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Binnakandi Tea Estate provides incentives to workers

Silchar, Feb 25: Binnakandi tea estate located in the Lakhipur sub division of Cachar has again been different and distinguished itself by extending financial incentives to its workers of Machhkhal, an out–garden, under special programme recently. The incentive was provided to 407 number of workers for their sincere and dedicated works. A special package of Rs. 4,38,300 was handed over to them on equal ratio by the manager, Sailesh Kumar Singh, in the presence of the commercial manager, Arun Kumar Sharma at a simple function held in the premises of the Binnakandie tea estate.
It was at the direction of H B Kanuria, director of Coviet Agro Industry, Satish Chandra Gupta, that the special package was provided to the workers. Earlier 11 other staff and sub staff of the garden were encouraged for their good performance. Sailesh Kumar Singh in his brief speech before the workers while thanking them for the performance said the management would offer such incentives if they kept up the momentum and tempo. Arun Kumar Sharma also said the management would come forward with further scheme for their benefits and exhorted them to work harder in the overall interest of all concerned attached to the tea estate. (Source:SentinelAssam) 

Car rally to strengthen bond among ASEAN countries

Silchar, Feb 25: "If China and India come close to each other, there will be a huge improvement in the field of information and technology," said Cha Jian, a participant of BCIM car rally which reached the town this afternoon.
Cha Jian, a resident of China, said that this rally would strengthen the bond between both the countries, besides it would boost trade and flow of investment, tourism and will build people–to–people contact. According to him, there is an urgent need of bilateral ties between both the countries keeping in mind the present situation of the world. A total of 78 representatives from four countries– Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar, were welcomed here at District Sports Association with a colourful cultural programme in which different communities and tribes presented their culture.
Dr Mohammed Ariz Ahmed, commissioner Hills and Barak Valley region, said that the rally was not only important to boost trade but also to connect the philosophies, heritage, technologies and religion of the countries. He opined that the religion especially Buddhism had connected the people of different nations with India. He said that the objective of the rally, besides being cultural and commercial, was also to highlight connectivity between North–East Asia and South–West China through Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Sushmita Dev, MLA and chairperson of Silchar Municipality Board, said that it was the vision of the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, to strengthen the bond between these neighbouring countries. She hoped that this rally would translate into better and positive relations of the three important countries with India. She opined that the relation between these countries would be very crucial in the near future.
Dilwar Hussain, leader of the Bangladesh delegation, said that the rally was organized to promote and exchange business and cultural relations between the South Asian countries and to spread the message of peace and amity. Sunil Misra, leader, India, said that he was taken aback by witnessing the responses from the people in the town. He pointed out that people especially in Barak Valley came out on the road so enthusiastically to cheer the participants of the rally which was an "amazing experience" for him. He at the same time expressed his gratitude towards the district administration for such a grand welcome. Harendra Kumar Dev Mahanta, deputy commissioner of Cachar, welcomed the participants of the rally. He said that this would foster friendship between these countries which are geographically close to each others.
Significantly, the car rally would cover three thousand kilometres in 12 days while moving through the four countries. After spending the night here, the rally would resume its journey in the morning tomorrow to enter Manipur through Jirighat–Jiribam. Prodyut Kumar Bordoloi, Minister of Power, will flag off the rally from here. The BCIM rally would reach Imphal to enter Mandalay via Ka Lay and then to Ruili and from there to Tengchong and Erhai Lake. The final lag covers Erhai Lake to Dali and then to Kunming. This entire route will be covered from February 22 to March 5.  (Source:SentinelAssam)

Press Release from Assam Manipuri Joint Action Committee (AMJAC)

Guwahati, 23 February 2013 

Assam Manipuri Joint Action Committee (AMJAC)
G.M.C. Road, Rupnagar, Guwhati-32, Assam 


PRESS RELEASE 


Guwahati
The 23rd February 2013 


The Honourable Gauhati High Court in its judgment, vide order dated 22nd February 2013, passed in W.P.C. No 6588/2011, gave a stricture to the state government, more particularly to the Department of Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backward Classes (WPT&BC).

The Honorable Court interfered with the continuation of the interim Manipuri Development Council and further directed the State Government, more particularly to the aforesaid Department to constitute a regular Manipuri Development Council, by way of election within the month of May 2013.

The judgment was given on the writ petition filed by Babu Singha and S. Chakraborty Singha in November 2011, praying the State Government to constitute of a regular Manipuri Development Council. The aforesaid case argued before the honourable High Court by Mr. A. R. Bhuyan, advocate Gauhati High Court, on behalf of the petitioner.

The Assam Manipuri Joint Action Committee (AMJAC) welcomed the judgment of the Honorable Gauhati High Court and expressed its faith democratic system of the Government. The AMJAC through this press release forwarded its demanded to the Government to hold election of the Council within the time frame given by Honorable High Court.


Chief Convener, AMJAC
Dr. Phuritsabam Birmani 







Algapur by election: 140702 voters to vote under tight security

SILCHAR, Feb 23: All preparations by the district administration of Hailakandi have been made to hold Algapur assembly by election on Sunday. 140702 voters, 74407 male and 65295 female, will exercise their franchise under foolproof and elaborate security for which 14 companies of central paramilitary forces along with that of Assam police will be deployed. 800 poll workers will take care of the 170 booths.
Interestingly, 125 of these polling booths are in the Tapang block of Cachar. 75 polling centres have been identified as super sensitive while 41 as sensitive besides, 23 polling booths which saw 75% turn out of voters in the last assembly elections of 2011 have been listed as 'critical'. Depending upon the sensitivity of the booths, security arrangements have accordingly been drawn up.
D J Balaji, IAS, deputy commissioner and also the returning officer of Hailakandi, said he was confident of conducting the by election in a peaceful manner. The successful conduct of last panchayat polls has earned him appreciation both from the civil and political circles. He has dispelled the apprehensions being expressed by opposition parties of troubles during the election. He rather sought the cooperation of all the political parties in the whole exercise. His message to voters is to cast their votes without any sense of fear.
Brajendrajit Singh, S.P, said in order to ensure trouble–free by election, non bailable warrants have been issued against known anti–social elements and mischief mongers. Further, 104 licensed guns had been seized. Hailakandi by poll will be conducted on the basis of photo identity of the voters on the electoral rolls, the first of its kind in the state of Assam. This will help to check fraud and deception. Only genuine voters will be allowed to exercise their franchise after check and recheck.
To keep a tab and monitor the polling in all the 170 booths, 90 micro observers will be on round the corner duty. 25 photographers will also be detailed for recording the proceedings including any act of disorder or violence at any booth. Electronic Voting Machines will be well guarded to prevent any attempt at rigging or any other sort of tampering. D J Balaji also assured the opposition leaders and voters in general that by election would be free and fair. He revealed that for violating the code of conduct, the superintendent and the assistant superintendent of excise have been transferred and divested of any poll duty. (Source:SentinelAssam) 

Bill on waterways to Barak Valley through Bangladesh

Barak River

SILCHAR, Feb 20: The statement of Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Minister, Kamal Nath, to the effect that a Bill would be introduced in the next budget session of Parliament is no doubt a positive development and augurs well for the economic development of this region. In fact, the plan to revive the pristine waterways has been hanging since 2007. This water link of the valley with Kolkata through Bangladesh will make transportation of goods regular, easy and cost effective. Since 1965 in the wake of Indo–Pak war, rail, road and waterways access through Bangladesh has remained suspended.
But, the greatest handicap in making the waterways operational, according to a study carried out by Inland Water Authority of India, is heavy siltation in river Barak. In the aftermath of the devastating floods of 2007, Water Resource Department focused on heavy siltation in the river Barak and after studying the phenomenon mooted schemes for dredging the river for desiltation and resectioning process of the river and its tributaries by deploying machinery along with ambitious mini multipurpose dredger. Inland Water Authority of India of the Ministry of Surface Transport planned to develop the waterways of Barak and Kushiara from Lakhipur in the east to Karimganj in the west point of river with the declaration of the 121 km waterway as national waterways.
Inland Water Authority of India, as records show, drew up an estimate of Rs 58 crore for the purpose including development of channels for navigation. For this the minimum required waterways is 40 metre width and 1.5 to 2.0 metre depth along with the construction of 4 terminals at Lakhipur, Badarpur, Silchar and Karimganj. In order to carry out survey and study of siltation problem in Barak and transportation of commercial goods, Central Inland Water Transport carrier MV Prafulla sailed from Kolkata to anchor at the Silchar terminal two years ago.
Captain of the ship, Samar Sarkar, said if the waterway could be made navigational round the year, it would be the best means of transportation of goods which would benefit not only Barak Valley but also Assam in general as well as north–east states.
The study and investigation have brought out the fact that at many places, the riverbed has risen alarmingly with sand, wastes and boulder deposits. With the deployment of multipurpose dredger, the problem of siltation can be overcome. It has also been suggested that regular navigation as in the past would keep siltation at the minimum level. The general opinion is that waterways between Barak Valley and Kolkata would continue towards increasing economic activities, create climate for investment and lead to overall development. It will not be out of context to mention that Sontosh Mohan Dev, former Union Minister, did tell the media–persons in 2009 that the relevant Bill would be introduced in Parliament soon. But, it has never materialized. Speaking about the Bill, he said it enjoins upon Bangladesh to take up dredging of Meghna, Padma and other connected rivers. India on its part would dredge Barak, Kushiara and Surma. National status of the
waterways is expected to make navigation round the year.
Presently, the ships carrying goods navigate for six months only that too gets impeded often due to the drying up of the river at certain stretches. Significantly, with the coming of Begum Sheikh Hasina led Awami League Government at Dhaka, a conducive atmosphere has been created for bilateral relations. Bangladesh has agreed to extend all possible help to make the waterways an effective means of transportation.
The Bill when introduced is expected to be passed without any difficulty with the support of all the 14 MPs of Assam as well as those of north–east. In the event of Barak waterways gaining national status, both India and Bangladesh would stand to benefit. Besides pacing up economic development, it will generate avenues of investment. All sorts of raw and finished goods can be transported. The round the year navigation will at the same time help in protective river vegetations and other aquatic life organisms. (Source:SentinelAssam) 

