Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bru refugees head count completed

AIZAWL, – There are total 27,261 Bru refugees from Mizoram in six relief camps in North Tripura district as per a head count completed today, reports PTIThe head count exercise was undertaken as per the instruction of the Mizoram Government, which is regarded as the first step in the effort to repatriate all Bru refugees this year following instructions of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram that it be completed by October end.Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF), which undertook the exercise said the relief camps were located at Kanchanpur sub-division in North Tripura district and the refugees were classified into two groups – those who migrated en masse in 1997 and those in 2009.Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, who visited Aizawl on May 25 asked the Bru leaders to ensure that all refugees were repatriated to Mizoram and said he would visit Mizoram again to oversee the repatriation process.Our Correspondent adds: The MBDPF, apex body of the Reang refugees, has sought investigation at appropriate level over the distribution of inflammatory leaflets involving its leaders.In a letter addressed to Superintendent of Police (SP), North Tripura district on Tuesday, A Sawinbunga, general secretary of MBDPF informed that some leaflets containing malicious campaign against the MBDPF were found in several places in Kanchanpur subdivision recently.The leaflets written in local dialect read that Elvish Chorkhy, R Laldawngliana and A Sawibunga – all MBDPF leaders – are heading the Bru National Army, an outfit and they are working for the community to target Mizo people in near future.The distribution of such leaflets has triggered tension among Bru and Mizo communities in Kanchanpur subdivision.A team of MBDPF has already met Officer in Charge (OC), Kanchanpur subdivision and handed over some leaflets to him. A letter has been sent to the SP urging him to conduct a probe into the matter and nab the people responsible for the cowardly act.In the letter, it also mentioned that the move is aimed to destabilise the existing mutual understanding between Mizos and Reangs (Bru) in the subdivision where more than 30,000 refugees are sheltered due to ethnic strife in neighbouring Mizoram.

Over 30 MR quarters gutted

Imphal, August 02: A major fire broke out in the Type-I family-line quarters of 2nd Manipur Rifles at Kabow Leikai in Imphal East today, in which over 30 residential quarters had been completely gutted and properties worth over a crore rupees had been reduced to ashes.Among the properties destroyed in the inferno were dozens of barrels containing illegally stored petrol and diesel.Properties worth around Rs one crore belonging to the families living in the quarters located in a row and five vehicles parked near the quarters inside the Battalion headquarters of the 2nd MR were reduced to ashes in the blaze that broke out around 7 am today.The fire is believed to have erupted from one of the quarters where fuel was stored.One havildar, Salam Ajit sustained injury in the fire. He has been admitted to JNIMS hospital. He was later referred to Shija Hospital. No other casualty has been reported.Five fire tenders and riot control water cannon from Imphal police station, Varun were pressed into service, and it took the firemen and police personnel around three hours to douse the raging flames, said police.Fire tenders from Thoubal and Mayang Imphal fire stations also rushed to the spot and assisted the fire fighters of Imphal fire service station in extinguishing the fire. They succeeded in extinguishing the fire at about 10 am.The effort of the firemen to put the fire under control was hampered when at least three gas cylinders in the quarters exploded making the job of the fire-fighters still more difficult. Besides, the fire spread quickly and became more intense with the fuel stored in many of the quarters burning.Petrol and diesel were stored in most of the quarters as reported by the residents of neighbourhood.When the raging inferno was at its extreme peak and the firemen were battling to put out the fire, a number of barrels filled with petrol and diesel were rolled out from almost all the quarters to save from the spreading fire.Five vehicles including one Gypsy, a Santro car and three two-wheelers were also completely burnt.The Gypsy (MN1A-5464) belonged to the injured Havildar, Ajit, while the Santro car (MN01-W/4547) belonged to Babukhan Kabui. The two-wheelers were a Bajaj Pulser (MN05-0131) and an NV Scooter.The belongings of most of the quarters including household items, luxury items, food items were also reduced to ashes apart from petrol and diesel hoarded by two havildars Aji and Yaima. Many containers with petrol and diesel were found in the two gutted quarters.Cash amounting to around Rs 60 lakh belonging to the two havildars and another amount of Rs 70 lakh belonging to another MR personnel were also burnt.Reports said, the fire started from the quarter of Ajit, who was doing a brisk business of petrol and diesel. The fire could not be put out despite efforts of the neighbours to do so.There had been reports that the 2nd MR quarters have become a black market hub of petrol and diesel.In the meantime, relief aids were provided by the personnel of 2nd MR to the families of the personnel affected by the blaze. The families were given Rs 1000 each, one litre of edible oil, two blankets, mosquito nets and three kg of dal each.JCOs, NCOs and residents of the surrounding areas of the affected family-line also donated Rs 35,000. The commandant of the 2nd MR and other officials expressed gratefulness for the help being extended towards the suffering families.

