Security tightened along Assam-Mizoram border

SILCHAR/AIZAWL, Sept 28 : The Assam government has tightened vigil along the Assam-Mizoram border in Cachar district and deployed additional security forces after heightening of tension following destruction of a border pillar by unidentified miscreants, officials said here Saturday.

"Some miscreants of Mizoram last week have destroyed a border pillar near Dhalai in southern Assam," Cachar Deputy Commissioner Harendra Deva Mahanta told reporters.

"Efforts are on to hold talks with deputy commissioner of Kolasib district in Mizoram to resolve the trouble," Mahanta said.

A team of Assam government officials led by additional Deputy Commissioner Barenya Das visited the border area earlier this week. The state government has been apprised of the current situation.

Assam forest department ranger Ratnadip Dey filed an FIR with the police Thursday alleging that unidentified miscreants from Mizoram had destroyed a border pillar.

Several local organisations and NGOs of Cachar district have been organising protest rallies for the past few days to condemn the incident and demanded steps to immediately resolve the dispute between the two states.

On the other hand, several organisations of Mizoram, including Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP), have alleged that the Assam government recently unilaterally set up a border pillar in the Mizoram territory "to grab" the state's land.

The ZNP and several other organisations too organised rallies along the Assam-Mizoram border to protest the Assam government move.

The Mizoram government earlier this year had formed a committee to resolve its boundary disputes with Assam.

"The five-member committee led by legal expert and former minister C. Chawngkunga will study the inter-state border disputes and supposed to make recommendations to the state government within three months," an official from Mizoram's land revenue and settlement department told reporters.

Mizoram, a mountainous state, has a 123 km border with Assam, 66 km with Tripura and 96 km with Manipur, with which it has no dispute.

It also has an international border of 404 km with Myanmar and 318 km with Bangladesh.

The Meghalaya-Assam, Arunachal Pradesh-Assam and Mizoram-Assam boundary disputes occasionally create trouble between villagers, security forces and officials in these states.
READ MORE - Security tightened along Assam-Mizoram border

Karnataka blitz Mizoram

Bangalore:Sept 27 :

Mudappa strikes seven to help hosts post 21-0 win over minnows
 Karnataka enjoyed a stroll in the crisp afternoon sunshine at the KSHA stadium, hammering a clueless Mizoram 21-0 in their second pool encounter of National hockey championship here on Wednesday.

Although not playing in top gear and missing a dozen opportunities, the hosts were just too good for Mizoram, burying the minnows under a mountain of goals and using the match as a fine warm-up game for the remaining two pool encounters where victory should be nothing more than a formality.

Medio MK Mudappa led the goal fest with seven strikes, striker Mohan Muthanna hammered in five, India forward SK Uthappa slotted in three, Somanna KM a brace while PL Thimmanna, MB Aiyappa and Nikin Thimmaiah joined the party with a goal each. While the first goal was an own goal conceded by Mizoram custodian K Laldintluanga.

Mizoram, who surprisingly made four forays into the Karnataka circle in the embarrassingly lop-sided contest, had their fate sealed as early as in the third minute when Laldintluanga conceded an own goal. Attempting to clear a cross from Aiyappa, he made a mess of the regulation clearance only to see the ball deflect off his pads into the goal as Karnataka opened their account.

Within a minute it became 2-0 when Uthappa prodded home from a goal-mouth melee after which it was just one-way traffic. Karnataka kept attacking at will while Mizoram, who showed some defensive grit early on when they kept the misfiring hosts at bay, just kept going through the motions in desperate search of some breathing space.

Although Karnataka overshot their pre-match target of 15 goals, concerns do exist for the last year’s losing finalists. Captain and India drag-flicker VR Raghunath once again endured a miserable day, missing all of his nine attempts. The player-of-the-tournament for joint champions Indian Oil Corporation in the just concluded Muruguppa Cup in Chennai, Raghunath kept firing the ball either high or wide and his goal-bound shots were tackled well by Laldintluanga.

A key cog in their plan to go all the way this time, Karnataka would seriously hope their star penalty-corner specialists finds his range in the remaining two pool matches before the bigger battles start at the turn of the week.

Results: Pool A: Haryana: 2 (Bharat Chikara 17th, Sardar Singh 28th) bt Maharashtra: 2 (Narad Bahadur 25th, Irshad Mirza 48th); Hockey Bhopal: 6 (Irfan 7th, Faisal Hassan 32nd, 42nd, Affan Yousuf 46th, 56th, Imran Yousuf 61st) bt Puducherry: 2 (Kartikeyan 5th, Harikrishnan 69th).

Pool B: Karnataka: 21 (K Laldintluanga 3rd OG, SK Uthappa 4th, 51st, 53rd, Mohan Muthana 21st, 28th, 54th, 61st, 64th, MK Mudappa 25th, 30th, 39th, 49th, 56th, 59th, 63rd, Somana KM 33rd, 66th, PL Thimmanna 39th, MB Aiyappa 60th, Nikin Thimmaiah 65th) bt Mizoram: 0; Delhi: 5 (Avtar Singh Mann 4th, Pawan Singh Chouhan 31st, 49th, Abhishek 33rd, Mohit 43rd) bt Himachal Pradesh: 3 (Rajesh Kumar 25th, Sarbjit Singh 55th, Balram Kumar 65th).

Pool C: Services: 18 (Sanwar Ali 4th, 8th, 39th, Arumugam 7th, Muthana Pradhan 14th, 16th, 63rd, Lovepreet Singh 25th, 30th, 40th, SV Sunil 26th, 42nd, Barhat Singh 31st, 35th, 59th, Sairajlira 45th,
52nd, 62nd) bt Jammu & Kashmir: 0.
Pool D: Sashastra Seema Bal:  14 (Kishore Lakra 4th, 20th, 15th, 27th, Ajit Singh 14th, 51st, Joychandra Singh 23rd, Pradeep Kumar Singh 35th, 53rd, 69th, Surchandra Singh 39th, L Suresh Singh 41st, Noacha Singh 42nd, Romi Kumar Singh 44th) bt Goa: 0; Jharkhand: 2 (Anil Xaxa 29th, Birendra Lakra 43rd) bt Chandigarh: 1 (Harmenpreet Singh 22nd).

Pool F: Uttar Pradesh: 9 (Jayakaran 11th, Chauhan Singh 15th, Mohd Air Khan 23rd, 67th, Chauhan Singh 28th, Tushar Khandkar 51st, Kamalesh Rai 52nd, Imran Khan 54th, 63rd) bt Assam: 1 (Pasumatary Pankaj 70th); Railways: 21 (Sanjay Bir Singh 4th, 34th, 44th, 51st, 52nd, 54th, 56th, 59th, Innocent Kullu 15th, 30th, 40th, B Horo 19th, Lipto Singh 36th, 57th, Sunil Kumar 39th, 61st, 66th, Malak Singh 55th, Vivek Dhar 60th, Chen 17th, 29th) bt Tripura: 0.

Pool H: Manipur: 16 (Jayant Kumar 1st, 2nd, 45th, 60th, Romen Singh 7th, 68th, Hera Singh 10th, Chittranjan Singh 20th, 61st, 69th, Ganbama 25th, 33rd, Amarjit Singh 37th, Kiran Kumar Singh 44th, Abung Singh 54th, Dayanananda Singh 58th) bt Andaman & Nicobar: 0; Bihar: 1 (Mohammed Riazuddin 27th) drew Combined University: 1 (Gurpreet Singh 67th).
READ MORE - Karnataka blitz Mizoram

3 youths acquitted of abducting Mizo girl

Three youths facing trial for allegedly abducting a 19-year-old Mizo girl with the intention to rape her were acquitted by a Delhi court due to her failure to identify them as accused.

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna let off Delhi residents Pranav Chandi Ramani, Aayush Chhabra and Rahil Kamal arrested on June 23 this year, saying they are entitled to the "benefit of doubt" as the girl did not level any allegation against any one of them.

"The prosecutrix herself had not levelled any allegation against any of the accused and even failed to identify them in the court saying they were not the same three boys from whom she had taken lift in their car.