HSLC, HS exams from today

GUWAHATI, Feb 17: The High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) examination, including High Madrasa examination, and the Higher Secondary (HS) examination conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) and the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) respectively will start from tomorrow.  Talking to reporters here today, State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that preparations for conducting the board examinations had been completed.  Around 3,84,702 candidates will appear in the HSLC exam in 823 centres all over the State. On the other hand, around 2,36,971 candidates will appear in the HS exam in 768 centres all over the State.  "Around 100 HSLC candidates of the Sonapur area, who are suffering from food poisoning and will not be able to sit for the exam tomorrow, will be allowed to give the paper on a different date after the completion of the whole exam," Sarma said. AHSEC sources said that the district
administration had also provided sick beds to the HS candidates of Sonapur, who are suffering from food poisoning. The SEBA secretary said that tight security arrangement had been made by the respective district administrations in the Rabha Hasong dominated areas to conduct the board exams in a peaceful manner. "In the violence–hit Rabha Hasong areas, several vehicles have been requisitioned by the respective district administrations for the transportation of students to the exam centres," he added. (Source: SentinelAssam)

Congress strong and steady to dominate zila parishads in Cachar

Silchar, Feb 15: From the trend of counting at ISBT and ISTT centres, it seems that the Congress is goingto form zila parishad onceagain in Cachar. As per thelatest report, Congress haswon all the three zila parishad seats, the resultsof which were declared today.
In East Lakhipur zila parishad constituency, the Congress nominated candidate Pradip Dey defeated his closest candidate of AIUDF, Abul Kalam Laskar by the margin of 9050 votes. Pradip Dey got 13, 131 votes while Abdul Kalam recived 4, 081 votes. In north Lakhipur constituency, Sathi Karmakar of Congress drubbed the independent candidate, Sanchita Chowdhury by a margin of 7223 votes. In west Dholai, Congress nominated Krishna Pada Dutta of Congress won against his closest candidate of BJP, Sekhar Goala.
The counting for twenty seven zila parishads, 163 AP members, 163 GP members are underway. It is expected that the results of the polls are likely to be declared in a day or two as the ballot papers instead of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were used during the panchayat polls.
So far the results of the APmembers, GP members and group members weredeclared today, the Congress nominated candidates and the independent candidates were seen to be dominating.
According to the sources, Congress is looking strongand steady to dominate the zila parishads in both Hailakandi and Karimganj. The views of political pundits who earlier said that Congress would lose a few seats seems to be fallen flat as the ruling party maintainstheir domination in all theseats of AP members, GP presidents, ZP member and ward member.
The results of the panchayat polls are very crucial for the major political parties like Congress, BJP and AIUDF with an eye on Loksabha Elections, which is scheduled to be held next year. The results would also help the political parties to test the water before the 2014 general elections. (SentinelAssam)

Booth captured: 550 voters turned away

Silchar, Feb 14: Aggrieved voters of the three villagers of Rajargram, Patharigaon and Kharilpar under Borkhola block today staged demonstration before the office of the Returning Officer and the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar for being prevented from exercising their franchise on the day of panchayat elections on Tuesday by a menacing group of musclemen with a view to rigging the polls and tilting the balance in favour of their party. The memorandum submitted to the deputy commissioner pointed out that when the voters went to cast their votes at polling station 15 of Aparbasti LP School no. 836 under Machughat gaon panchayat, a horde of henchmen owing allegiance to a party stood on their way at the entry point and did not allow them to participate in the polling process.
It was further stated in the memorandum the voters who lined up from early 6 am found everything running smoothly till 8 am. After that the local musclemen took control of the booth in the very presence of the presiding and poll officials as well as the policemen. Slowly and gradually, by 12 noon the capture of booth was complete without any whimper of protest from the presiding officer or agents of different political parties.
In the final count, as the memorandum pointed out, of the total electorate of 890 in the booth, 550 voters despite their photo electoral identity on rolls could not vote. Their votes, as alleged, were impersonated. Some of the voters who protested against the muscle power were roughed up and showed the door out. Disappointed and denied of their fundamental right to vote, the voters of the three villages finding no way out decided to lodge their protest with the Returning Officer and Deputy Commissioner of Cachar here today. The voters have demanded repoll for centre no 836, Ajorbasti, Machughat GP for the sake of justice and in the interest of democracy. They at the same time pressed for shifting their polling booth to Rajargaon L P School no. 1099, Dhumkar Pathshala School for their safety and security and also for fair poll. (Source:SentinelAssam) 

