Thursday, January 13, 2011

Guerrilla leader and kin killed in Mizoram

Silchar, Jan. 13 : Guerrilla leader Atabur Rahaman and his cousin Aklasuddin were found murdered at separate places in Mizoram’s Kolosib district yesterday.

Both the bodies were bullet-riddled and their hands were tied with long ropes. Rahman’s body was found in a hamlet in Panbangkhal village while Aklasuddin’s body was found in the Bilkwathtlir area.

Police sources in Hailakandi said Mizo passersby saw the bodies yesterday morning and informed the nearby Kolosib, Bilkhathlir and Bhairabhi police stations.

Rahaman, who escaped from jail twice in 2003, was the head of United Democratic Liberation Tigers. The outfit has been responsible for many killings, kidnappings and extortions in Hailakandi district.

It comprised Muslim and Bru youths who joined the gang to eke out a living. Intelligence sources said the gang comprised around 75 criminals.

Atabur, a resident of Jhalnacherra village in Hailakandi, joined the United Democratic Liberation Army in 2003 and was trained in guerrilla warfare. He left the outfit after differences with its chief Dhanyaram Reang and formed the United Democratic Liberation Tigers in 2004.

The official sources claimed that after the deployment of the army’s 33 regiment in Hailaklandi to contain terrorism, members of the outfits had been lying low and most of them were hiding in Dholai block of Cachar district.

Security forces in Cachar claimed that internecine rivalry between the two groups had led to the gruesome killings.

15 Reang families repatriated

Silchar, Jan. 13 : The third phase of repatriation of Bru refugees to Mizoram from refugee camps in adjacent Tripura started today after a gap of two months.

Official sources in Aizawl said at least 15 Bru families were transported to the Mizoram-Tripura inter-state boundary in a bus under adequate security arrangements. The refugees were allowed to pass into Mizoram through the Mamit border.

It was a joyous homecoming for this batch of refugees, who had left their homes in Mizoram in 1997, in the wake of an ethnic clash between Mizos and the minority Reang community in October that year.

The repatriation process will continue for the next three days, and more Bru families are expected to cross the border and go back to their homes during this period, the sources added.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Police to re-arrest Mizo girl attackers

Guwahati, Jan. 4 : Police are initiating action against the accused in the December 28 Mizo girl assault case by clubbing the two FIRs lodged by two different parties.

The police today said they have to club the two FIRs lodged separately by the caretaker of the guesthouse where the girl had put up, and women’s organisations, to initiate action against the accused.

“The second FIR, lodged by the women’s organisations, was registered under non-bailable sections and we are looking for the three persons we arrested earlier, as they are absconding. Now we will club both FIRs to initiate further action,” said a police officer probing the case.

The 23-year-old girl from Mizoram, who was in the city to attend a wedding, was assaulted when she knocked on the door of one of the accused at Nabagiri under Chandmari police station for directions, after apparently losing her way while returning to the guesthouse.

But instead of helping her, the woman, along with two other women and an unidentified man, hit the girl, accusing her of being inebriated, sources said.

The three women — Juri Das (the BJP office-bearer, since suspended, who also runs a city-based NGO), Monimala Das and Mini Das — were arrested on December 29 based on the caretaker’s FIR. They were, however, released on bail the same day.

This angered local activists, who lodged a fresh FIR on December 31 demanding re-arrest of the three women, who were seen beating up the Mizo girl and snatching her mobile and purse, in video footage of a local TV channel.

“Three days have passed since we lodged the fresh FIR, but no arrests have been made so far. We suspect the police’s role and think they are deliberately delaying arrests,” said writer and social activist Maini Mahanta. “If strong action is not taken against those involved, we will launch a public protest and if necessary, will sit on a dharna,” she added.

Apart from Mahanta, those who signed the FIR included Manisha Behl and Anurita Hazarika of North East Network (NEN), Sumitra Hazarika of Nirjatan Birodhi Aikya Mancha, social activist Akhil Gogoi and few other city residents.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Govt lifts PAP in three NE states

NEW DELHI: In a New Year gift to Manipur , Mizoram and Nagaland, the government has decided to do way with the requirement of Protected Area Permit (PAP) for foreigners visiting the three states.

The three north-eastern states were excluded from the Protected Area Regime notified under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, for a period of one year beginning January 1, 2011. However, the foreign nationals entering Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland would still be required to register themselves with the foreigners registration officer (FRO) of the district they visit, within 24 hours of their arrival.

Incidentally, the citizens of some countries, primarily Pakistan and China, would still be required to seek prior approval of the Union home ministry before visiting any of the three north-eastern states.

Also, foreign visitors would still need to apply for PAP to visit Arunachal Pradesh.

Indian Missions/Posts have also been authorised to issue missionary visa to foreign missionaries visiting these three States as per the extant guidelines of the government.

While doing away with the PAP for foreign visitors to the state is unlikely to boost international tourist arrivals in a major way, the move is expected to go a long way in addressing the feeling of alienation among the people of Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland.