If Magh Bihu comes can the battle of birds be far behind? No, it can’t. That’s why, Hajo wears a fresh look a few days before the festival. Women are heavily engaged in preparing sweets and pastries. But their husbands, mostly, are busy with training up the birds meant for the battle, a traditional game of bird fight on the occasion of Bhugali bihu.
“We have caught the birds available in this area. The training is underway. From early in the morning we take them out for training. I hope my bird would be able to face any other strong birds this time,” said Jeevan Das who is keeping a bird for the battle on January 15.
“ I serve my bird with banana so that it can ensure victory at ease. Last year my bird help me get encouraging response from the people. This time also s is going to happen,” said Runk Kalita whose bird is gathering strength for the fight. A local resident told Assam Times, “the birds would not be allowed to eat on the day of the fight. They would be released once the fight is over. This is what is tradition.”
“The entire historic event pulls huge crowd in every year. This time also it would be no exception. Apart from the foreign tourists, people from Bhutan join the crowd to enjoy the battle,” said Rinku Das who is one of the organizing committee official.
The fight would begin from 9 in the morning on January 15. Around 100 birds are waiting to take on each other. The winners would be awarded after the event.
An Indian python with serious head injury was rescued by a few nature loving villagers near Kalaigaon on February 19.The injured python ( 7feet 7 inches long,weighing 8 kg) was brought yo Kalaigaon Police Station for treatment before handing over to forest officials in the evening. According to information a group of minor boys had seen the reptile on a tree at Rupatol village at 2 PM.Mistaking it to be a monitor lizard,they attacked the python with catapults causing head injury. They boys were about to kill it. Fortunately a few nature loving villagers of Majorchuba namely- Phatik Sargiary (45) and Udai Sahari (32) had arrived at the spot and carried the injured python to the house of one Sasti Ram Boro before informing Chandra Hazarika,the Gaonburah. The matter was also reported to Dinomani Das,Circle Officer,Kalaigaon Revenue Circle and In-charge of Kalaigaon Police Station. Later the injured python was brought to Kalaigaon Police Station,where necessary veterinary treatments were given in the evening. Several doses of antibiotics and pain killer were injected in presence of forest officials. Jayanta Kumar Das,Member Secretary,Barnadi Wildlife Sanctuary Monitoring Committee was also present at the time of treatment. This had been the first case of treatment of a python in the area. The python was later handed over to Bharat Deka, a forest official at 7 PM to be released in the Khalingduar Reserve Forest.
Nature loving people of Kalaigaon have expressed satisfaction at the safe rescue of the python and thanked Habibur Rahman,Officer-Incharge Kalaigaon Police Station for his timely action in rescuing it. It needs mention that unabated destruction of forest has rendered most of the reptiles and birds homeless causing untold damage to ecology in Udalguri district.
Despite reluctance of Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi to go for inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Rupees one thousand crore scam of North Cachar Hills development fund, as demanded by the Opposition parties of the state, he had to bow down and decided to go for the same after getting advice from the Union Home Ministry. According to the news item published by The Week, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), had earlier suggested that since there were the evidences of nexus between the militants, politicians and government officials, the government should go for the probe by the CBI, but the chief minister did not agree to the suggestion. He repeatedly denied involvement of his ministers and tried to divert attention of the people asking probe into the earlier cases of decade ago during Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) regime. But he failed to convince the Union home ministry saying that his ministers’ name did not appear or mentioned in the NIA report submitted to the government.
On the state government’s decision to go for CBI inquiry into the financial irregularities, the Assam health minister and spokesperson Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the government was ready for a CBI inquiry, as it had nothing to hide and wanted the truth to prevail, but the chief minister wanted that the CBI probe to be preceded by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, which would have the CBI inquiry as well. On the alleged involvement of seven ministers, including himself in the scam, he said that the NIA had clarified on The Week’s news story, ruling out involvement of any minister. He further added that the NIA has rebutted The Week report saying that the ‘ministers were not even investigated by it (NIA) and hence there was no question of naming any’.
The Week story on the issue has at one place mentioned that after finding the involvement of ministers in the scam, the NIA sought permission from the state government to examine such persons, which was denied. Under such circumstances the NIA could not proceed ahead and suggested the government to go for a CBI inquiry. Under such circumstances it was out of question for the NIA to name any person without questioning. Hence the report could not mention any name. It is just like a theft case in which a thief is not apprehended with booty, it does not mean that there was neither a theft nor a thief. The Week’s story does not seem to be so weak if thoroughly gone through it. There is something to put more embarrassment to the state government and the politicians.