Booth captured: 550 voters turned away

Silchar, Feb 14: Aggrieved voters of the three villagers of Rajargram, Patharigaon and Kharilpar under Borkhola block today staged demonstration before the office of the Returning Officer and the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar for being prevented from exercising their franchise on the day of panchayat elections on Tuesday by a menacing group of musclemen with a view to rigging the polls and tilting the balance in favour of their party. The memorandum submitted to the deputy commissioner pointed out that when the voters went to cast their votes at polling station 15 of Aparbasti LP School no. 836 under Machughat gaon panchayat, a horde of henchmen owing allegiance to a party stood on their way at the entry point and did not allow them to participate in the polling process.
It was further stated in the memorandum the voters who lined up from early 6 am found everything running smoothly till 8 am. After that the local musclemen took control of the booth in the very presence of the presiding and poll officials as well as the policemen. Slowly and gradually, by 12 noon the capture of booth was complete without any whimper of protest from the presiding officer or agents of different political parties.
In the final count, as the memorandum pointed out, of the total electorate of 890 in the booth, 550 voters despite their photo electoral identity on rolls could not vote. Their votes, as alleged, were impersonated. Some of the voters who protested against the muscle power were roughed up and showed the door out. Disappointed and denied of their fundamental right to vote, the voters of the three villages finding no way out decided to lodge their protest with the Returning Officer and Deputy Commissioner of Cachar here today. The voters have demanded repoll for centre no 836, Ajorbasti, Machughat GP for the sake of justice and in the interest of democracy. They at the same time pressed for shifting their polling booth to Rajargaon L P School no. 1099, Dhumkar Pathshala School for their safety and security and also for fair poll. (Source:SentinelAssam)

Counting for rural polls begins: Fate of political parties is at stake

Silchar, Feb 14: Counting for the three tier panchayat elections in Barak Valley began from this morning amidst heavy police deployment.
In Cachar, the counting for the panchayat polls that held on February 12 is underway at ISBT (Inter State Bus Terminus) and ISTT (Inter State Truck Terminus). In Karimganj and Hailakandi, the counting for the polls is in process at Karimganj College and Basic Training Centre respectively. The district administration of the three districts has made an elaborate arrangement for counting of ballot papers smoothly amidst tight security to avoid any unpleasant incident.
This time, in all, 82,987 candidates for zilla parishad members, gaon panchayat presidents, anchalik panchayat members and gaon panchayat members are in the fray in Barak Valley. In the district of Hailakandi, 4828 candidates are vying for 11 ZP seats, 62 gaon panchayat presidentship, 62 anchalik panchayat members and 620 Gaon panchayat members. In Karimganj 5586 candidates are contesting for 20 ZP seats, 96 gaon panchayat presidents and equal number of anchalik panchayat members as well as 960 gaon panchayat members. A total of 72,573 candidates are locked in poll battle in the district of Cachar, for the 27 member zilla parishad, 167 for gaon panchayat presidents, 163 for anchalik panchayat members and 1630 for group members, also called gaon panchayat members.
Contestants started arriving at the counting places from early morning well dressed. Some of them, before coming for the counting, went to different temples to pray for their victory. Every one of them seemed confident while entering their respective counting halls. The results of the polls are likely to be declared in a day or two as the ballot papers instead of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were used during all phases of the panchayat polls in the state.
With the passage of time, the counting stations also witnessed the arrival of the leaders of different political parties having their stakes in the polls. The results of the panchayat polls are very crucial for the major political parties like Congress, BJP and AIUDF with an eye on Loksabha Elections, which is scheduled to be held next year. The results would also help the political parties to test the water before the 2014 general elections. It would also be interesting to see whether the domination of the Congres, which is in the vortex of corruptions, would get decimated or would remain the same by forming the zila parishad again.
In the last panchayat election in Cachar in particular, Congress won 18 out of 27 zila parishad seats while BJP and CPI (M) got six and two seats respectively. This time, the political pundits are considering AIUDF as the major threat to the Congress and BJP to reckon with. In Hailakandi, Congress won nine out of eleven zila parishad seats. Out of 20 zila parishad seats in Karimganj, congress got eight, AIUDF and BJP won a single seat each and the rest seven went to the others in the last panchayat polls held in 2008. (Source: SentinelAssam)