"The statement under section 313 CrPC of the accused was also dispensed with as the girl did not level any allegation against any one of them. Hence, the accused are entitled to the benefit of doubt and acquittal," the court observed, while ordering their release from jail.

The police had arrested the trio, two students and the third a private firm's executive, after the girl on June 20 had lodged a complaint with the police alleging that the three had misbehaved with her while she took a lift in their car from outside a club at Vasant Kunj in South West Delhi.

The police had said the three were arrested on the basis of the CCTV footage from the club.

"I have perused the statements recorded by the police and the magistrate. The names of the boys are not mentioned in her statement," it said.

"She had rather deposed that she had taken a lift from the said three boys and that those three boys were not the accused persons.

"So, it would not be sufficient to convict them as the prosecutrix had not deposed against any of the accused that she was abducted by them or that she was subjected to sexual harassment by these accused in the moving car," the court said.
READ MORE - 3 youths acquitted of abducting Mizo girl

Chopper service in Mizoram at loss

Aizawl, Sep 24 : Mizoram helicopter service has become very popular but the service is running at a loss commercially.

Pawan Hans is giving the chopper service here since August 14 .

The availability of tickets in the sectors of Kolasib and Hnahthial has become a problem as the chopper is increasingly popular in these far-flung areas of Mizoram.

The Pawan Hans operated Mizoram helicopter service runs smoothly since its launch.

There has been just one cancellation of service.

Among the district headquarters, Mamit is the only one where there is no chopper service as there is no helipad in the district.

DoNER is funding for the construction of helipads in various parts of Mizoram.

Thenzawl, Saitual, Champhai and Mamit will soon enjoy the chopper service from November as the constructions of helipads are underway.

As mentioned earlier, the helicopter service is available in nine different places of Mizoram from its main centre Aizawl.

Wet leasing of the helicopter for one year is Rs.1308 lakhs, of which 25% (Rs.327 lakhs) will be given by Mizoram government, and the rest 75% (Rs.981 lakhs) is to be given by the Ministry of Home Affairs, government of India.

The helicopter service, although it has the capacity of 11 passengers, allows to carry only 6 passengers at a time, since Mizoram is located at a very high altitude from the sea level.

One ticket costs Rs.50 per minute.

As of now, 9 routes have been arranged for the service, with Aizawl Thuampui Helipad being the "Main Operational Hub', from where it will render service to Saiha (50 minutes), Lawngtlai (50), Champhai (25), Khawzawl (20), Lunglei (30), Kamlanagar (45), Hnahthial (30), Serchhip (17) and Kolasib (15) .
READ MORE - Chopper service in Mizoram at loss

Ex-Mizo CM faces court on Oct 15

Aizawl, Sep 24 : Former Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga, charged with two counts – misusing government’s property for personal purpose and disproportionate assets –, has been asked to appear before the special court here on October 15.

The state Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has filed the chargesheet in the first case against the Mizo National Front (MNF) supremo but failed to file an additional chargesheet in the second count within the stipulated time on Friday, sources said. As a result, he will be tried only on the first count.

“The court had earlier extended the period for the ACB to file the additional chargesheet. As the extended deadline ended without any action from the ACB, the court had decided to go ahead with the first charge,” the sources said.

Anti-corruption organisation Prism had filed an FIR against Zoramthanga when he was still the chief minister on June 22, 2007 with the ACB, for allegedly using farming materials worth Rs 37 lakh of the agriculture department at his private farm at Aii Puk near Aizawl.

After no action was taken, the civic organisation filed a PIL with the Gauhati High Court on July 14, 2009. The high court on December 21, 2009, ordered a probe into the allegations to be completed within four months.

According to Prism president Vanlalruata, the Mizoram government played “delay tactics” to carry out the high court’s order.

“We had pressurised the state chief vigilance officer for a number of times to initiate the investigation,” Vanlalruata said.

The inquiry report has revealed 30 rolls of wire mesh and 660 of angles iron post were issued by agriculture department in favour of Zoramthanga’s farm, on the request made by his wife Roneihsangi through 50 per cent subsidised payment. It also revealed that payments were made but backdated through manipulation of official documents.

