The ULFA’s anti-talk faction has called a 12-hour Assam bandh on May 26 to protest against the scheduled visit of Congress president Sonia Gandhi to mark 11 years of Congress government in the state.
The organisation’s assistant information and publicity secretary, Arunodoy Asom, in a statement e-mailed to PTI said the bandh was a part of its “protest action”, started this year, against visit by any senior government or political functionary from the Centre.
The ULFA had on April 20 called a similar 12-hour bandh to protest against the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which, however, failed to create much of an impact. Singh was in Guwahati for a few hours to take part in the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Assam legislative assembly.
(http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=763368 22/05/12, Outlook India)
A day after chief minister Mukul Sangma apprised Union home minister P Chidambaram of the ongoing boundary row between Meghalaya and Assam and escalating tension at Langpih, top officials of both the states will hold a meeting on Thursday to resolve the differences.
“We will meet on May 24 as part of the chief secretary-level talks,” said chief secretary WMS Pariat. He added that the recent incident at Langpih, where a community building built by the villagers was demolished by Assam officials, would also figure in the discussions.
Pariat, however, was not sure if the dismantled structure was a new one or a replacement of the old one. The building, constructed adjacent to the Langpih market, was dismantled on May 19 by officials from Assam, triggering widespread protests in Meghalaya.
(http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/Meghalaya-Assam-officials-to-discuss-boundary-row/articleshow/13398162.cms 22/05/12, The Times of India)
Return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homes is essential for peace in Kashmir, GOC of 15 Corps Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain today said while holding a public hearing along with civil administration here to address grievances of the community. Presiding over ‘Awami Sunwayi’ or public hearing for Kashmiri Pandits here in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, Lt Gen Hasnain emphasised on ‘Kashmiriyat’ as being an “essential and inseparable entity” of Kashmiri identity.
“Army would support various development works for rehabilitation and return of Kashmiri Pandits on the pattern of Corporate Social Responsibility in the valley,” he said. Return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homes would be the most essential milestone in the search for peace in Kashmir,” Lt Gen Hasnain said. GOC Victor Force Major General R R Nimbhorkar, Deputy Commissioners of Anantnag and Kulgam districts and other senior army and civil administration officials were also present at the hearing at Vessu, 65 kms from Srinagar.
(http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/return-of-kashmiri-pandits-essential-for-peace-in-kashmir-goc/1001046.html 20/05/12, IBN Live)
Apex students body All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) today said the decades old inter-state boundary problem with Assam could be resolved without further delay as both states and the Centre have Congress governments.
“The state governments of both the states as well as the Centre are making it (Assam-Arunachal boundary issue) a political issue instead of solving it permanently,” AAPSU president Takam Tatung told a Press conference here.
AAPSU had sponsored a 24 hour state-wide shut down on Friday demanding early solution to the boundary problem, besides a logical conclusion to the Chakma-Hajong refugee problem, improvement of law and order. The shutdown was also a mark of protest against the state government’s alleged failure in producing a white paper on the financial position in Arunachal Pradesh.
(http://www.business-standard.com/generalnews/news/arunachal-assam-boundary-problem-can-be-resolvedaapsu/10999/ 19/05/12, Business Standard)
The issue of child soldiers being used by militant outfits in Meghalaya and Manipur would be taken up with the Centre by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. “We will take suo moto cognisance and raise the issue with the union home secretary and seek appropriate actions in this regard,” Commission member Yogesh Dube told reporters here after reviewing the status of child rights in Meghalaya on Saturday.
Terming the matter of child soldiers as ‘serious’, he said the Government should ensure that action is taken at all levels to ensure that children be given their rights to life, education and health services. Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) in Meghalaya has been recruiting children in its fold and more than a hundred of them are at its camps in the jungle in Garo Hills, Meghalaya police said.
(http://zeenews.india.com/news/north-east/issue-of-child-soldiers-to-be-taken-up-with-centre_776368.html zee News)
The government on Wednesday said that 58,697 families have been reported to have migrated from Kashmir Valley to other places since the emergence of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. “58,697 families have been reported to have migrated from Kashmir Valley to Jammu, Delhi and other places,” Minister of State for Home Jitendra Singh told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
He was answering a question on the number of families who have migrated from Kashmir by January 2011. “The Central government is reimbursing expenditure for cash and ration relief in respect of Kashmiri migrants in Jammu. The migrants in other states have been provided facilities to the eligible ones (migrants) which includes monthly allowance, provisions of other amenities for health, education and better living conditions as per scale fixed by them,” Singh said.
