Posts Tagged ‘Agartala’
Agartala, Dec 10 (IANS) Ahead of the assembly polls in Tripura, the main opposition Congress Monday received a jolt with the state party general secretary Pradyot Kishore Debbarman resigning from his post, citing mistreatment.
“My parents had been lifelong Congress loyalists. I too shall remain a Congressman but I can not remain an office-bearer in the present set-up. The treatment being meted out to me ever since I became a general secretary is not what it should have been,” he said in his letter to state Congress president Sudip Roy.
The crucial assembly polls in the country’s lone Left-ruled state are expected to be held in February next year.
Debbarman, 34, is a close associate of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and is the son of Tripura’s last king Kirit Bikram Kishore Debbarman and former minister Maharani Bibhu Kumari Devi. Both were former members of Lok Sabha.
Agartala, Dec 10 (IANS) Four people were killed in Tripura in two road accidents, police said Monday.
A bus carrying Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists collided with a van carrying people returning from a wedding, killing two people and a five-year-old child. The accident injured 20 others.
The van’s occupants attacked the bus and injured nine people at Hezamara in western Tripura, 42 km from here, Sunday night.
In Mohanpur also in western Tripura, a 35-year-old youth was killed and 15 others were injured when a van carrying CPI-M supporters turned turtle.
Agartala, Dec 9 (IANS) Tripura will soon be an ‘educational hub’ for the northeastern states and neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, with the setting up of several technical, medical and educational institutions, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here Sunday.
“Tripura has achieved the remarkable distinction of being the only capital city in the northeastern region to have two medical colleges,” Sarkar said.
He said: “The state government has taken up an ambitious plan to set up more technical institutions and degree colleges in each sub-divisions. The educational facilities available in Tripura do not exist in other states.”
While addressing an inaugural function of a school here, he said Tripura University has been upgraded into a Central University.
“Under its ambitious plan, the state government has set up a 240-seat Tripura Institute of Technology (TIT) and ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes) in each block and sub-division.”
According to the chief minister, the state government has decided to set up three more professional colleges — dental, ayurvedic and homeopathic — under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
The Ayurvedic college will be established at Udaipur, the homeopathic college at Kailasahar in northern Tripura and the dental college in Agartala.
“Besides, one each of agricultural, veterinary and fishery colleges are functioning in the state.”
Sarkar said: “Private institutions are also being encouraged to supplement government efforts for setting up higher educational institutions in this northeastern state.”
“Students from neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, are attracted with this increasing number of educational institutions in the bordering state,” he stated.
Addressing the function, state Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty said that when the state became a full-fledged state in 1972, the literacy rate was 31 percent while now it had risen to 90 percent.
“Within the next one year, Tripura would achieve 100 percent literacy,” Chakraborty said, adding that the Left Front government has been spending more than 20 percent of its total annual budget in the education sector, while the central government’s funding in this sector was less than 10 percent.
Tripura will set up an Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Bodhjungnagar, one of the northeastern region’s biggest industrial zones, a state official said.
“State-owned ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation), NEEPCO (Northeastern Electric Power Corporation) and six private industrial houses from West Bengal have expressed willingness to be a partner of the Tripura IIIT,” said higher education department secretary Kishore Ambuly.
Agartala, Dec 8 (IANS) The CPI-M Saturday told the Election Commission that the “Indian Election: A Mammoth Democratic Exercise” documentary made by the external affairs ministry is biased, partial and might affect religious sentiments in the country.
Ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Tripura state secretary Bijon Dhar in a letter to the Election Commission said: “The film would give political advantage to the Congress and BJP ahead of the ensuing assembly elections in (Tripura) February next year.”
Briefing reporters, CPI-M spokesman Gautam Das said that the party has doubt whether the external affairs ministry has any business to glorify the Indian democracy inside the country.
“Instead of showing plurality, which is the basic electoral system of our country, it looks as if, except Congress and the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), no other party exists in India,” said the letter, which was released to the media.
Demanding not to allow the screening of the film before the assembly polls in Tripura, the letter said that while introducing the EVM (Electronic Voting Machine), election symbols of major national political parties were exhibited except that of CPI-M and CPI (Communist Party of India).
