by the Chief Secretary Shakuntala Doley Gamlin on Sunday to resolve the demands raised by the ITWs who are on strike since Jan 9.

Chief Secretary is reportedly told them that they cannot go on strike all of a sudden, use pressure tactics and raise series of demands which cannot be fulfilled as per Rules. She said nobody is above law and should not ask or request for any demand which is not as per prescribed law, Rules and Regulations.

 It was brought to the notice of the ITWs that while joining service they had submitted an undertaking that they were being appointed on 'Muster Roll' basis and shall not violate the conduct rule as instructed by the competent authority. Further, as per the undertaking signed by the ITWs they agreed upon their discontinuation at any point of time when their service is not required or if they are found in anti social activities and immoral act. Thus, they were informed that as per the said undertaking their demands were illegal and that their services could be terminated forthwith.

The government however has decided for enrolment of all those left out traffic wardens under the APCMUHIS for treatment, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojna for coverage against any accident and life insurance respectively.

The govt also agreed to provide I card to the ITW, proposals will be submitted to the Government for the consideration of grant of some Traffic allowance to the wardens and creation of an establishment of Traffic warden under the supervision and control of the Superintendent of Police, Traffic.




Mein laments slow pace of varsity works

PASIGHAT, Jan 22: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein lamented the slow pace of works of Arunachal Pradesh State University at Pasighat and asked the PW Department to prepare the Master Plan in consultation with Higher and Technical Education Department and submit it to the government immediately.

 The University will take several years to come into reality, if the pace of works is not expedited, opined Mein. Mein was in Pasighat on Sunday to attend the foundation laying ceremony of the Murkongselek-Pasighat new Broad Gauge (BG) Line and the commencement of Final Location Survey of new BG lines.

Lamenting the inordinate delay in the preparation of the 'Master Plan', which according to him, should have been done first instead of asking for allocation of fund in piecemeal basis, Mein called a meeting of the Chief Engineers of the Executing Agency on his return to the state capital to discuss the matters regarding the "Master Plan" and construction of the university building.

It was informed that the Govt has sanctioned Rs 5 Crore for site development and construction of administrative block (Ground Floor) of the university till date. The university has an allotted land of 99 acres adjacent to the JNC, Pasighat.  

Mein also visited the construction site of the Shastri Hostel of the JNC to see the ongoing re-construction works. He asked the Executive Engineer (PWD) Pasighat division to prepare a Comprehensive Plan for repair and maintenance of all the hostel buildings and asked them to submit the proposal immediately.

Later, the Deputy Chief Minister inspected the under construction work of Outdoor Stadium at Pasighat and expressed satisfaction over the progress of the work.

The stadium which will have a seating capacity for 12,000 spectators has a total site area of 48,383 sqm with ground area of 17,050 sqm. and an open area of 23,043 sqm out site the stadium. It will have facilities for all kinds of outdoor games including football.

The DCM also visited the Advanced Landing Ground at Pasighat and interacted with the officials.

Mein was accompanied by State BJP President Tapir Gao, Minister for Animal Husbandry & Veterinary and Art & Culture Dr Mohesh Chai, Parliamentary Secretary (Agriculture) Tatung Jamoh, MLAs Kaling Moyong, Kento Rina, PMC Chief Councillor Kaling Doruk, DC Tamiyo Tatak, SP and the departmental engineers. (PRO, DCM)




Body of missing boy found; Forum demands investigation

ITANAGAR, Jan 22: The body of one Tajik Techi, who went missing on January 7 after he allegedly jumped into Kameng River to save himself from the attackers, was fished on Sunday morning, informed, XII-Pakke-Kessang Intellectual Forum (XIIPIF).

Condemning the killing of Tejik, a class ten student, in its strongest term, the Forum urged the state government to direct the police authority to conduct a proper investigation into the circumstances of the incident to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Forum also demanded the East Kameng Deputy Commissioner to carry out autopsy in presence of family members, a first class judicial magistrate and a group of doctors so that evidence of circumstances cannot be tempered.  

