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 Security forces step up vigil in Upper Assam districts

From our Staff


Dibrugarh, April 2: Security forces have stepped up their vigil in the entire district following intelligence tip-off that the Paresh Baruah-led ULFA faction may strike in the Upper Assam districts of Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Sivasagar on the eve of banned organization’s raising day on April 7.

According to intelligence reports, the militants may use transistor radio in its bid to carry out bomb blasts. It also confirmed that a number of new recruits of ULFA, under the leadership of  its self-styled finance secretary, Jiban Moran, have sneaked into the district with transistor radio bomb and are striving hard to blow up the same on or before raising day of the organization in order to prove their presence and might. As per the messages intercepted by police, the banned organization will target Hindi-speaking people.

Meanwhile, a number of business men and tea estates’ proprietors of Upper Assam districts of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia have reportedly received extortion notice from the militants.

The Superintendent of Police, Arabinda Kalita, while addressing the Police Public Committee (PPC) meeting on April 1, called upon citizens to be more vigilant and inform the police if any suspicious object, particularly transistor radio type objects, comes to their notice. He also urged upon the people to be cautious about the movement of any unknown suspicious man or woman and inform police immediately so that their credentials could be checked. The police forces sought people’s participation in thwarting militants move to create law and order situation.


 ULFA militant killed in Tinsukia

Tinsukia, April 2: One hardcore ULFA militant has been killed and six others have been arrested following an encounter with the police in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district.
According to police, a group of the ultras on a vehicle were intercepted near Kakopathar village last night.
When the police challenged the ultras, they opened fire and in the exchange of fire, one ultra was killed on the spot while six of his accomplices were arrested. He is yet to be identified. The interrogation of the arrested ultras is on.
Meanwhile, the police arrested an ULFA duo Abhigyan Bora and Mridul Kumar Phukan in connection with the bomb blast at Doomdooma on Saturday. The bomb, hidden inside a tiffin box, exploded injuring three policemen.
Security has been tightened in upper Assam in view of the ‘raising day’ of the ULFA on April 7. (PTI)


 ABWWF to observe 8-day long 'Dry Day'

From our Correspondent

KOKRAJHAR, April 2: The All Bodo Women’s Welfare Federation (ABWWF) has decided to observe eight-day long ‘Dry Day’ from April 4, with a view to check the rising trend of anti-social and immoral activities in the society. The federation has been observing the Dry day every year on April 4 since its formation. This year, the women’s body has decided to bring out a rally and awareness meeting in four districts of BTC.

As part of the programme, the Chief of BTC, Hagrama Mohilary will flag-off the rally at Gossaigaon on April 4 in the morning. Earlier, the President of the ABWWF, Mithinga Basumatary will unfurl the organizational flag at Gossaigaon while Advisor and MLA, Pramila Rani Brahma will pay the floral tribute to martyrs. An awareness meeting on the killings, witch hunting, trafficking, rape cases and anti-social activities would be held at Kachugaon on the first day.

  Similarly, the rally and public awareness meeting would be held at Bismuri in Kokrajhar district, Kajalgaon, Bijni and Panbari in Chirang district, Saudurva and Mushalpur in Baksa district and Bhergaon, Harisinga and Routa in Udalguri district respectively from 4 to 12 April as part of scheduled programme.

 The President of the ABWWF, Mithinga Basumatary and General Secretary Dipali Narzary said the consumption of liquor, immoral activities, anti-social events, rape, trafficking, witch hunting and killings are on the rise in the society. They said, the society needs to stop over-drinking with a view to make a descent society and appealed to all to participate in the programmes during the observation of dry day.


 ONGC Assam Asset surpasses production target

From our Correspondent

SIVASAGAR, April 2: Assam Asset of ONGC has surpassed all its MoU crude oil production targets set for the financial year 2011-12, after 1.190 MMT, which is 104.5 per cent of the set target of 1.150 MMT. Equally dazzling is its performance on the gas production front. The MoU target of 448.0 MMSCM has been over-achieved by 107.7 per cent with the production 474.1 MMSCM of natural gas.

Repeating the same trend in gas sales, the Asset has surpassed its MoU target of 240.2 MMSCM by registering sales of 250 MMSCM, which 103.9 per cent of the target, an ONGC press release stated.

The Drilling Services, which has achieved 100 per cent target of setting up 34 number of wells (Development-24, Exploratory-10) against the MoU target of 33 wells. This success is attributed to continuous monitoring and pro-active measures taken during the year. Out of the 34 wells completed, 7 of them are above 4000 metre depth, whereas 12 wells are ranging in the depth of 3500-4000 metres. The Asset also took a quantum leap in the progress of Assam Renewal Project (ARP) during current year with a focus on the pipeline network of Lakwa oil field, one of the main production fields of Assam Asset.  The Asset has been able to complete 71 pipeline segments against an annual target of 10 pipeline segments within the fair weather window and that too in the challenging tea garden terrain.