Gautam Das said that since India, a multi-religious country strongly stands for secularism, depicting scenes of religious practises of only one or two communities may hurt the sentiments of other groups, who have not found space.
Agartala, Dec 7 (IANS) Four militants, including self-styled army chief of All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF), have surrendered to security forces in Tripura, police said Friday.
Chitta Debbarma, the 37-year-old Bangladesh-trained self-styled army chief of the separatist outfit, gave himself up to Assam Rifles personnel Thursday night.
Debbarma surrendered to the paramilitary along with his three women family members.
“The ATTF leader, who was a constable in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), left the paramilitary in 1980 before joining to the militant outfit. He was wanted by the Tripura police for many crimes including killings,” a police spokesman told reporters.
Police had declared a reward of Rs.two lakh for his capture.
Three more ATTF guerrillas, aged between 25 and 35, also separately surrendered to Assam Rifles Friday.
The police official said the extremists have also deposited arms and ammunition.
Tripura’s two banned militant outfits – ATTF and National Liberation Front of Tripura — have set up bases in Bangladesh and get support from other separatist outfits of the northeastern region.
They have been demanding secession of Tripura from India.
Agartala, Dec 7 (IANS) The Left Front government in Tripura Friday opposed the central government’s move to provide direct transfer of food subsidy in cash to people, currently accessible through the public distribution system (PDS).
“The proposed direct transfer of food subsidy in cash to people planned to be effective by the central government from next month. The new system would spoil the PDS and create famine in India,” Tripura Food and Civil Supplies Minister Manik Dey told reporters.
He said the union consumer affairs, food and public distribution ministry secretary, Sudhir Sharma, held a meeting in New Delhi recently with the food department officials of all states and directed them to implement the new scheme from January 1, 2013 onwards.
According to Dey, the central government has decided to implement the new scheme of direct transfer of subsidy in 51 districts, including four in Tripura, on pilot basis.
Dey in a letter to the union minister, K.V. Thomas, demanding withdrawal of the plan immediately.
“This direct transfer of food subsidy in cash to people proposal is unrealistic and there is a belief that the central government is cleverly chalking out an escape route from their basic duty of ensuring supply of essential commodities up to the door step of the common people,” Dey said.
“There must be universal coverage of PDS. Centre should introduce a scheme for supply of state-preferred basic essential commodities like edible oil, pulses, detergent powder, soap, spices, exercise books for students, toothpaste and cheap cloth.”
Strongly opposing the National Food Security (NFS) draft bill, the Tripura minister said that in its present form, it is grossly inadequate in achieving its objectives.
“The NFS draft bill is against the interests of the poor and the middle class as it would weaken the PDS. To control the prices of market, the PDS must be a strong arrangement,” he observed.
“As per the present form of the NFS bill, 25 percent rural people and 50 percent urban citizens would be out of the purview of the PDS,” Dey said.
The minister alleged that the Manmohan Singh-led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government had been trying to withdraw the PDS and encourage black-marketing of food items.
“The NFS draft bill proposes that the state government has to be liable to make payment of food security allowance in case of failure to supply permitted quantity of food grain to the entitled person. The Left Front government opposes this provision,” the Tripura food minister said.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has been organising protest rallies demanding an overhaul of the draft NFS bill.
Agartala, Dec 6 (IANS) Bickering over sharing of seats among parties in both the ruling Left Front and the opposition in Tripura has erupted ahead of the assembly polls scheduled in February next year.
The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Forward Bloc and Communist Party of India (CPI) — all partners of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front — have announced that they would not accept one seat each allotted to them.
The tribal-dominated Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), an ally of the main opposition Congress has demanded 13 seats while the latter has offered only six.
“Since 1978, when the Left Front government first came to power in Tripura, we had been contesting in two assembly segments. But this time, CPI-M has offered us only one seat,” RSP state secretary Sudarshan Bhattacharjee told reporters Thursday.
“If CPI-M remains firm on its decision, we will soon discuss the issue in the party and take appropriate decision,” he said.
Similarly, the Forward Bloc (FB) and the CPI leaders told reporters separately that they had already informed the CPI-M that they would not accept the offer of one seat each.
CPI-M state secretary Bijon Dhar said that all the Left partners — RSP, CPI and FB — were informed well in advance about the seat sharing.