Re–poll in 58 booths went off peacefully in Barak Valley

Silchar, Feb 14: The re–polling held at fifty eight polling stations in Barak Valley today went off peacefully amidst strict security surveillance. The re–poll was necessitated at thirty–three stations in Cachar, twenty–three in Karimganj and two in Hailakandi as the miscreants disrupted the smooth pooling process in the valley on February 12, the third and last phase of panchayat elections.
Around 70 percent polling was registered in the valley. People from the morning were seen standing in  long queues at different re–polling centres of the valley with full of enthusiasm.
Out of all the 33 re–polling centres in Cachar, nine stations were at South Katigorah, three at East Katigorah, six at South Borkhola, one at South Udarbond, two at West Borkhola, four at East Borkhola, three at South Sonai, two at East Sonai, one each at West Sonai, Central Sonai and East Silchar. In Hailakandi, the two re–polling stations were 420 no. Tikarbasti LP School under Rangauti–Nitainagar ZP constituency and 9 no. Bandukmara LP School under Mathijuri–Paikan GP constituency. In Karimganj, out of total 23 re–polling stations, 2 each were under Aanipur ZP, Achimganj ZP, Kankalas ZP, Srigouri ZP, and Bakarshal–Nairgram ZP constituencies, one each were under Gandhai–Brahmansashan ZP, Sarisha–Bajarghat ZP and Kaliganj ZP constituencies, three each were under Luairpua ZP and Nilambazar Zp constituencies, and maximum of four re–polling centres were at under Maijgram–Sutarkandi ZP constituencies.
It can be recollected here that the third and last phase of panchayat elections was by and large peaceful in the valley, but a few incidents of sporadic violence had affected the smooth polling process, resulting in re–pooling in these centres. The maximum number of incidents of rigging, booth capturing and forced polling had taken place in the ALA constituency of Katigorah in Cachar. In Cachar, there were a total of 1669 polling booths while in Karimganj and Hailakandi, the numbers of polling stations were 971 and 626 respectively.
The attacks on the polling personnel by the political goons at several booths while discharging during during the poll hours were vehemently condemned by different organizations and they demanded the medical expenses for the injured personnel to be borne by the government. (source:Sentinelassam)

166 poll workers served with show cause notices

SILCHAR, Feb 12:166 poll workers have been served with show cause notices by the Returning Officer and Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, Harendra Kumar Dev Mahanta, for dereliction of their duties. These workers entrusted with election duties failed to turn up on Sunday and Monday to collect their poll materials at the ISBT ( Inter State Bus Terminus) Centre at Ramnagar, near this town.
Taking a serious view of their absence from the mandatory poll duties, show cause has been served on them under the relevant provisions of People's Representative Act of 1951 and the Panchayat Act of 1994.
The show cause issued onlate Monday night has directed these defaulting poll workers to reply to the show cause notice by February 13. Those servedwith show cause notices include 31 presiding officers, 18 first polling officers, 45 second pollingofficers, 28 third polling officers and another 28 fourth polling officers, according to official sources here. (SENTINELASSAM)

Preparations complete to decide fate of 82,987 candidates

Silchar, Feb11: All arrangements and preparations in the three districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi are complete to hold the three tier panchayat elections. In all, 82,987 candidates for zilla parishads, gaon panchayat presidents, anchalik panchayat and ward members are in the fray and their fate is to be decided on Tuesday when the votes polled in favour or against will be sealed in the ballot boxes. According to information from the three district headquarters, final touches by the election machinery and administration have been given in order to ensure free and fair polls.
Poll officials and workers with their materials accompanied by security personnel have reached their respective booths located in near and far–flung areas of the valley by this evening. In the district of Hailakandi, 4828 candidates are vying for 11 ZP seats, 62 gaon panchayat presidentship, 62 anchalik panchayat members and 620 ward members. Voters will exercise their franchise in 626 polling booths, 483 of them have been identified as sensitive and hypersensitive. In addition to the regular police force, additional paramilitary security personnel will be deployed for trouble free elections. In order to prevent the repeat of 2008 chaos and anarchy on the polling day, the district administration headed by J Balaji, deputy commissioner and returning officer, and Brajendra Singha, SP, of the district, is not taking any chances and has made elaborate security arrangement across the booths.
5586 candidates are contesting for 20 ZP seats, 96 gaon panchayat presidents and equal number of anchalik panchayat members as well as 960 ward members in Karimganj district. 971 polling booths across the border district along Bangladesh, according to the report from Karimganj, will have particular surveillance and vigilance. The Border Security Force has been advised for maximum alert and vigilance along the international border in order to preempt any infiltration of disruptive elements to disturb the polling process.
In the district of Cachar, 72,573 are locked in poll battle for the 27 member zilla parishad, 167 for gaon panchayat presidents, 163 for anchalik panchayat members and 1630 for group members, also called ward members. 1669 polling booths across the district have become ready for Tuesday elections. Of them, 409 have been identified as sensitive and hypersensitive. With a view to holding peaceful elections in the district, an all party meeting was held in the conference hall of the district returning officer and deputy commissioner, Harendra Kumar Dev Mahanta, who apprised the leaders of the poll preparations and sought their cooperation in the smooth conduct of polls. M. Angamuthu is the observer for Cachar panchayat elections. (Source:SentinelAssam) 