While congratulating the team members of Assam Asset,  Bimal Kumar Baruah, ED-Asset Manager, said, “The journey towards success has only begun. We have to be always very proactive and efficient to carry forward this success in the future also.” Baruah has also commented that the Asset is grateful to the local organizations and people in general for providing their whole-hearted support to the Assam Asset. “Without the support from the local people and organizations, it is not possible to register good performance,” he added. Baruah also said, “Assam Asset is thankful to State Governmnet and District Administration for their support.”


 Army distributes TERI lanterns to villagers

From our Correspondent

SIVASAGAR, April 2: The Army unit under the aegis of Assam Rifles at Longding in Arunachal Pradesh, took an initiative under the project ‘Lighting a Billion Lives’ by distributing TERI (The Energy Research Institute) lanterns to the villagers, who do not see light after the sun goes down.  

Commandant of the Rajput Battalion and Shilpa Shinde, DC, Longding District in an organized meet handed over 50 TERI Lanterns to the villagers of far-flung Ojakho village and established the charging station. This project will in turn act as source of income for a lady of this village, who will install and maintain the charging station and solar lanterns. Speaking on the social issues, the Commandant focused upon insurgency, poverty, natural resources etc, and he assured the villagers that all out efforts will be made by Army and Civil Administration for uplift of the village and eradication of insurgency in this trouble-torn area.  

The villagers submitted a memorandum to the DC emphasizing their problems. As per their demands, the DC announced construction of a community hall in this village. This effort was highly appreciated by the people of Ojakho village and won the heart of one and all.


 Rare species of snake found

From our Staff


Dibrugarh, April 2: An uncommon mildly venomous 12-inch long Thai Cat Snake (Boiga siamensis) was rescued at Dhadomia Gaon, Sasoni in Naharkatiya, by a local resident of the village, Diganta Nirmalia, on Sunday.

 Nirmalia immediately informed the Forest Range Officer of Joypore under Dibrugarh Forest Division, Mukut Chandra Das. Two forest personnel, Duleswar Tamuli and  Miju Bharali immediately rushed to the spot and rescued the snake and brought it to the ranger’s office. Since the snake was very uncommon to this region, they could not identify it and later called local herpetologist and Assistant Professor at the Department of Zoology, Digboi College Rajib Rudra Tariang, who identified the snake. The snake was then released in the same village by the forest officials.

According to Tariang, who had earlier sighted one such snake at Digboi on November, 2011, the snake is uncommon in Upper Assam. Another similar species had been spotted at Margherita during June 2004 by Anand Wats, Tea Garden Manager of Margherita Tea Estate. Till now, Upper Assam had recorded around 44 varieties of snakes in the past 5 years of study.

 The snake is nocturnal in habit and is mainly found in bushes and shrubs in plains and hill forests. It mainly feeds on lizards, birds, small rodents and bird eggs. The body is long, thin and laterally flattened with long tail. It grows up to 51 inches and maximum recorded to be 67 inch.  It has a typical blunt head distinctly broader than the neck and has a larger vertical pupil eye.

 It is distributed in the entire North-East India from West Bengal to Jalpaiguri, Eastern Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam. It is also found in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. It has a pair of rear fangs and strikes when provoked, but the venom can paralyze a small prey only.


 Health workshop at Margherita College

From our Staff


Dibrugarh, April 2: A day long workshop on Health and Environmental Awareness , organized by Margherita College Economic Forum under the UGC’s Extension programme was held at Powaimukh Janajati ME School, about 10 km from Margherita on Saturday last.

   The workshop which was presided over by the headmaster of the school, Moheswar Barua was attended by nearly 200 school students along with teachers from nearby schools and colleges. Principal, Margherita College, Buddhin Gogoi, Assistant Professor of Zoology, Digboi College Rajib Rudra Tariang, Head of Economics Department of Margherita College, G Purkayastha and an official of Powai Mukh Health Centre participated in the workshop as resource persons.

Sunil Bora and LC Gogoi, both teachers at Margherita College conducted a quiz programme among the students on nature and health related issues. The students of Powaimukh ME School also presented a skit performance apart from different forms of Bihu dances.

 Professor Tariang, while speaking as a resource person, demonstrated local varieties of snakes and their importance in striking a balance in the nature. His audio visual presentation on different types of venomous and non-venomous snakes and tips on their identification created a lot of enthusiasm among the participants.  He emphasized on the preservation of snakes as it protected paddy fields from rats. Tariang called upon the school children  to protect the environment from destruction  and take steps to save the eco-system for the welfare of mankind.

 Meanwhile, Dr Purkayasthya spoke on the purpose of holding such workshop and urged upon all people living in villages to set an example for their urban counterpart by placing more stress on the  preservation of rich flora and fauna.

Secretary, Margherita College Economic Forum  BP Chetry offered the vote of thanks.


 Congress leader visits eviction sites at Chirang Reserve Forest

From our Correspondent

KOKRAJHAR, April 2: The Chief Co-ordinator of BTC Congress Committee Bikramsing Brahma on Sunday visited the eviction sites in Lumsung-Laopani areas of Chirang reserve forest in Kokrajhar district and took the detailed reports of eviction drive.