"It is understood that main accused was bailed out from police custody as he was found to be a juvenile and other co-accused are yet be arrested," the release said.

Expressing serious concern over growing incidents of crime among youth, the Forum urged the state government to explore crime preventive measures to reduce criminal activities, which is attributed mainly to groupism and drugs habits.




Farmers encouraged to adopt modern tech


PASIGHAT, Jan 22: Nari-Koyu MLA Kento Rina encouraged the farmers to adopt modern farming technologies to increase crops yield and profitability.

The MLA, who inaugurated the two-day Agri Expo-2017 at College of Horticulture & Forestry, Pasighat on Saturday, asked the farmers to obtain advice, technical support and guidance from the scientists to resolve any problem related to agriculture and horticulture farming.

He also informed the farmers that the state government has given special attention to develop agriculture sector for which the farmers are also given necessary technical support and assistance.

Director of Gujarat based Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Research (DMAPR) Dr Jitedra Kumar gave emphasis on scientific cultivation of medicinal herbs, saying that around 70 percent people use medicinal plants for treatment of various ailments.

Vice Chancellor of Central Agriculture University, Imphal, Prof M Premjit Singh encouraged the farmers to choose improved varieties to enhance production.

Quoting Prime Minister that North East region has the potential to initiate second Green Revolution in the country, Singh urged the farmer to join hands to increase food productivity to ensure food and nutritional security.

He also inaugurated an animal feed block formation machine at the college. The machine can be widely used for preparation of compressed blocks of crop residue.

East Siang Deputy Commissioner Tamiyo Tatak also attended the inaugural function.

Earlier, Dean of Pasighat College of Horticulture & Forestry Dr AK Pandey called for harnessing the state's huge potentials in agriculture and horticulture sector. He suggested for cultivation of citrus fruit and vegetable farming on commercial basis to uplift the rural economy.

The concluding day programme included a "farmer-Scientist interaction" meeting, wherein the experts replied various queries from farmers regarding various problems faced by them in farming activities.

Around 700 farmers from different places participated in the expo. Various agri-horti products including rubi and kharif vegetables, packaged food, flowers and citrus fruits were displayed in the exhibition stalls besides demonstration of agricultural implements during the two-day Agri expo.




Inter-tribe marriage between Nyishis and Bodos will strengthen relations: ANSU

GOHPUR, Jan 22: ANSU President Byabang Joram suggested for inter-tribe marriages between Nyishis and Bodos saying it would strengthen the social structure of both the communities. He said this during the two-day 36th Annual conference of All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU) which began at Gelegoan ground, Borpokhuri under Gohpur sub-division in Assam on Sunday.

Highlighting the age-old relationship between Bodos and Nyishis, he said that there should be no dispute in maintaining cultural exchange which will foster the relationship even better.

"Thousands of people from Bodo community are residing in Arunachal. We have never objected to this and will always welcome them," he said and appealed the Assam counterpart to do the same.

Recalling few incidents that occurred in Assam that saw many people from Arunachal getting harassed on the road, he appealed the gathering not to repeat it saying all problems have solutions. He suggested maintaining calm while dealing with such matters.

The ANSU president invited Bodo student leaders to participate in Nyokum festival and its foundation day and said that ANSU leaders will also participate in the forthcoming golden jubilee celebration of ABSU in the month of February.

"We have been born in the tribal society so it is our responsibility to restore our identity otherwise a time will come we may not recognise each other," former ANSU President Likha Taji said calling student community as future of tomorrow.

He appealed student leaders of both communities to organise such programmes to strengthen the age-old ties.

Among others, All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) Vice President Romio P Narzary, Organising committee Chairman WGAC/ABSU President Ukhel Basumatary and Deputy Speaker ABSU Kaila Swargiary also spoke.