514 polling booths ‘very sensitive’ in Cachar

SILCHAR, Feb 8: Five hundred and fourteen of the 1669 polling stations in Cachar district have been identified as very sensitive for the ensuing panchayat elections, which will be held on February 12.
Speaking to mediapersons last evening about the arrangements being made for the elections, Harendra Kumar Dev Mahanta, Deputy Commissioner, said that out of 1669 polling booths in the district, 514 stations were 'very sensitive', 436 sensitive and rest 659 booths were comparatively safe. He said that special security arrangements would be made for these 'sensitive' and 'very sensitive' stations to avoid any untoward incident on the day of the polls.
He informed that the district had been divided into 96 sectors for smoothconduct of the polls. "In these sectors, an officer would be deployed, besides the police personnel. In case of any unpleasant incident, these sector officers would move to the polling stations concerned within their stipulated areas. Sector officers would be accompanied by police personnel," he added.
Diganta Bora, Superintendent of Police, said that nine companies of armed forces, which included six companies ofAssam Police Battalion and three companies of CRPF, would be deployed in the district. He further added to say that Army and BSF had already givenassurances to the district administration that they would carry out extensivepatrolling in the 'sensitive' areas. One policeman along with three VDP members will be put on duty in each polling booth, he said.
He did admit that with limited force available, the administration, civil and police, in joint coordination would monitor the poll process and in the event of any untoward incident taking place, he was confident, itwould be dealt with the promptness and agility it needed. "We do not see any extremist connection in the district. We are just anticipating group clashes which can be easily tackled by the security personnel available with us," he added.
Counting would take place on February 14 and 15 to decide the fate of the candidates contestingthe Panchayat Elections. There will be 9 counting halls in the district of which six number of halls are at Inter State Bus Terminus while three at Inter State Truck Terminus. The counting will be held under CCTV surveillance. No one would be allowed to enter counting halls with mobile phones, water bottles and ink. The agents will also not be allowed to carry mobile phones in the polling stations during the day of the poll.
For smooth conduct of thepolls, 11,000 poll personnel would be put on service and for mobility of men and materials, around 1100 vehicles have been requisitioned. The entire district of Cachar has beendivided into 49 zones. TheDeputy Commissioner is at the apex of the whole poll paraphernalia as the returning officer to be assisted by 29 assistant returning officers. Nineteen cells have been constituted to keep a close watch on the poll proceedings, besides operation of a 24X 7 help line for responding to anyemergent call or situation.
In all there are 10,73,269 electorates, 560379 male and 512890 female, who will exercise their franchise to elect their representatives to the Gaon panchayats. There isa sharp 7.46 per cent increase in the number of electorates from the last year. The district election machinery and district police administration are doing full preparations to hold the election smoothly. Among others present at the press meet included R K Laskar, election officer, Debasish Chakraborty, additional Deputy Commissioner, Arunabha Dey, ADC and in–charge of election cell, B Das, ADC, D N Loying, Deputy Director of Information and Public Relations, Barak Valley region. (SentinelAssam)

