GUWAHATI, Aug 16 - The Northeastern Hill States celebrated the 69th Independence Day with much enthusiasm on Saturday. Our Correspondents report:
SHILLONG: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma unfurled the tricolour on the occasion of the 69th Independence Day celebrations at the Polo Ground here on Saturday. While underling that the law and order situation in the State is under control, he, however, said �concerns and challenges� remain in Garo Hills.
�While the Eastern Range of the State has been by and large peaceful, the situation in the Garo Hills districts continues to remain a cause of concern as militant and criminal outfits continue to engage in anti-national and criminal activities,� Sangma stated. He said the frequent bandh calls by such groups have disturbed the economic activity and normal life in the Garo Hills.
Informing that the counter-insurgency operations against the banned terrorist outfit, Garo National Liberation Army, have been quite successful, the Chief Minister said, �The police is keeping a close watch on the trans-border movement of terrorists from the neighbouring country,� Sangma said.
The Chief Minister said, the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council has indicated its willingness to sit for talks with the Government. The proposal, he said, was under �serious consideration of the Government,� but the outfit continued to indulge in anti-national activities. �Unless the militant outfits refrain from unlawful, it would not be possible for the Government to pursue the path of talks with them,� Sangma warned.
Regarding the inter-State boundary dispute, Sangma said, the areas of difference along the Assam-Meghalaya border are being monitored continuously. �Efforts are on to solve these disputes with CM and Chief Secretaries level talks between the two States,� Sangma said.
Sangma also spoke about the land swap deal entered between India and Bangladesh and added the settlement should go a long way in improving the law and order situation along the international border and the bilateral relations between the two Nations. Meghalaya, he said, stands to gain 240.57 acres of land and Bangladesh would get to retain about 41.70 acres.
On the occasion of the Independence celebrations the State Government organised a cultural show at Police Bazaar. There were food stalls and games organised for children.
This is the first time in several years that no militant organisation has called a bandh in Khasi-Jaintia Hills. The media too was barred by Meghalaya High Court from reporting bandh calls of unlawful organisations. Incidentally, Garo Hills, which has remained free from bandhs on Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations, remained closed this time due to a bandh called by militant organisations on Independence Day.
ITANAGAR: Reiterating his call for rapid development of the State, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki has appealed to one and all to join together and surge ahead as Team Arunachal to realise the dream of an equitable, just and a developed Arunachal.
Unfurling the national tri-colour before taking salute from parade contingents of armed forces and school children on the occasion of 69th Independence Day at IG Park here yesterday, the Chief Minister, in his address to the gathering, said: we have to work together if we are to develop and develop fast, adding that hard work, unity and sincerity are the ingredients for success.
Paying tributes to nation�s freedom fighters, Tuki, with reference to his government�s Vision 2030, said, �We must set our vision for independence and freedom from poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and inequality.�
�The seeds of development and new initiatives for welfare and well-being of all classes of people have been put in place�We should now aim to see these being implemented in the truest sense.�
Tuki also mentioned the slew of initiatives taken in key social sectors including health, education, skill development and creation of 30,000 jobs this year including self-employment generation towards achieving the goal of providing one lakh employment by the end of 12th Five-Year Plan, i.e., 2017.
Informing that the State policy on organic farming has already been notified, he said: �Arunachal Pradesh is poised to be the horticultural hub of the country.� He cited that the State has been No.1 producer of Kiwi, second highest producer of large cardamom and fourth highest producer of apple in the country.
Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi announced the State awards comprising five gold, including one posthumously for former Tirap DC Kamlesh Joshi (one of three victims of recent Pawan Hans chopper crash), 10 silver medals and 13 commendation certificates to persons/NGOs in recognition of their outstanding services in their chosen fields.
He also announced the names of winners of maiden CM�s Shram Award which went to Chet Bahadur Chetry, a work-charged mason, and Rigam Talar, casual labourer of Power department (both gold medalists) and Montu Sarkar, carpenter of State PWD for silver medal.
IMPHAL: The 69th Independence Day celebrations were held amidst tight security in view of the 18-hour �total shut down� called by several armed organisations, in Manipur on Saturday. The shut down concluded at 6 pm. The main celebration was held at 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles parade ground in Imphal where Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh hoisted the national tricolour.
Delivering his speech, Ibobi clarified that the State Government never encouraged any delaying tactic in preparing a new Bill to protect the interest of the indigenous population in the State. Seeking cooperation from the masses in framing a law latest by the end of the current month, Ibobi said there is a certain formality as it has to be sent to the Governor for approval. Manipur is currently witnessing widespread public protest since July demanding implementation of the Inner Line Permit System to regulate entry of outsiders into the State.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister rejected reports stating that RN Ravi, Centre�s interlocutor for talks with NSCN-IM, had met Ibobi 12 times, before the framework agreement between Centre and NSCN-IM was signed on August 3. Stating that the report was baseless, he said the Centre never informed anything prior to the August 3 function in New Delhi.
Dimapur: Welcoming the peace accord signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM on August 3, Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang has reiterated that only the broad framework of the agreement has been worked out. �However, we will be consulted once the details of the agreements and modalities are worked out by the parties concerned,� he stated.
Delivering the 69th Independence Day speech in Kohima on Saturday, Zeliang said signing of the historic accord was due to concerted efforts and hard work put in by all concerned. He congratulated the Government of India and NSCN-IM as well as the mass-based Naga civil societies for making it possible.
Noting that the Prime Minister has a healthy attitude and respect towards the Nagas, Zeliang thanked him for taking such a bold and positive decision as a true statesman and also the Centre�s interlocutor RN Ravi for his hard work in consulting most of the prominent mass-based Naga civil societies.
The CM explained that the Naga political issue has been the main issue for the last six decades and added that the members of the Nagaland Assembly formed the Nagaland Legislators� Forum on Naga Political Issue on May 25, 2015 with an intended vision to expedite the Naga political dialogue.
On the law and order situation, the Chief Minister said the State has been by and large peaceful. However, he stated that the abrogation of ceasefire by NSCN-K led to killings of several personnel of the security forces followed by death and injury to civilians in Phek district which he termed as very unfortunate.