News from North East India
The documented news/contributions do not necessarily reflect the views of the North East India Forum (NEIF).
Events in North East India (Human rights, politics, economy)
Events in North East India (2020)
19. March 2020: The Supreme Court (SC) of India, SC removes Manipur forest minister Shyamkumar from Cabinet berth, Thounaojam Shyamkumar, who is currently forest minister in N Biren Singh-led coalition govt in state, will not be allowed to enter Assembly till further orders, Author: Vangamla Salle K S
Imphal: In a rare judgment, the Supreme Court in an interim order on Wednesday announced the removal of minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh from the cabinet ministerial berth of the BJP-led government in Manipur. Shyamkumar, who is currently the forest minister in N Biren Singh-led coalition government, will not be allowed to enter the Assembly till further others, as per the SC judgment based on his disqualification case.“Given the extraordinary facts in the present case, we are constrained to use our powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India. Respondent No 3 (Th Shyamkumar) is restrained from entering the legislative assembly till further orders of the court. Needless to add, he will cease to be a minister of the cabinet immediately,” said the SC order.With this latest development, Shyamkumar will not be able to practise his franchise rights for the ensuing Rajya Sabha elections, scheduled to be held on March 26.
17. March 2020: Coronavirus threat: Can Meghalaya close down markets?, No sanitization of ATM machines, buses, taxis
Meghalaya must have taken a correct decision to shut down educational institutes as preventive measures in the wake of threat being posed by coronavirus across the globe. But the million dollar question arises, “Can Meghalaya close down markets and public transport services as these are public places with large gathering of people who come into contact with each other everyday?” More than closing down schools and colleges, there are other concerns too, that the Meghalaya government has to immediately act as preventive measures. Apart from closing down schools and colleges, public buses and taxis and market places are let free without precautionary measures. Not to talk about shutting down market places, but steps should have been taken to sanitize market places like Ïewduh, Khyndai Lad, Polo, Laitumkhrah, shopping malls and other market places...
9. March 2020: In Commemoration of Women’s Day, Gauhati University Students Take Pledge Against Human Trafficking
Department of Women’s Studies, Gauhati University celebrated International Women’s Day on March 6 by organizing a series of events. This year the Department decided to work intensively on the issues of Human Trafficking. The celebration started with the campaign to pledge against Human Trafficking. As a mark of this pledge, a red cross is drawn on the palm of the person who agreed to combat Human Trafficking. A badge which states, ‘I pledge to stop human trafficking #awareandempowered #iamagainsthumantraffiking’ was offered to those who took part in this campaign. Prof. Pratapjyoti Handique, vice-chancellor of the university was the first to take this pledge followed by the Hemanta Kumar Nath, Registrar of the university, Officers of GU, faculties, staff and the students of the University.
6. March 2020: Assam: Tea workers stage demonstration in Dibrugarh seeking wage hike
Hundreds of workers under the All Assam Tea Tribes’ Students’ Association (ATTSA) banner on Friday staged a demonstration in Bokpara and Sessa Tea estate seeking wage hike... Protest programmes were also held in many tea gardens near Dibrugarh town including Sessa tea estate and Bokpara tea estate... Assam’s tea tribe community, which constitutes around 20 per cent (70 lakh) of the state’s 3.5-crore population, has always played a decisive role in sealing electoral outcomes, both in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
15. Feb. 2020: Supreme Court (SC) Directs Centre, Assam to File Status Report on Bangladeshi Migrants in Detention Centres
The bench was apprised by advocate Prashant Bhushan that over 300 people were in detention for over three years, while more than 700 had been detained for over one year. It had earlier asked the Assam government to work on the modalities of setting up around 1,000 foreigners’ tribunals for speedy disposal of cases related to illegal immigrants.
7. Feb. 2020: Narendra Modi in Assam: PM hails Bodo accord, announces Rs 1,500 crore developmental package for BTAD
Addressing a massive public rally in Kokrajhar, Narendra Modi celebrated the signing of the accord on 27 January that is expected to bring lasting peace to the troubled state. This was Modi's first visit to Assam since the Centre's decision to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Act that triggered protests across the country, including in Assam. Three people were killed in the state in the violence.
5. Feb. 2020: Centre confirms Modi visit, Prime Minister to attend thanksgiving ceremony for accord in Kokrajhar on Friday, By Rinoy Basumatary in Kokrajhar.