Programme on participatory planning process

ITANAGAR, Jan 22: A three-day Block Level Training programme on Participatory Planning Process for PRI functionaries and PRI Member, including Gram Panchayat Development Committee (GPDC), for Mebo/ Monggu Banggo Anchal Blocks concluded on Saturday.

Conducted by East Siang District Panchayat Development Officer (DPDO) with the support of district administration, it emphasized on preparation and development of Village Development Plan by each gram Panchayat.

ADC Mebo Yemling Tayeng, Addl. Deputy Commissioner, Mebo informed that Participatory Planning under MVMDP Guidelines will seek to refurbish, reorient and upgrade domain handholding knowledge amongst all PRIs, Gram Panchayat Development Committee (GPDC), BRG, PRIs Functionaries etc.

He further emphasized on active involvement of all important stakeholders.

Tamar Baki, Master Trainer -cum- Training Coordinator explained in detail about Participatory Planning Process, Baseline Surveys, Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), Household surveys and their compilation.

CO-cum-Member Secretary, Mebo and Monggu Banggo, Anchal block Arvind Pangging also spoke.




Golden Jubilee Boori Boot Yullo celebration kicks off

ITANAGAR, Jan 22: Golden Jubilee Boori Boot Yullo celebration kicked off on Sunday with a football tournament at Raga general ground.

Local MLA Tamar Murtem and ZPM Kamporijo Kabak Apo, who attended the inauguration ceremony, encouraged the participants to play the games with true sportsman spirit. Both Murtem and Apo also appealed the participants to abide by the rules and regulation of the tournament.

The football tournament is being organized in memory of former Rajya Sabha Member Rotom Tama. A Volleyball tournament for both men and women is also being organized in memory of former Raga MLA Kabak Mem.

Eighteen teams are participating in football, five in women's volleyball and nine in men's volleyball.

The winner of Football will walk away with cash prize of 1 Lakh along with trophy and certificates while winner of the volleyball will be given Rs. 75,000 along with trophy and certificates.

The opening football match was played between Paat FC and Raga FC in which Raga FC won by 1-0 goal.

The runners of Boori Boot Yullo Torch Relay were Laa Yajum, National Sub-Junior Bronze medallist in badminton and Games and Sports in-charge Kina Taluk.

The main celebration of the festival will start from February 1.




Traditional fun and frolic marks conclusion of PPWF

NAMPONG, Jan 22: Traditional fun and frolic marked the conclusion of colorful Pangsau Pass Winter Festival 2017 here on Sunday.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju , who was on his maiden visit to the region, spoke about Skill India and elaborated how the locals can benefit from this pioneering project of the central government. He also asked the masses to shun terrorism and come back home from the path of terrorism and join the mainstream.

He said the region is full of resources and, if cultivated properly, there won't be any unemployment problem. He also emphasized on the preservation of local culture and tradition.

Local MLA Laisam Simai acknowledged the contribution of all, including  Govt. departments, Assam Rifles, CRPF, APP, IRBn and the locals for making the festival a grand success.

Earlier, tourist were stranded in-between Jairampur-Jagun where a column of Assam Rifles was ambushed by underground elements. Because of the unfortunate incident, the Indo-Myanmar border was sealed on the last day of the festival. There was no report of any tourist getting injured in the incident.




Tawang readies for His Holiness's visit

TAWANG, Jan 22: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Sunday visited the Yidga Choisin Gonpa here, which is being revamped to host His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama in March.

While taking stock of the preparation for the visit, he expressed satisfaction over the pace of work and also suggested some vital changes.

The CM also inspected the progress of work at High Altitude Stadium. The Rostrum within the Stadium which is getting its final touch will be inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Further, while informing that a Government College is to be started in the District from the coming Academic session, he said that as the permanent structure will take time to come up, a temporary location/building needs to be explored to house the Institution. He suggested that Govt. HQ Primary School, Tawang and Ground Floor of the Rostrum within the Stadium may be considered for the same.