Charges Framed in Naga Girl’s Murder Case

Nine months after the murder of 19-year-old Manipuri girl Ramchamphy Hongray, the court has framed the charges for murder and for tampering the evidence of offence against Pushpam Kumar Singh who strangulated and burnt the girl’s body at her home in Munirka in South Delhi. On 24 October 2009, Ramchanphy Hongray (19) was attacked by Pushpam Kumar Sinha (29), who used to reside in the second floor of the same building — house number A-80. The youth was pursuing his PhD in Wave Mechanics from IIT, Delhi. The reasons being as told by the accused Sinha that he lived next door to Hongray and she had been rejecting his advances over the past few days. On the fateful afternoon, when she was alone at home, he entered the house and assaulted her. As she resisted, he allegedly strangled her and then set her body on fire in the kitchen to remove evidence. The framing of charges paves the way for initiation of trial in this case. The matter is put up for hearing on 3rd, 8th, 9th, 10th, 29th, 30th of November and 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 12th of December 2010 in the court of D.K. Sharma, Additional Session Judge, Patiala House Court. “I hope that the accused will be punished and the compensation we are seeking will be given to us at the earliest” said elder sister of Hongray.

India cannot be slum-free in 5 yrs: Officials

New Delhi, Aug 3: A year after the government made the grand claim to make the India slum-free, officials say, "making India slum-free in the next five years is an unrealistic goal."Housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry officials said a committee formed to look into population of slum dwellers has put their numbers sizeably higher than estimated earlier."The 2001 census had estimated the slum dwellers to be 23 percent of the population of 640 towns surveyed but latest estimates show their number to be about 29 percent of the urban population," an official said.In Jun 4, 2009, while addressing the joint session of Parliament, President Pratibha Patil had announced that the government planned to make India slum-free in five years through a new scheme, Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY),A year has passed since the announcement and officials said the task of ridding cities of slums is complex and huge to be achieved in five years."The aspiration is to do it in the shortest possible time but it is unlikely to be done in five years," said an official."The aim is not only to make the country slum free in a time-bound manner but also to prevent future growth of slums by providing basic services such as sewerage, water, street lights, education and health services," said D S Negi, Director, National Building Organisation and Officer on Special Duty, RAY.India is home to 61.8 million slum dwellers living mostly amidst inhuman conditions and according to the report of National Sample Survey Office, around 57 percent of slums come up on public land, owned mostly by local bodies and state government, 24 percent along drains and around 12 percent along railway tracks.

‘Kaun Banega Crorepati 4′ goes on air Oct 11

NEW DELHI - The fourth season of television game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (KBC) is set to go on air on megastar and host Amitabh Bachchan’s birthday Oct 11.The actor wrote on microblogging site Twitter: “A few clarifications on ‘KBC’. Questions to first round of ‘entry’ to show start Aug 2nd. Broadcast starts Oct 11!”The fourth season of KBC will be aired on Sony TV.Based on British show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”, “KBC” created history when it was first launched on Star Plus in 2000 with Amitabh as the host.He returned with the second season in 2005, after which superstar Shah Rukh Khan took over the baton in 2007.