Septuagenarian dies on spot

SILCHAR, Feb 5: In a fatal road mishap in the noon hour today at Fulertal, 25 km from Silchar, in the Lakhipur sub–division of Cachar, a Septuagenarian cyclist identified as Dhananjoy Das of Hatukhal village of Hmarkhawlein, retired fourth grade employee of primary health centre, while riding back home from the market, a cement loaded truck bearing (No JK 02 AD 4653) dashed him from behind. Under its impact, Das fell on the ground andwas under the rear wheel of the truck and his cycle was crushed. Das died on the spot.
The tragic accident happened near block office of Lakhipur on NH 53, now named NH 37. The cement loaded truck was moving towards Jiribam of Manipur and the material was to be delivered for the ongoing extension of rail head to Tulup, near Imphal. The people in the busy marketplace got agitated and targeted the truck with all handy missiles and damaged it. Two other trucks also loaded with cement and bound for in the same direction also became the target of mobfury.
On being informed, the circle officer of Lakhipur, Ruth Lienthang, along with officer in charge of the police station, Biswajit Purkayastha, with a posse of police andCRPF battalion rushed to the spot and after much persuasion with the agitated people brought the situation under control. In the boiling situation, the driver of police vehicle, Salim Uddin Laskar (45), was hitby a stone on his head and wounded. He was taken to Lakhipur civil hospital for treatment.
The driver of the truck, B Singh (36), involved in theaccident surrendered before the police. Eye witnesses when questioned said the truck was moving at high speed and caused the fatal accident. Though pacified, people of the Fulertal market area blocked the Silchar–Imphal highway for 3 hours, demanding action against the driver and adequate compensation to the family of Dhananjoy Das. The dead body of Das was sent to Silchar Medical College and Hospital for post–mortem. (Sentinelassam)

Cachar recalls exploits of Manipur Levy

Imphal, February 03 2013 : The "2nd Commemoration of Manipur Levy 2013" has been observed at Lakhipur in Cachar district of Assam marking 189 years since the establishment of the levy.
The commemorative function was organized by Manipur State Archives in association with the Barak Valley Meetei Convention, Lakhipur (BVMC) at Lakhipur Municipal Conference Hall on February 1 .
A booklet entitled 'Commemoration of Manipur Levy and One Day Seminar on Cachar Manipur Relation' was released as part of the observation.
Manipur State Archives Deputy Director K Sushila Devi, BVMC president Yengkhom Madanmohon Singh, Meetei Inat Thougal Lup, Jiribam president Thounaojam Khamba Luwang, Athouba Ningshing Lup Charitable Trust chairman Thoidingjam Dhirendra Singh, Meetei National Front, Jiri Branch president Hamom Dhani Meetei among others also attended the function.
At the event, floral tributes were also paid to late Gambhir Singh, the Maharaj of Manipur and the fallen soldiers of the Manipur Levy.
Addressing the gathering, Manipur State Archives Deputy Director Sushila said the Manipur Levy was set up in Cacharduring the 'Chahi Taret Khuntakpa' (Seven years Devastation) to defeat the Awas (Burmese) in 1824 with the help of theBritish.
Manipur Levy was organized by King Gambhir Singh and his brother Narsing, Sushila said recollecting the hardships faced by the Manipuris during the historical period.
The period of Seven Years Devastation (1819-1826) when the Burmese (Myanmarese) invaded Manipur is considered the most difficult and hardest timeof the Manipuris in its history.
Manipur Levy reoccupied the Imphal valley after it fought a fierce battle with the Awas (Burmese)on June 12, 1825 .
Sushila said the function is organised to make the future generation remember the historical event as it reclaimed the freedom of Manipur fromthe hands of the Burmese.
Apart from Gambhir Singh Maharaj and Narsingh Maharaj, prince Herachandra played significant roles in driving out the Awas from Manipur during the Seven Years Devastation.
At the function, dignitaries on the dais and other invites also spoke on the Cachar Manipur relation. (Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network
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Hmarkhawlein rural poll: Rosangpui throws gauntlet before Congress candidate

