Wave of blasts rocks Manipur, 3 dead
Guwahati, Saturday, September 29, 2012Wave of blasts rocks Manipur, 3 deadImphal (Sept 28): In one of the most audacious acts of violence in Manipur in recent times, suspected militants triggeredseven bombs — one after the other — which left two Assam Rifles jawans and a civilian dead on Friday near Kotha village, north of Moreh, along the Indo-Myanmar border.Four other jawans and two civilians — both women — were also injured in the serial explosions which was targeted at security forces. No group has claimed responsibility so far.Kotha , which almost straddles the Indo-Myanmar border, is the only village in the hills inhabited by plains-dwelling Meiteis.The deceased Assam Rifles jawans have been identified as rifleman Jogendra Kaushik, hailing from Uttarakhand and Kewal Singh from Rajasthan. Both the deceased and the injured jawans belonged to the B Company of 24 Assam post located at Kotha village.The deceased civilian has been identified as 55-year-old Ningthoujam Sangaijao of Kotha village. The two injured women, also hailing from the same village, are 40-year-old Angom Kaboklei and 30-year-old Angom Ritu Devi.The seriously injured Angom Kaboklei have been referred to a hospital in Imphal while Ritu was discharged after treatment. The bodies of both the deceased jawans have been airlifted to Imphal.According to the SDPO of Moreh, Balaram — who spoke to Seven Sisters Post from the spot — said that the first explosion occurred at a little over 1 pm of Friday and the other bombs went off one after the other. The bombs were laid about 20 to 25 feet apart along a village road between Kudengtabi and Kotha.Quoting villagers he said that while four bombs went off in a series, the remaining three went off in another series after about five minutes. The bombs, he said, was planted on both sides of the village roads.He said the attack took place when a foot patrolling team of the Assam Rifles was returning from the main Kudengthabi post with their rations.The deceased civilian, a small-time bamboo-shoot seller, was resting with the two women at a spot when the bombs went off.Following the explosions panic spread through Kotha village which has a historic significance for Manipur.Additional troops of Assam Rifles and police rushed to the spot and conducted a brief search operation at a nearby New Kotha village from where police suspect the bombs were triggered.Police said the attack was the handiwork of experts. "We have gathered splinters and some materials for sending to forensic laboratory to find out the nature of the explosives," said Balaram.
ABVP demands resignation of Forest Minister GUWAHATI, Sept 28: The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) today decried that state of affairs in the Forest department and demanded the resignation of Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain, for its failure to reign the poachers and unabated encroachment of forest lands in and around Kaziranga National Park.This reaction came shortly after the killing of four rhinos in less that 48 hours, that triggered off huge protests and road blockades in the National Park and elsewhere in the State.Meanwhile, ABVP general secretary Krishna Kanta Borah said, "The Tarun Gogoi led government has utterly failed to stop poaching activities in Kaziranga National Park. Our Forest Minister, Rockybul Hussain has proved his incompetency in dealing with poachers and the lack of sufficient manpower in the Kaziranga National Park."He added, "Around 292 rhinos have been killed by poachers during the tenure of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. In the past 9 months, 14 rhinos have fallen victim to poachers. All this is happening freely, without any superior mechanism to stop the poachers."He said that the government's excuse that floods have provided the poachers a free ground to carry out their activities, hold no water. Meanwhile, the body also alleged that illegal settlements in the National Park are breeding grounds of poachers, adding that huge areas of the National Park have been encroached by illegal Bangladeshi settlers.In the present situation, around 4,85,674 hectares of forest lands along a stretch of 25,000 square kilometres have been encroached by illegal Bangladeshis. "Unless they are evicted, the problem of poaching cannot be solved," said a member.The body further demanded creation of natural habitats for animals in places they migrate during floods, creation of highlands in the National Park, lifelong sentence to poachers, construction of a flyover near animal corridors, so that vehicles could pass through the National Highway in Kaziranga without disturbing wildlife and eviction of illegal settlers in the National Park.On the other hands, State executive member of the ABVP, Simanta Das slammed the Prime Minister for failing to declare Assam floods as a national problem and creating a national task force to fight floods, despite assurances given during his 2004 aerial survey of flood affected region of Assam.
Rhino deaths: AASU raps government over contradictory figures
GUWAHATI, Sept 28: Coming down heavily on State Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain for his failure to protect the rhinos in the State, the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) said the Forest Minister has lost his right to hold his post.In an interaction with the media here on Friday, AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya and AASU president Shankar Prasad Rai said the figures revealed by an RTI report and the figures mentioned in the report submitted by State Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain in the State Assembly this year on the number of rhinos killed in the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) do not match. "The figures on the number of rhinos killed in Kaziranga given by the State Forest Minister in the Assembly and the figures shown in the RTI report are different. How is it possible as both are government figures?" Bhattacharya said.It may be mentioned that the RTI was filed by a Jorhat-based journalist AK Borthakur."According to the figures given by the Forest Minister, 98 rhinos were killed by poachers in Kaziranga National Park from 2001 to 2009 but according to the RTI, 59 rhinos were killed by poachers in Kaziranga National Park in the same period. According to the Forest Minister, 672 rhinos met natural death in Kaziranga National Park from 2001 to 2009 but according to the RTI, 659 rhinos met natural death in Kaziranga National Park in the same period. Both are government figures. How can they be different? The government seems to be hiding something relating to rhino deaths in the State and the State Forest Minister should clear his stand in this regard," Rai said."The killings of rhinos in Kaziranga and other wildlife sanctuaries in the State have increased manifold during the Congress rule. The presence of illegal cross border nationals has also increased in the State's wildlife sanctuaries. These illegal nationals are involved in poaching of animals found in the State's wildlife sanctuaries," Bhattacharya said.The AASU has also demanded deployment of Army and paramilitary forces in the KNP for saving the wild animals from poachers. "The government should issue shoot-at-sight order in Kaziranga and find out the illegal Bangladeshi nationals settled near Kaziranga," Rai added.All Assam Students Union AASU Dibrugarh district unitburningthe effigyof Forest Minister Rockybul Hu.jpg
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