“The situation is tough this time. However, we will give it a thought before the final announcement of the candidates of Left parties,” Dhar told IANS Thursday.
After holding six inconclusive meetings with the state Congress leaders here, a four member INPT delegation led by party president Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl is now in New Delhi to hold talks with the central leadership of the Congress.
The INPT leaders Wednesday held meetings with Congress general secretary and in-charge of northeastern states Luizinho Faleiro and were trying to meet other central leaders over the seat sharing issue.
“We told Faleiro-ji that the INPT would never accept less than 13 seats in the upcoming assembly polls,” INPT general secretary Jagadish Debbarma told IANS by phone from New Delhi.
In the 60-member Tripura assembly, the CPI-M has 46 members while the RSP has two and the Communist Party of India one.
Opposition Congress has 10 members in the state assembly and its ally INPT has one.
The assembly polls in the country’s lone Left-ruled state are scheduled in February 2013.
Agartala, Dec 3 (IANS) The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), an autonomous body under the union ministry of environment and forests, has undertaken a study to assess the impact of climate change in the northeastern region, a top official said here Monday.
“Like other parts of the world, there must be a climate change affect in the mountainous northeastern region. Rising population, developmental works and illegitimate activities are putting pressure on environment and forests,” ICFRE director general V.K. Bahuguna told reporters.
The crucial climate change study, which began recently, will help the authority to take apt action to protect the forest and environment of the northeast, the official said.
He said: “Besides the climate change study, the ICFRE has also taken a series of steps to sustain the livelihood of forest dwellers, focusing on forest-based income generation, promotion of non-timber forestry products, and development of cultivation techniques and value addition for forest produce.”
The ICFRE, an apex body in the national forestry research system, has been undertaking holistic development of forestry research through need-based planning, and coordinated research and education.
The council has eight regional research institutes and four research centres in different bio-geographical regions of the country to cater to forestry research needs of the country.
The ICFRE’s northeast regional office in Assam’s Jorhat district looks after the entire region; there are also two other centres recently set up in Tripura capital Agartala and Mizoram capital Aizawl.
Bahuguna, also the Chancellor of the Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute University, said that to quantify the socio-economic impact and living standards of those beneficiaries who received land under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, there was need to conduct impact assessment exercises and disseminate success stories in other parts of the country.
ICFRE is also planning to restore bamboo resources in Tripura, promoting the most preferred bamboo species of the state.
“The centre is committed to extending technical support to bamboo growers at every stage, from nursery to plantation management,” the ICFRE director general said.
He said the bamboo treatment techniques patented by ICFRE would also be transferred to users, to save time and money spent every year in the maintenance of their structure, besides conservation of bamboo resources by minimising consumption.
The latest report of the Forest Survey of India (FSI) holds that the percentage of forest cover of the total geographical area of the eight northeastern states — Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura — is 66.07 percent.
Agartala, Dec 2 (IANS) A BSF trooper in Tripura shot himself dead with his service weapon after his superior rejected his leave application, police said here Sunday.
Border Security Force (BSF) trooper Bijender Singh, 36, shot himself Saturday night with his service rifle and his body was found in the backyard of an outpost at Belonia in southern Tripura, a police spokesman told reporters.
The spokesman said that Bijender Singh had recently applied for leave to go to his home in Haryana. The battalion commandant rejected the application before he took the extreme step.
Agartala, Dec 1 (IANS) Ahead of assembly polls in Tripura next February, separatist outfits are trying to carry out violent activities in the state from their bases in adjoining Mizoram, a minister said here Saturday.
“The central and Mizoram governments, besides intelligence agencies, are fully aware of militant activity in that state. But they are averse to taking action,” Tripura Finance and PWD Minister Badal Chowdhury told reporters.
Quoting police reports on the interrogation of arrested militants, Chowdhury said: “Like the 1988 assembly polls, the leaders of opposition parties are trying to use underground militants to unleash violence ahead of the crucial assembly elections.”
“During the 1988 assembly polls, (incumbent Mizoram Chief Minister) Lal Thanhawla was the chief minister (of the Congress led government). Letters on the conspiracies circulated between (then prime minister) Rajiv Gandhi, (erstwhile militant outfit) Tripura National Volunteers (chief) Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl and Lal Thanhawla subsequently appeared in the newspapers. None denied that,” Chowdhury asserted.