(http://zeenews.india.com/news/jammu-and-kashmir/58-697-kashmiri-migrants-in-country-govt_775678.html 16/05/12, Zee News)
NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) on Wednesday said that the word ‘Nagaland’ encompasses all ‘Naga lands’, irrespective of national or international boundary demarcations.
“There is only one Nagaland, which is inclusive of Naga areas in Burma, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur or Assam. Nagaland does not exclude any area or portion of Naga history or people. This is our position on the question of ‘Nagaland’,” Alezo Venuh, envoy to collective leadership, NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) said.
Stating that his outfit has opened up all diplomatic channels with Naga frontal organizations and tribal hohos, including the United Naga Council (UNC), to brief and be briefed for entrenchment of political and historical rights of the Nagas, Alezo said NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) supports the demand of the UNC for it reflects the genuine grievances of the Naga people living in Manipur.
(http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/Nagaland-encompasses-all-Naga-areas/articleshow/13189266.cms 17/05/12, The Times of India)
More than 100 youths, who had gone to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for arms training during the last two decades, have quietly returned home following the announcement of rehabilitation policy for them by the Jammu and Kashmir government.
According to a senior intelligence official, over 100 youths have returned to their homes since the rehabilitation policy was announced by the Omar Abdullah-led coalition government in November 2010, which was also approved by the Centre.
The official said around 1300 youths, through various channels, had expressed their desire to shun the path of violence and return to Kashmir in order to lead a normal life. Out of these, 109 youths have come home from different routes and the officials did not want to divulge any details as their return has been kept a low profile affair in view of threat perception to their lives.
However, well-placed sources said the most preferred route taken by the youths to return home was via Nepal. “They fly to Nepal on a Pakistani passport and then travel as Indian citizens back home as Indians need not carry passport for travel to and fro Nepal,” the sources said.
(http://www.rediff.com/news/report/over-100-youths-return-to-jk-after-pok-arms-training/20120513.htm 13/05/12, Rediff News)
After drawing flak for claiming that United Nations resolutions were not applicable in Kashmir, senior Hurriyat (M) leader Professor Abdul Gani Bhat on Sunday said he was not averse to UN resolutions on Kashmir. He alleged that “vicious and killer” mentality is devouring Kashmiri leadership.
“I don’t talk in vacuum. Let you (leaders) go through the text of United Nations resolutions,” Bhat said while addressing a gathering here organized to pay homage to the Peoples Conference founder Abdul Gani Lone. “Has not your thirst for blood satiated after killing Lone Sahib. Do you want to kill me and Bilal now? We have identified you killers,” Bhat said without naming anybody.
Bhat minced no words in castigating his detractors saying that they were making issues out of nothing. “First they were telling that we don’t enjoy public support. After we went to our people, they made huge noises over nothing,” he said. “We have guts to speak truth to the public.”
Bhat said resolution of Kashmir should be win-win situation for all the stakeholders. “Whether it is India, Pakistan or we Kashmiris, all have to give some sort of sacrifice to find final solution to vexed Kashmir issue,” Bhat said. “Global situation favours resolution of Kashmir issue. There should be no masters. Kashmiris have to talk at parity with India and Pakistan.” While asking leadership to devise political stratagem in sync with ground situation, Bhat said, “Slogans and emotions won’t resolve Kashmir issue and time has come to accept the ground realities,” he added.
(http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2012/May/14/vicious-killer-mentality-devouring-kashmiri-leadership-bhat-88.asp 13/05/12, Greater Kashmir)
The 72-hour bandh call given by Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) disrupted normal life in four hill districts of the state, particularly in the Kuki dominated areas on Sunday, with the Moreh town affected more seriously.
The strike which began at 6 am yesterday will end at 6 pm of May 15 and another economic blockade will be imposed by KSDC along all the National Highways beginning 6 pm of May 15 till 6 pm of May 19 in pursuance of its demand.
The eight-day long stir has been enforced by KSDC in Kuki inhabited areas in demand of a separate Kuki state in Manipur. Sources said Moreh town in Chandel district wore a deserted look due to the strike while passenger buses were off the Imphal-Ukhrul, Imphal-Churachandpur and Imphal-Moreh roads. No passenger bus plied along the Imphal-Kangpokpi and Saikul routes in Senapati district, too. All the markets in all the areas were also by and large shutdown.
In Saikul, the strike was responded with full support by volunteers of Kuki Inpi Saikul Block and Kuki Students’ Organization and the road stretch from Imphal to Gampizang was paralyzed as bandh supporters blocked the stretch at Ikou, reports said.
(http://kanglaonline.com/2012/05/ksdc-bandh-paralyzes-normal-life/ 13/05/12, Kangla Online)