The Centre on Tuesday confirmed the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the thanksgiving ceremony for signing of the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) Accord in Kokrajhar on Friday. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi shall be visiting Kokrajhar in Assam, to participate in the celebrations of the signing of the Bodo Agreement, on February 7, 2020,” said a government statement. The distance between Guwahati and Kokrajhar is around 210km. Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi on Tuesday announced a public holiday in the four BTAD districts on February 7.
5. Feb. 2020: Over 12000 sent to Foreigners Tribunals (FTs) during NRC update
After being declared foreigners, 1,381 people were sent to six detention centres during the past 3 years, by Rajiv Konwar in Guwahati
The Assam government referred 12,107 people to foreigners tribunals (FTs) between 2017 and 2019, when the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) was being updated in the state, Union minister of state for home affairs Nityanand Rai told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
After being declared foreigners by FTs, 1,381 people were sent to six detention centres during the past three years. Altogether 661 people were sent to Tezpur detention centre followed by Jorhat (286), Goalpara (209), Kokrajhar (105), Silchar (79) and Dibrugarh (41), Rai added. Besides these six centres, which are run from the district jail premises, the government is building an exclusive detention centre in lower Assam’s Goalpara district at a cost of around Rs 46.51 crore with a capacity to hold 3,000 inmates. Once completed, the occupants of the six detention camps will be shifted to the Goalpara centre. A proposal to set up 10 new ones has been sent to the Union ministry but the clearance is pending. Rai said 761 detainees were released during the last three years — 242 in 2017, 142 in 2018 and 377 in 2019.
2. Feb. 2020: Assam: Forum opposes amnesty to National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) doves, to move Supreme Court (SC)
The militants who killed innocent people will be now treated as VIPs in the name of peace talks, says Forum for Terrorist Victim Family Assam (FTVFA). The FTVFA has planned to move Supreme Court against the demand for general amnesty to the leaders of National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB). The FTVFA is an umbrella group of families of victims of militancy in Assam.
29. Jan. 2020: Bodo Peace Accord 2020
With an aim to bring permanent peace in Bodo-dominated areas in Assam, the Centre on Monday signed a tripartite agreement with the dreaded insurgent group National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) and two other outfits, providing political and economic benefits without acceding to the demand for a separate state or Union Territory. The All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU), which has been spearheading a movement for a Bodoland state since 1972, and the United Bodo People's Organisation were also signatories to the Comprehensive Bodo Settlement Agreement – Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR). In the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the tripartite agreement was signed by top leaders of the four NDFB factions, the ABSU and the United Bodo People's Organization (UBPO); Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Satyendra Garg; and Assam Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also signed the pact as one of the witnesses.
27. Jan. 2020: Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) to be Renamed as Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR)
GUWAHATI: With more administrative powers the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTADs) will now be renamed to Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR). A tripartite accord for final settlement will fulfill all the key political and economic demands of Bodoland. Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that a special package of Rs 900 crore has been granted by the Centre for overall development of the Bodoland areas. Bodos are the majority community in the region followed by Bengali Muslims, who form the largest minority group. The population of BTC area as per 2001 Census report is 2,920,000 out which the ST population is around 52% or approximately 1,500,000 of which only 3% of the total population live in urban area.
Regional relations (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, PR China/Tibet Aut. Region)
10 March 2020: Covid-19: Manipur, Mizoram ban cross-border movements
IMPHAL/AIZAWL: Manipur and Mizoram governments have prohibited the cross border movements of people along India’s border with Myanmar and Bangladesh alongside the two north eastern states as precautionary measures to prevent the possible spread of novel coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday. According to the officials of two northeastern states, the steps taken in consultation with the central government as Myanmar shares 2,204 km (1,370 miles) borders with China, where coronavirus first emerged in December last year and has since spread to over 100 countries and has infected thousands of people. An official of Manipur Home Department in Imphal said that, the state Home Department issued an order prohibiting movement of people across international border with Myanmar through the Moreh town and other crossing points...
3. Feb. 2020: Indo-Bangla joint military exercise begins at Umroi in Meghalaya
A 14-day joint military exercise ‘Sampriti-IX’ between the Indian army and Bangladesh army began at Umroi, around 30 km from Shillong, on Monday. The joint military exercise is a part of the ongoing Indo-Bangla defence cooperation.
