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Open Stillwell Road, push NE-Kunming trade corridor: Pradyut

The Assam Government Tuesday made a forceful plea for reopening  the Stilwell Road which is capable of handling 20-25 per cent of Sino-Indian bilateral trade. It said there is need to push for a Northeast-Kunming Trade Corridor to strengthen economies. Stilwell Road, formerly called the Ledo Roadis a 769 kilometer long route that links Northeastern India with the Burma Road, which runs from Burma to China. During World War II the Stilwell Road was used as a strategic military route. The Ledo Road was intended to be the primary supply route to China and was built under the direction of General Stilwell from the railhead at Ledo in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Inaugurating a national dialogue titled “Guwahati Initiative: Northeast as the Centre of a Regional Universe”, the Assam Power, Industry, Commerce and Public Enterprises Minister Pradyut Bordoloi said: “The recent communiqué in the aftermath of the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to China only talks about the Kolkata-Kunming Economic Corridor, which is a little disappointing to us in the northeastern region. Not that we do not want Kolkata to be an economic corridor to Kunming but then, is it an exercise to bypass the northeastern region?” The dialogue is jointly organized by the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), New Delhi and the Centre for Development and Peace Studies (CDPS), Guwahati.

Mr Bordoloi called for reopening of the Stilwell Road. He said, “It is almost despicable and laughable argument one hears among the babus of North and South Block that if you open the Stilwell Road, the Chinese will swamp the markets with their cheap goods. That the road will bring in AIDS, narco-terrorism and AK 47s for our rebel outfits, as if they are preventing all these by not opening the road”. Mr Bordoloi added: “For us, development is a pre-condition for peace – it is the key requirement. Today we are all honestly hoping that the government of India will take notice of the combined view emanating form the northeastern region and we must be pragmatic about it.”

Presenting his inputs Jishnu Baruah, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Assam, said, “India may exploit the existing deep civilizational and spiritual ties with Myanmar by greater and closer people to people contact as well as strengthening of cultural bonds.” He stressed on the need to hasten the connectivity between the Northeast and the neighborhood to break the impasse and rid the isolation of the region.

M. P. Bezbaruah, Member, North Eastern Council (NEC), said that it is necessary for stakeholders from the Northeast to be part of the decision-making process on the Look East Policy. He said that tourism can turn around the economy in the Northeast and suggested three transit circuits: Northeast Circuit, a Combined Circuit with Myanmar and then a Southeast Asian Circuit.

R S Joshi, Chiarman, Federation of Industry and Commerce of the North Eastern Region (FINER) in his speech maintained that it is required to be comfortable domestically, before one thinks about cross-border trade. There is an urging need for a Northeast Banking Policy on the lines of the Northeast Investment Promotion Policy (NEIPP 2007). The Foreign Direct Investment Policy (FDI) must be made attractive by introducing extra concession on taxes for the NE region, he added.

While Ambassador Ambe Ranjit Gupta, Distinguished Fellow, IPCS opined that the Northeast will be the biggest beneficiary if the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) initiative is moved forward, it was unanimously agreed upon by all the participants present that a study of comparative advantage for the Northeast states from the Look East Policy is pertinent. The seminar saw the participation of academics, senior government officials, retired army chiefs, students, business heads, and journalists.

It is to be noted that in May during the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's India visit, India agreed to explore the possibilities of the proposed Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor with China.

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Syed Miraz Ahmed's picture

Writes, edits and researches. In 2013 he was conferred the Rotary International District 3240 Young Achiever Award for his work in the area of environment and digital journalism. In 2006 he was awarded first in the category of Wildlife Photography by the Department of Environment & Forests and Tourism, Government of Assam.

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Promod slams Hagrama

9 Jan 2018 - 8:49pm | AT Kokrajhar Bureau

 Kokrajhar, Jan 9: President of the All Bodo Student's Union (ABSU)  Promod Boro coming down heavily on BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary over his remarks on ABSU working to the community welfare said that the students union will continue it's mission to make healthy community in the nation.

The Golden Jubilee celebration of erstwhile Goalpara district committee of ABSU and 49th annual convention of Kokrajhar district committee of ABSU was concluded today with four day long programme at Bodofa Nwgwr, Dotma in Kokrajhar.

Nearly thousand delegates from 20 anchalik committes participated the convention.

A multi cultural rally was organized this morning to mark the celebration representing from Bodo, Nepali, Adivasi, Garo communities are participating.

An open session was held with Janak Ujir, president of Kokrajhar district committee of ABSU in the chair.

Promod said that ABSU is working for the uplift and agitation to put pressure government for demands of Bodoland state.He said that the students union has been taking stern movement initiative to the demands of Bodoland state under Article 2 & 3 of Indian constitution. He has denied Hagrama's allegation over working of Absu towards Bodos welfare. 'Hagrama's allegation was only his party image creation not for the common citizens, we are not as alleged of Hagrama ',he said.

He alleged that government has not been initiated any steps while bringing solution to the demand of new state creations across the country including Bodoland even though the government has been holding tripartite talks since past few years. But interestingly, BJP led NDA government has no showing sincerity to hold peace talks over the new state creation issue. He has urged the government to take bold step while solution to the long standing demand of Bodoland issue.

Bidharva Angadi  leader from Maharashtra Anil Kumar Jawade attended the open session. Jawade has urged the centre to create new state to meet healthy and good governance in the region.



2 nabbed in teen assault case

5 Jun 2016 - 10:23pm | Shajid Khan

Police on Saturday arrested Babul Das and Tupa Das, involved in the brutal assault of the teenager at Harisinga on May 30 leading to loss of vision in his eye. The arrest came aftermath of vehement protests by various organisations including ABSU,BWJF demanding arrest of the culprits involved in the crime and justice to the victim The police had earlier arrested another accused, Anjan Das. Three other accused - Ratan Das, Mukut Das and Narayan Nera, who were named in the FIR, are still at large. Mukut Das is said to be the president of the Udalguri unit of the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad. They are all residents of Harisinga town.

The victim,a 15 year-old boy, is a Class IX student of Harisinga Higher Secondary School and a resident of Towmari village. "We have arrested two more persons today.A man-hunt to nabb others is on" a police officer of Udalguri informed.

It may be mentioned that the teenage accused of theft was brutually assaulted by a mob on the early morning of May 30, last, reportedly the teen who aspired to join defense service near future was out on the streets for physical exercise at about 2.30 am. When a group of miscreants caught hold of him accusing him of theft in a grocery store and tortured him until dawn. The minor of tribal origin was thrased, blind-folded and gruesomely beaten with sticks,rods and inflicted multiple blade injuries on shoulder, and tied his limbs on post .

The miscreants didn't stop here, the last phase was to sprinkle salt on the wounds and forcibly made the minor consume chilly powder and lime.(limestone).For almost two hours the minor endured unbearable torture and pain until he became unconscious.

The boy was later handed over to police official who first admitted him to Udalguri civil hospital but was later referred to Tezpur Medical College and Hospital, where his condition is still critical. He has totally lost vision in one eye and is also having difficulty in hearing.

50 addl forces to deal with situation

24 Dec 2014 - 4:52pm | Rashmita Gogoi

The Centre is mobilising 50 companies (5000 personnel) of central forces at the request of Assam. This was what Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju told reporters in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Rijiju called it an unfortunate incident to have taken place at a time when the government has already sent a message that violence and development cannot go together.

Before accompanying Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Assam in the morning, Rijiju said north east must progress to help the peace prevail.