Just ahead of the February 1988 assembly polls, TNV had mowed down around 100 people. The central government had promulgated the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) and deployed the army three days before polls.
The minister said that three people including two timber traders, were kidnapped by separatist militants earlier this week from Rajibnagar village in neighbouring Mizoram, when traders of northern Tripura went to that state.
According to the minister the banned National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) guerrillas sent a letter from Mizoram to the families of the captives seeking a ransom of Rs.30 lakh.
He said that after border fences were erected along Tripura’s border with Bangladesh, terrorists have been using the unfenced border of Mizoram with Bangladesh.
The minister alleged that the Congress’ political ally Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), a tribal party, is acting as the “overground face” of the outlawed NLFT outfit.
INPT leaders have denied the charges.
Agartala, Nov 30 (IANS) Wrangling over sharing of seats between ruling Left Front partners CPI-M and RSP in Tripura has come to the fore ahead of the assembly polls next year.
The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), a partner of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front, Friday said it would not accept the one seat allotted to it.
“Since 1978, when the Left Front government first came to power in Tripura, we had been putting up candidates in two assembly segments. But this time, CPI-M has offered us only one seat,” RSP leader Khiti Goswami told reporters.
“If CPI-M remains firm on its decision, we will soon discuss the issue in the party and take appropriate decision,” Goswami, a former West Bengal minister, said.
When contacted, CPI-M state secretary Bijon Dhar said the RSP was informed well in advance about the seat sharing.
“The situation is tough this time. However, we will give it a thought before the final announcement of the candidates of Left parties,” Dhar told IANS.
In the 60-member Tripura assembly, the CPI-M has 46 members while the RSP has two and the Communist Party of India one.
Opposition Congress has 10 members and ally Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura has one.
The assembly polls in the country’s lone Left-ruled state are scheduled in February 2013.
Agartala, Nov 29 (IANS) The international as well as domestic borders of all election− bound states would be sealed to check the smuggling of arms and the movement of anti−social elements during electioneering, Deputy Election Commissioner of India Vinod Zutshi said here Thursday.
He said: “To seal the borders effectively, adequate para−military troopers and other security forces would be deployed along the both international and domestic boundaries.”
“Supply of illegal arms, explosives, hard cash, liquor and engagement of anti−socials would be checked to a large extent if the boundaries of poll−bound states were sealed,” Zutshi told reporters.
He said that the election commission has already taken ample initiatives to seal election−bound Gujarat’s borders with Pakistan, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and the Union territories of Diu, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Zutshi who was here Wednesday, held a series of meetings with five national political parties, including the ruling Communist Party of India−Marxist (CPI−M) and the main opposition Congress, and met all the eight district magistrates and superintendents of police, besides acting Chief Secretary K.V. Satyanarayana and top police officials, to review poll preparations.
The EC official said that the assembly elections in three northeastern states −− Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland −− would be held in time and new assemblies would be constituted before the expiry of their existing terms.
The terms of the assemblies of these states expire March 10, March 16 and March 26 respectively.
The assembly elections in Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland, which have 60 seats each −− are scheduled for February next year.
“The Election Commission would distribute photograph−affixed voter slips (PAVS) at the residences of all voters. The Booth Level Officers (BLO) would give out PAVS at the doorsteps of voters,” Zutshi said.
According to the official, the PAVS would also be used as the identity proof document of all the voters as it will have the signature and valid stamp of the electoral officer concerned.
The slips are likely to reach the homes of voters a couple of days before the elections.
He also said that the Election Commission has taken all out steps to prepare error free electoral rolls.
“If any eligible voter is left out of the voters’ list, he or she can enroll their name at any time,” Zutshi said.
To a question about pre−poll terrorism by the separatist outfits in Tripura, the Deputy EC said that ample security arrangements would be taken so that people do not feel insecure.
“Intimidation of voters by terrorists is a cause for concern,” the official said, adding that all district police chiefs have been asked to prepare a vulnerability map to take precautionary measures.
The full Election Commission led by Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath will visit Tripura early next month.