The college has been one of the long felt demands of the area as the district is yet to have one of its own and youths of the district have to move out to pursue further studies after passing Higher Secondary level. Bomdila College in West Kameng district is the nearest college. (DIPRO)




Fire victims provided relief

ITANAGAR, Jan 22: A team of Galo Students' Union, including members from WSDSU, visited the fire victims of Doji village and distributed relief materials to them.

They distributed blankets, rice and kitchen items to all the affected families.

The team appealed to West Siang District Administration to requisition heavy vehicles like truck etc. from working departments to be used for collection of materials for re-construction of houses for the fire victims.




Org demands relief

ITANAGAR, Jan 22: Expressing shock over the fire accident at Palin which gutted down the residence of one Gora Paku on Saturday, All Palin Chambang Yangte Gangte Tarak-Langdi Students' Union (APCYGTSU) has appealed Kra Daadi DC to provide immediate relief to the victim and to verify the accident spot.

Copyright © 2008, The Arunachal Times Publications Pvt. Ltd., Siang House, Sector - E, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh - 791111, India

All rights reserved.


---- Editorial ----



Railway security, matter of concern

Yet another major train accident on Sunday morning killed 39 people and seriously injured many. Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express train derailed near Kuneru station in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. In the last one year several major train accidents has occurred posing serious question mark over the safety of Indian railways. In some instances investigation has led to possible sabotage theory being executed by ISI. According to the reports in National Media which was widely published few months ago, the suspect of the Kanpur train tragedy allegedly confessed during grilling that ISI hand was behind the November 20, 2016 train accident that killed over 140 passengers.

These are worrying report and should be properly investigated. ISI which is reported to have vast network of people working on its payroll intends to bleed India. They have been sponsoring and supporting many anti-Indian terrorist organizations. Their possible role in train accidents is major revelation and should deeply worry the security agencies. The Indian Railways also need to improve the security apparatus. Modern technologies should be used to improve security of tracks and also that of railway stations. At present the security system in most of the major train stations are weak and need urgent upgradation. The BJP government before coming to power had promised to improve the standard of Indian Railway, however, the situation has not improved much. There are lots of areas which need immediate attention of railway authorities.  Government should look into it and address the concern on need based.






---- Readers Forum ----




The traffic wardens

Dear Editor,

It has been two weeks since the traffic wardens of Itanagar have been on strike with no response from the govt.

Through this column, I would like to appeal the government to look into the demands of the traffic wardens. Their demand for hike in their salary and for leave seems more or less genuine as we all know that the cost of living index is very much high in the capital and the service that they are providing is no less than that being provided by the top most bureaucratic in the state. Standing whole day or even for a few hours despite different weather conditions trying to make traffic easier for us is commendable. Each one of us wants a decent living for ourselves and our family but the meagre salary doesn't allow them that. Of course we understand that they did agree to this salary and other conditions when they were enrolled but like any other job they too have equal rights for hike in their salaries along with other facilities from time to time.

However, I would also like to appeal the ITWA not to pressurise the govt for mass regularisation as it would be very difficult for the govt to do that in one go.

Lastly, I write this as a concerned citizen in good spirit and appeal our govt to take up the matter with a more humanitarian approach as it needs the support of everyone of its citizens to make Arunachal a better and greater place to live in and I believe our  CM shall live up to our expectations.


Biru Nasi

Former General

Secretary, AAPSU




Welcoming the winter visitor

Dear Editor,

Black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis) is a medium-sized high altitude living crane in Asia that breeds on the Tibetan Plateau, Bhutan and some remote parts of India. In winter, from month of November-January, few of them also migrate to the Sangti valley of West Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh in search of food due to extreme cold in higher altitude regions.