International relations (Culture, politics, economy)
International Relations (2019-2020)
5. Feb. 2020 Assam filmmaker Rima Das to join jury members in Berlin Film Fest 2020
Rima Das will be the international jury member of the Generation 14 plus segment along with Iranian Abbas Amini and Jenna Bass of South Africa. Rima Das has been described as one of the “Most Influential Young Indians of 2018” by GQ India. While her 2017 film Village Rockstars premiered at Toronto International Film Festival. Her film Bulbul Can Sing received a special mention from the 14 plus International Jury. After her grand success with Village Rockstar which was also India's official entry for the Oscars last year, Rima Das has become a household name in the festivals across the globe.
#VillageRockstars #BulbulCanSing is now streaming on #Netflix
Relations to the EU, Germany (development projects, diplomacy)
4. März, 2020: Entwicklungsminister Müller besuchte Childaid Network in Guwahati (Indien) Königstein/Guwahati (kw/hhf) – In einem Steinbruch im Süden der Millionenstadt Guwahati (Assam, Indien) ist gelungen, was sich Entwicklungsminister Dr. Gerd Müller für die gesamte Region Südasien wünscht: Es gibt keine Kinderarbeit mehr... Kinder aber können dank der Projekte von Childaid Network nun zur Schule gehen und sich eine bessere Zukunft aufbauen... „Dieser Besuch ist ein Ansporn für uns“, meint Dr. Martin Kasper. „Wir sind die größte Hilfsorganisation für eine Gegend mit 45 Millionen Einwohnern, von denen etwa die Hälfte zu den Ärmsten der Armen gehört.“ Seit 2007 setzt sich Childaid Network von Königstein aus für bessere Bildungschancen für bedürftige Kinder ein.
28. Feb. 2020, Neu-Delhi, Guwahati (epd). Im Kampf gegen Kinderarbeit und Ausbeutung hat Bundesentwicklungsminister Gerd Müller (CSU) an die Verantwortung der Unternehmen und Verbraucher appelliert.
Auch in Schwarztee in deutschen Supermärkten stecke nach wie vor Kinderarbeit, erklärte die Stiftung Childaid Network bei einem Besuch Müllers auf einer Teeplantage im indischen Unionsstaat Assam. "Sie können davon ausgehen, dass hier etwa 20 Prozent der Zehnjährigen arbeiten", sagte Stiftungsvorstand Martin Kasper dabei dem epd. "Bei den 15-Jährigen sind es schon rund die Hälfte." In den Plantagen Assams "gibt es natürlich noch Kinderarbeit", betonte Kasper. "Aber die arbeiten selbstverständlich nicht, wenn der Minister kommt."
7. Feb. 2020: German Consulate General Kolkata, A 6-member delegation of the Indo-German Parliamentary Friendship Group of #German Parliament (Bundestag) recently visited Kolkata.
The delegation was received by Governor Dhankhar, met with Minister of Finance, Dr. Amit Mitra, and the Speaker of the West Bengal legislative Assembly in presence of other cabinet ministers, with whom they had informative exchanges on questions of sustainability, development, governance, trade and global politics. The group also met with representatives from civil society on topics like #environment, gender, human rights, and visited an NGO project. The MPs continued their journey to New Delhi for further talks with the central govt. and other stakeholders.
9. Aug. 2019: Deutscher Bundestag Drucksache 19/12234, 19. Wahlperiode
Frage: Abgeordneter Tobias Pflüger (DIE LINKE.): "Wie ist die Haltung der Bundesregierung zum Besuch des deutschen Botschafters in Indien, Walter J. Lindner, bei der nach Presseberichten hindu-nationalistischen und geschichtsrevisionistischen Organisation RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) am 17. Juli 2019,und warum wurde der Besuch so hochrangig durch den Botschafter Deutschlands in Indien getätigt?
Antwort des Staatssekretärs Andreas Michaelis vom 7. August 2019: "Zu den Aufgaben deutscher Auslandsvertretungen, und damit auch für deren jeweilige Leiterinnen und Leiter, gehört neben Kontakten unter anderem zu offiziellen Regierungsstellen sowie politischen Entscheidungsträgern auch ein regelmäßiger Austausch mit einem breiten Spektrum gesellschaftlicher Gruppen, Nichtregierungsorganisationen oder Religionsgemeinschaften. Bereits vor dem in der Frage angeführten Besuch des deutschen Botschafters bestand seitens der Botschaft Kontakt zum „Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh“ (RSS). Gespräche dieser Art bieten die Gelegenheit, gesellschaftlich und politisch relevante Entwicklungen und Herausforderungen kontrovers zu diskutieren und dabei gerade auch kritische Fragen zu stellen."