SILCHAR, Feb 2: All is quietin the largest Hmar village of Hmarkhawlien in Assam under Fulertal gaon panchayat of Lakhipur sub division of Cachar. There is no heat and dust of panchayat elections with, just 10 daysleft for the polls. Twolittle boys are seen walling up posters of zilla parishad candidate, Pradip Kumar Dey of Congress. Also seen in the alleys are campaign posters of AIUDF with Badaruddin Ajmal's appeal for support. In this bastion of Congress with 10,000 population dominated by Hmars, pineapple cultivation is their prime occupation and the mainstay of economy.
After the ushering in of panchayat system in 2003, much has not changed in this village as cross–sections of people are openly expressing their displeasure at the way funds for development are allotted against welfare schemes and projects are mismanaged and misappropriated. The voice of dissent and resentment has brought in the fray for GP president 26 year old Rosangpui, post graduate in political science and a social activist attached to Guwahati based NGO 'OneHope' working for youth and child. She has thrown gauntlet before the present incumbent, Lalringlien Sanate (36) who has been at the helmof affairs for consecutive two terms.
"Roshangpui is people's choice as an independent to take on Sanate of Congress", said Dolur Hmar, village youth leader and ex–army man. She is well qualified and articulate to understand and appreciate the feelings of people who want change. There is no incumbency factor, pointed out Dolur Hmar. What has gone wrong?
Though 29 subjects are under the governance of gaon panchayats, solely for the beneficiaries, the implementation is faulty, rued Abraham Hmar (33), a social worker. He lists the schemes for the old age pension, BPL ration cards, RGGBY electricity, Indira Awas Yojna, Safe drinking water, health and education structure and infrastructure and many others and asks which one is being implemented fairly and maintaining transparency.
To lend voice to Abraham,octogenarian T Chunga, village announcer, takes this scribe to a pond maintained by the Methodist Church on Mission Veng Field for fishing. Middle men by taking recourse to fraud manipulated the pond to show it as having been created under MNREGS on record to withdraw Rs. 5 lakh from the fund allotted. Dolur Hmar has another scam to unfold. He takes a stroll along Hmarkhawlein–Sonbari road being constructed under MNREGS at an estimated cost of Rs. 13.36 lakh. In reality, the road, metalling yet to be done, is being constructedby PWD (R). Dolur Hmar says after public hue and cry, investigation was conducted by the State vigilance cell. It found enough materials to substantiate the allegation. The block development officer, Saroj Das, was arrested and jailed and the GP president, Lalringlien, evaded arrest by seeking anticipatory bail from the Gauhati High Court. He adds to say cases against alleged misappropriation of MNREGS fund to the tune of Rs. 80 lakh are pending and that tells how people are being benefitted under panchayat raj.
Rosangpui looks confident with ever growing support rallying around her for the keen contest ahead on February 12 to take on her lone rival of Congress, Lalringlien Sanate. With burning problems of job cards, road, safe drinking water, sanitation, Indira Awas Yojna, health and education, Rosangpui goes on campaign after dusk when the residents return home from their works, mostly on fields and plantations. She asserts, "I want to bring about a change in the governance and to deliverthe benefits of panchayat raj to people, maintainingtransparency and accountability". She will not repeat the arbitrary and whimsical style of functioning of Rosangpui. One of her priorities, besides good governance,will be education to push up the literacy rate from apoor 45% to the 65%.
Lalringlien Sanate whom this scribe meets at her residence laughs away at all the allegations of her rival and detractors against her. She dubs them as 'baseless and unfounded.' This is nothing but canard and lie being spread against her. On the specific allegation of misappropriation of MNREGS funds, she while dismissing it as 'wild and fabricated' admits not much work has been done in this GP. She attributes it to lack of funds and their release and allotment are held up at the higher level, she says.
Lalringlien Sanate when asked about the arrest and incarceration of the BDO, Saroj Das, says this isnot in any way related to the investigation instituted against her andreveals that she has obtained permanent bail. Besides lack of funds standing in her works, she exposes how the menace of 'proxy in job cards' is frustrating the very objective of MNREGS. She says there is no alternative to Congress and in her door to door campaign the thrust is to convey the message to people that notwithstanding all the deficiencies, panchayat raj alone can change the face of villagers and their village. The battle between Lalringlien Sanate and Rosangpui is being keenly watched and result awaited by their voters. (sentinelassam)

DC acts against dealer:1.43 lakh litres of kerosene sold in black–market

SILCHAR, Feb 1: It was way back in 2009 that theowner and dealer of Pailapool Srish Chandra Service Centre and Lakhipur Srish Chandra Service Centre, Tapodhir Kanti Das, in the Lakhipur sub–division of Cachar, sold out 1.43 lakh litres ofkerosene in the black–market instead of distributing it among the authorized hawkers to be supplied to the consumersof fair price shops. Havingfailed to get any plausibleexplanation from the dealer owner, Das, for depriving them of the allotted kerosene, the hawkers under the banner of Kalyan Samiti lodged complaint with the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar.
Unable to get justice fromthe district administration, Hawkers' Kalyan Samiti filed case inthe lower court of Silchar which subsequently wentto the Gauhati High Court. The case was ultimately disposed of with directiveto the District Administration of Cachar to take action against the agent, Tapodhir Kanti Das.The present Deputy Commissioner, Harendra Kumar Dev Mahanta, afterhearing the agent and thehawkers' body, Kalyan Samiti, suspended the agency of Das on January 30 last and official order was executed in this regard.
While suspending the agency of Pailapool Srish Chandra Service Centre and Lakhipur Srish Chandra Service Centre, the allotment of kerosenefor the month of February has been given to B B Agency, Rongpur, NBC, Sonai and R C Paul, Lakhipur. The SDO of Lakhipur, Biresh Chandra Nath, along with the sub–divisional food and civil supply superintendent, Ganesh Choudhury, have assured the hawkers of strict monitoring of the allotment and distribution of kerosene among the consumers in afair manner. It is to be recollected that the agencies of Tapodhir Chandra Das have been suspended eight times since 1994. (SentinelAssam)