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Former students’ get-together at Makhibaha HS School

The entire batch of 1982-83 high school leaving certificate examination participants from Makhibaha High School (now an HS standard) under Nalbari district of central Assam will assemble along with their families on 16 April next in the school campus. The get-together programs comprise felicitation/ tributes to former teaches, commemoration of batch mates, plantation, cultural shows and vivid interactions. A small convener committee under the leadership of Hareswar Dutta (96134 51514), Narayan Majumder, Nabadeep Bharali, Utpal Bhattacharya, Golak Pathak etc was also formed to plan the ceremony, which is expected to be an annual affair.

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Senior journalist based in Guwahati.

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ACHR team to visit conflict ridden areas of Mizoram

30 Nov 2009 - 2:27am | editor

The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) has decided to send a fact finding team to the communal valance affected areas of Mizoram and also meet all sections of people including those involved in relief and rehabilitation activities. The New Delhi based rights body has stated in a statement that it has accepted the offer of the Mizoram home minister Pu R. Lalzirliana to visit the State in a convenient time (preferably December 4 to 11).


In a recent press meet at in Aizawl, the minister welcome ACHR representatives to Mizoram and see the facts and ground realities by themselves. Mentionable that soon after the violent attacks on Bru minorities by the miscreants in the State, the ACHR director Suhas Chakma wrote to the Mizoram government. “We have welcome the gesture of the minister Lalzirliana. Undoubtedly it is a positive step,” said Suhas Chakma. He of course urged the State government to make ‘necessary arrangement for adequate safety and security for the fact finding team’.


The ACHR, in order to ensure absolute independence, impartiality and objectivity, has already constituted a five member team. Chaired by Miloon Kothari, former United Nations special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, the team also includes Suhas Chakma (ACHR), Dashalene Karbetang (Advocate and human rights activist of Meghalaya), Nava Thakuria (journalist of Assam) and Bamang Tago (chairman of Arunachal Citizens Rights).


“The investigation team has representation from most Northeastern States and headed by a former United Nations expert from India. The members are well known in the field of human rights both in the Northeast and the world,” stated in a release from the ACHR. It also added that the team would visit the affected areas and meet all sections of people including those involved in relief and rehabilitation, interview all the communities, representative of the civil society groups including the MZP and YMA and the officials of the government of Mizoram as well as those who recently fled to Tripura because of the conflict.

Internally Displaced People (IDPs): Neglected victims of conflict

13 Feb 2012 - 5:06am | Monali Kakoty


Increase in the number of the internally displaced persons or IDPs (conflict induced) is primarily because of changing nature of warfare over the years. Besides sharp rise in internal conflicts due to ethnicity, religion, communalism, race, caste, separatists’ movements and various other reasons have added to this woe.


Cut off from their land, livelihood, income, and compelled to leave all but a few possessions behind, IDPs suddenly find themselves stripped of their means of survival.


The displaced are often stigmatised and also viewed with suspicion and hostility in the areas where they take shelter. They are vulnerable to acts of violence and human rights violations, including round-ups, forced conscription and sexual assault. The IDP category is taken for granted, and its unintended consequences are not often addressed.


Whereas shelter and food are basic components of assistance to refugees, in the case of IDPs, there is no UN agency that meets this need in humanitarian crises.


Many IDPs, moreover, are not found in camps but seek out shelter where they can, example - abandoned buildings, urban slums, roadside areas etc. With limited, if any, access to land and also cut off from their normal means of income, IDPs tend to be more dependent on food assistance than others in the local population.


In Assam, displacement is mainly due to demographic changes leading to intense conflict and violence for protection and preservation of its community. But what is the root cause of conflict ? Competition for natural and economic resources and struggle for political power among locals, others and migrants.


A small example of how anger among communities lead to violence. The story of displaced Santhals in western Assam shows how the discriminatory and uncaring attitude of the government has lead to birth of militant outfits.


Denied by government of protection, the Adivasi Cobra Militant Force and Birsa Commando Force were formed by some Santhals. Their violence and administration's operation against them have led to further terror.


Few years ago, the state government offered Santhal IDPs Rs. 10,000 as housing grant and were "released" from the camps. Release meant rations were stopped and they must fend themselves. They were afraid to return to their villages where their land and property were taken over by the Bodo community.


In India, the human rights commissions are limited of providing recommendations as they lack punitive power. The Centre has no national policy to respond to conflict-induced displacement. The responsibility for protecting this population has generally been entrusted to state governments.


It is difficult to deny that IDPs have certain needs that are distinct from the general population and which require special attention. What distinguishes the internally displaced are the unique needs and heightened vulnerabilities that arise as a result of forced displacement, including their need for a durable solution.


The vulnerabilities engendered by displacement do not necessarily diminish over time. Unless the situation of the IDPs is addressed to the core there will be no lasting peace. The proper rehabilitation of conflict induced displaced people must form the centre of peace building programmes in these areas.


Gogoi reminds PM of growing Maoist menace

21 Apr 2012 - 4:03am | editor


The Assam government on Friday urged the Centre to include seven districts in the Integrated Action Plan as soon as possible.


In a memorandum to prime minister on Friday, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said that seven districts were Maoist infested that that if these are included in the integrated action plan the Maoist menace would have hardly any chance to surface. Gogoi said that there has been a growing Maoists activities in Upper Assam only because of its strategic location.


He requested Dr Singh to send more para military forces saying that 97 companies of central paramilitary forces were inadequate for tackling the menace.