20. July 2019: The Cruel Irony of the German Ambassador's Visit to the RSS Headquarters
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has never made any secret of its love for Adolf Hitler... The German ambassador to India, Walter J. Lindner, would not have been unaware of this – to use his own double negative terminology – when he made a trip to Nagpur, to meet Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS chief. He would have surely read in his briefing notes that the RSS has been banned twice, once in the aftermath of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, and has been accused of violence and much more.
3. May 2019: German delegation meets Arunachal governor BD Mishra in Itanagar
Group headed by Dr Jasper Wieck, the charge d’affaires of German Embassy, New Delhi, discusses areas of mutual interest and cooperation, particularly in the power sector.Highlighting on the vast potential of Arunachal Pradesh in hydropower, the governor said that with better ties between India and Germany, the German government can cooperate with Arunachal in line with Indo-German Energy Pact signed between the two countries.The governor emphasised on cooperation with the German government in the fields of capacity building, training and establishment of a state-of-the-art training Institute in Arunachal Pradesh in the fields of solar and hydropower energy. Mishra called for mutual cooperation in the formulation and establishment of smart grid projects in the state and co-operation in the field of electricity system strengthening and infrastructure
improvement. He also called for exploring the possibilities in technical promotion of solar and wind energies.
2. May 2019: Germany will provide a grant of up to € 6.5 million (approximately over Rs 50 crore) for the period from 2019 to 2026 to safeguard biodiversity conservation in select community conserved areas (CCAs) and also improve the living conditions and income of the local population in peripheral areas of protective forests in Nagaland.
The project covers 12 CCAs, around 70 villages and 6 districts in Nagaland – Wokha, Mokokchung, Zunheboto, Kohima, Peren and Phek, said a statement issued by Nagaland CMO...KfW Development Bank is responsible for implementation of the project. Indian project partners are the Nagaland State Biodiversity Board (NSBB) and the Nagaland forest department as well as the Nagaland Environment Protection and Economic Development Agency (NEPED). The German delegation included amongst others the German consul general in Calcutta, Michael Feiner, as well as representatives of KfW Development Bank and the German Organisation for International Cooperation (GIZ).
8. April 2019: ITANAGAR: A European Union (EU) delegation, on a tour of Arunachal Pradesh, has asserted the importance of research and innovation to tackle the impacts of climate change.
The EU delegation made this assertion during its visit to the office of the State’s ‘Climate Change Cell’ under the State Environment and Forest department on Saturday to learn more about the programme on National Mission on Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE), its initiatives and scientific activities. The visiting EU delegation led by Tania Friederichs included Dr Vivek Dham (member), Inger Midtkandal (Royal Norwegian Embassy), Dr Srinivas Kaveri (Director CNRS, Paris), Alain Ghislain Baetens (Embassy of Belgium), Dr Massimo Spandoni (Embassy of Italy) and Dr Jakob Williams Oerberg (Royal Danish Embassy), an official release informed here on Sunday.
(Tania Friederichs, Head of Research & Innovation Sector - European Union Delegation to India)
9. Feb. 2019: On 9 February 2019, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated INR 4000 crore worth of projects in Arunachal Pradesh. One of the projects was a 110 MW Hydroelectric Power Plant (Pare Hydro Power Project) financed under Indo-German Financial Development Cooperation. The project which KfW Development Bank had signed loan agreements for in 2008 and 2017 amounting to a total of 100 million Euro comprises of the construction of a hydroelectric power plant with a total plant capacity of 110 MW (2x55 MW) in the Papum Pare District of Arunachal Pradesh. Project partner is NEEPCO (North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd) who took up the project to harness the hydropower potential of the river Dikrong, a tributary of river Brahmaputra. The project is a run of the river scheme with a 63 m high dam and a 2.8 km long tunnel. The plant was commissioned and both units (2x55MW) were synchronized to grid in the month of May, 2018. The project is expected to generate 506.42 MU of design energy at 95 per cent machine availability and 90 per cent dependable year. The project aims to increase the efficient and ecological as well as climate friendly generation of electric power, contributes to the socio-economic development of the North Eastern Region and to the protection of global climate.
PR-video about 'Pare Hydro Power Project 110 MW' financed under Indo-German Financial Development Cooperation:
of the company HCCLtd:
„The Pare hydro power project in Arunachal Pradesh is a run-off-the-river scheme on the river Dikrong, a tributary of the river Brahmaputra. The project is of the capacity of 110 MW consists of two units of 55 MW and utilize tailrace discharge of the 405 MW Ranganadi Stage-I project. It is expected to generate 506.42 million units of power in a 90% dependable year.“