The bird is said to be sacred to the indigenous people of the West Kameng thus there is no threat to the bird from the local people. However, recently there has been report of death of two birds out of five that visited due to the electrical wiring in the open field of Sangti valley, which is a serious concern for the local people and migratory bird lovers of Arunachal Pradesh as well as India. If this issue is not taken seriously by Eco-tourism and Electrical and Power department of Bomdila, West Kameng, the bird species may refrain from coming to these places in near future as they are one of the great migratory and vulnerable bird species in the world. The visit of the birds can also be very useful in attracting tourists from around the world if they are treated well and welcomed. It is also said that this same bird species once used to visit the Apatani Valley, Lower Subansiri, but they stopped doing it since 1975-one of the main reasons may be hunting.

Therefore, let us not repeat the same mistake this time and give nature a second chance to bless our land and people by welcoming the great winter migratory Black-necked crane.


Jacob Ngukir,

PhD Scholar, RGU





Netaji's disappearance

Dear Editor,

It is high time it needs to be asked whether there have  indeed been any serious attempt to unearth the mystery of Netaji's disappearance. Just because the mystery of Netaji’s disappearance has still remained unresolved, a school of thought is of the belief that we forsake the search! The vested interests indeed heave sigh of relief on hearing it!

It is very easy to declare that nothing has come out of the investigations, but the bigger question which needs to be asked is whether there have  indeed been any serious attempt to unearth the mystery. If the concerned authorities had been  so “sincere”, then why was the Justice Manoj Kumar Mukherjee commission not allowed free access to Netaji-related files which are kept within the safe custody at Red Fort? Some files concerning Netaji had been released with much fanfare a year ago. But the information released through such files is hardly relevant as far as Netaji’s disappearance saga is concerned. Now has the Centre declared that each and every file concerning Netaji been released?

If the answer is ‘No’, then we should ask ‘Why? When?’ Yes, there lies every reason to believe that Netaji’s disappearance and conspiracy are synonymous terms. Some “nationalists” also come up with the theory of  “international relation” to be “harmed”  if all Netaji files get disclosed! This hush-hush matter directly proves that indeed there lies something fishy related to Netaji’s disappearance. Now which is the bigger issue --- “international relationship” or the fate of that epitome of patriotism named Netaji who had sacrificed his career and devoted his entire life for the sake of independence of the motherland from imperialist force? If the answer is “international relationship”, the sincerity of the solving the mystery stands blatantly exposed!

And if at all we should abandon the search by declaring “best therefore to leave it alone”, then this callous nation should do at least one favour in honour of Netaji. It should at least desist from declaring the date of that Taiwan air crash (which actually never happened)  as Netaji’s date of death. Yes, in many books and websites, it is being increasingly witnessed that 18th August, 1945 is being published or declared as the date of death of Netaji which needs to be seriously condemned.

This zealous eagerness to relate that fictitious air crash as Netaji’s date of death directly proves the involvement of vested interests who want the truth to get buried and they are indeed relishing at the suggestion of abandoning the process of solving the mystery.


Kajal Chatterjee






Jallikattu and blind tradition

Dear Editor,

It is a pity that we unite when our macho pride gets hurt but we do not care when inhumanity causes a real blow to our pride. We cannot stop rape, ragging, teasing, lynching and bullying so long as violence is allowed to be enjoyed in the name of tradition, culture or necessity for becoming fit enough to survive. However, in the journey of evolution after minerals, plants and animals; human beings happened. And human beings are slowly realizing that they are to do better than the animals ~ not by fighting like them or with them but by throwing the very 'survival of the fittest theory' to a jungle. Compassion and cooperation can only take humanity forward. This is the reason why many countries have graduated themselves from police states to welfare states. This is the reason why Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking are shining bright in our Who's Who. If we support Jallikattu for the sake of tradition and culture, then how can we support Malala? Unfortunately, our stand in favour of Jallikattu on the ground of blind tradition will dump us on Talibans who regard culture as a static thing.


Sujit De, Kolkata






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