  The Chief Co-ordinator of BTC Congress Committee, Brahma visited the Sonapur areas of Lumsung-Laopani reserve forest and met the evicted people. He took the detailed notes of eviction and criticized the concerned department for allegedly burning down houses. He claimed that the Congress high command instructed him to take stock of the situation arising out of the eviction. The visiting reporters witnessed the rampant destruction of forest in Lumsung- Laopani areas. The Forest Department had served notices to illegal settlers to leave the forest on February 11, but the encroachers have continued to stay there, defying the order that forced them to evict. The illegal villages inside the reserve forest,  number 1 and 2 Sonapur, number 1 and 2 Laokriguri, Mainaopuri, number 1 and 2 Belguri, Nijwmpuri, Daoraigabnai, Habrubari etc. have sprung up within a short span of time. The people have been continuously indulging in destroying jungles to have more lands. Big tress are being felled, but no cultivation is to be seen.

The Lumsung, Laopani and Saralpara areas under Holtugaon Forest Division has the worst experience of illegal encroachment where the Santhals, Bodos, Nepalis, Rabhas and some Rajbongshis are settling deep inside the reserve forest. The illegal encroachment in the reserve forest is still going on despite the eviction notices being served to the illegal settlers. It is reported that the Department of Forest, with active support from the forest conserving group, including the former rebels have carried out eviction drive in Sonapur-Laopani-Lumsung area of Chirang reserve forest on March 26 and damaged 211 houses belonging to the Bodo community. The evicted people are taking shelter in two temporary camps near the reserve forest and passing through hard times. Most of the encroachers are from the Chirang district itself, while some of them are from the adjacent forest villages.

    In an interview with mediapersons, one Jogeswar Mashahary said that the Department conducted eviction drive on March 26 with the help of rebel groups and destroyed households. He reiterated that the NDFB (Ranjan Daimary) faction were also involved in the eviction drive and alleged that many houses were burnt down and people were forced to stay in the temporary camps near the forest. He also said that, of the 220 families, houses of 211 families were destroyed.

When asked from when, why and where they have come from, he said that most of them are from the neighboring villages of Chirang district and are landless people due to massive erosion of River Bhur. He also said, they have been living in the forest since the last 6-8 years. If the government allotted land to them in other places as alternative arrangement, they are ready to go there; he said adding that they have no other ways to live in. He further said no political party leaders have visited after the eviction except the Congress leader.

   The Chief Co-ordinator of BTC Congress Committee, Bikramsing Brahma in the interview said, the eviction drive and burning down of houses using civil groups was most unfortunate. He said, the people being the citizens of India have to get their rights to stay or to lead life and government has to provide alternative arrangement. He said the government has stayed the eviction order and no eviction should be carried out in Lumsung. He also said the government has failed to evict the suspected nationalities even in Kaziranga National park but have instead maintained a tough stand on the indigenous people.

 When asked about the stand of the congress on conservation of forest, Brahma said,“Yes, the reserve forest should be protected and prevention of illegal encroachers is the need of the hour but the eviction should be carried out as per the norms laid down in the Act of the forest and there should be alternative arrangement for the people. He said there should not be any discrimination and the eviction should not be on community wise.  Replying to a question on how the encroacher issue could be solved, Brahma said the issue would be discussed in the party and the high command will find out the ways and means to solve the settlement of the issue. He also said the proposal of BTC to allot land to the people who would be shifted, is praiseworthy.


 Dibrugarh ADC takes charge of SKAC Secretary General

From our Staff Correspondent

Dibrugarh, April 2 : The Additional Deputy Commissioner Pradip Kumar Rajkhowa has taken over the charge of Secretary General of the Sonowal Kachari Autonomous Council(SKAC), besides charges of earlier held Department.

It may be recalled that former Secretary General of SKAC, Nitul Kumar Baruah has been promoted to the post of Joint Secretary in the Primary Education Department, Government of Assam.


 Wooden bridge collapses at Sonari, four injured

From our Correspondent

SIVASAGAR, April 2: A wooden bridge at Ganjupara area, near Sonari under Charaideo sub-division in Sivasagar district collapsed on Monday injuring a driver of a vehicle and three others, including a woman.

The bridge which was meant for light traffic collapsed under the weight of a passenger DI truck. As a result, the vehicle plunged into the river, injuring its passengers.

Sources said, the incident occurred when the truck (AS06/AC-1501) was crossing the wooden bridge, which had been in a poor state with some of its wooden planks broken.

The injured had been rushed to the nearby civil hospital and are undergoing treatment there.


 One killed in road accident

Staff Reporter
JORHAT, April 2: A youth, Pranabjyoti Phukan was killed after being hit by a truck at Borhola in Titabor subdivision yesterday. Phukan, an ONGC employee hailing from Merapani area, was riding on a motor cycle when he was hit by the truck from behind. He died on the spot. Police has seized the truck involved in the accident.


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