Monday, April 5, 2010

No Chinese threat on Sino-Indian border in Arunachal: ITBP DG

There has been no threat from the Chinese along the Sino-Indian border in Arunachal Pradesh, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Director General Ranjit Kumar Bhatia said today.

"There is no indication of threat by Chinese soldiers on Arunachal Pradesh territory. The morale of the people on the border are high," Bhatia, who accompanied Union Home Minister P Chidambaram during a recent visit, told PTI at Chariduar sector headquarters of ITBP here.

ITBP, which replaced Assam Rifles in Arunachal Pradesh in 2004 as a back-up force to the Army, has taken up a project of setting up border police sectors in North-East in addition to the existing three at Tezpur, Itanagar and Gangtok, he said.

Priority would be given to recruit more local youths in the force to make it more effective, Bhatia said.

"The force is now manning 1126 km of Sino-Indian border from Karakoram Leh in Jammu and Kashmir to Dipola Pass near Myanmar border. It will further be upgraded to cover more forward areas," he said.

Gogoi launches sister & sister-in-law schemes

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday launched the Baideu and Nabou schemes under Social Welfare Department.

Baideu (elder sister in Assamese) is meant for single and/or unmarried women aged 45 years and above and Nabou (elder sister-in-law) is for lonely widows, both below poverty line.

This twin scheme would entail for 1.26 unmarried women and widows in Assam Rs 3,000 annually and a one-time grant of Rs 10,000 each.

"Our government is committed to ameliorating the economic lot of women, especially those in the BPL category," Gogoi said. "We are pro-poor, and this is evident from a slew of schemes for the needy."

Women, the chief minister added, deserved financial help owing to their industriousness. He also pointed out how self-help groups run by women have been faring better than other SHGs in Assam.

According to Social Welfare Minister Akon Bora, the government has also focused attention on younger, unmarried women belonging to BPL families. Schemes for them include a one-time marriage assistance of Rs 10,000.

ESMA invoked in Jammu & Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday invoked the Essential Service Maintenance Act (ESMA) against the government employees as they continued their strike for the third consecutive day.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday evening.

The government employees have been observing strike in support of their demand for release of sixth pay commission arrears and enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60.

Total strike was observed for third consecutive day on Monday in government offices, civil secretariat and PSUs on a call given by various employees unions. Police lathicharged the employees when they tried to march towards Secretariat in Jammu.

Earlier in the day, the state government appealed to the striking employees to resume their duties and shun the path of confrontation.

"We appeal to the striking employees to shun the path of confrontation and resume their duties as their strike is not good for the development and people of the state," Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather said while giving a statement in the Assembly.

"Confrontation is neither good for government nor for the state. The government was sincere in fulfilling the demands of employees but it depends on availability of funds," Rather said.

He also appealed to parties to desist from indulging in politics on the issue.

The Minister gave a detailed account of efforts the government has been making for the release of sixth pay commission arrears to the state employees.