The report also revealed Zoramthanga admitted that three per cent was deducted from PMGSY contractors for his party fund, he said.

The 68-year-old two-time chief minister was also accused of possessing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income, and for allegedly collecting three per cent from all contractors under PMGSY for party fund during his two consecutive terms from 1998 to 2008. It was alleged that Zoramthanga possessed Rs 54,18,061.94 and Rs 1,38,02,241.26 in 2003 and 2008 respectively in his affidavits declared on the eve of the 2003 and 2008 state assembly elections.

”The difference of his possession between 2003 and 2008 is Rs 83,84,179. But he could have had accumulated only Rs 17,84,234 during these five years from his known sources of income,” Prism had stated in the FIR. The ACB on September 16, 2010 raided Zoramthanga’s residence at Ramhlun here and seized a number of bank passbooks, land settlement certificates and periodical pattas for agricultural land. Maintaining his innocence, Zoramthanga has alleged that he was being framed to spoil his political career.

”If I had indulged in any corruption, let them nail me, for no one is above the law. But, they are making false charges against me to politically spoil my image,” he has said. “The PRISM submitted the FIR when I was in power and the vigilance department and the ACB then did not find any prima facie case,” he also said.
READ MORE - Ex-Mizo CM faces court on Oct 15

Aliens get job cards, voter IDs in Mizoram

Aizawl, Sept 21 : Numerous Myanmarese nationals living in Mizoram are said to possess not only NREGS job cards, but even the electoral photo ID cards.

The deputy commissioner of Lunglei district has disclosed that a number of Myanmarese migrants staying in the southern Mizoram district are reported to have job cards for the Central government’s scheme for 100 days’ employment and even the voters IDs.

“Some of them are said to possess not only one, but two voters ID cards,” V Sapchhunga said during the district vigilance & committee meeting at Lunglei on Tuesday, which was attended by the two MPs from Mizoram, CL Ruala (Lok Sabha) and Lalhmingliana (Rajya Sabha).

The district administration said cooperation from the Indian citizens would be required to find out the illegal voters and job card holders.

Voicing grave concern over the issue, the Lok Sabha MP also added: “Mizoram is housing a large number of Myanmarese migrants who have been causing social, economic and administrative problems in the society. Unless the illegal foreigners are checked soon, they are sure to give us greater problems.”

In the light of the officials’ remarks, Myanmarese migrants are suspected behind existence of bogus NREGS job cards in Mizoram in all of the eight districts.

According to the officials, not only Myanmarese nationals, but also Indian citizens from the neighbouring states are working in different sectors in the state causing jobs scarcity for the sons of the soil.

Mizoram, which shares 404 kilometres border with Myanmar (Burma), is home to not less than 60,000 Myanmarese migrants, majority of them ethnic Chins who share similar cultures and language with the Mizos.

They work in handloom industries, shops, restaurants, automobile workshops, and also domestic help. Many of them are also engaged in moonshine factories and drugs peddling.

According to a Myanmarese social activist who did not want to be named, the recent political change in Myanmar has not yet instilled a sense of confidence among the Myanmarese refugees to go back to their country.

“Only a few of them have gone back home. Majority are still afraid to go back,” he has said.

According to the Indian Passport Act, Myanmarese nationals, especially Chins, were allowed to travel up to 40 km from the border inside Mizoram as they have many relatives on both sides of the border. However, the MHA reduced the free zone to 16 kilometres and directed the state government that any Myanmarese national intending to go beyond 16 km inside Mizoram has to obtain permission from New Delhi.

The mass migration of Chins from Myanmar following military atrocities in that country is a big burden for the small state of Mizoram which has a population of a little more than ten lakh.

The Chins easily mingled with the Mizos as they share similar culture and language and have the same physical features.
READ MORE - Aliens get job cards, voter IDs in Mizoram

Buddhism thriving in Mizoram

AIZAWL: In Majority Christian state of Mizoram , more than 70 thousand Buddhists live in Christian-dominated Mizoram and they constitute the second largest religious group in the state, Statistical Abstract of Mizoram, 2011 said.
Recently approved by the Centre, the report says that a total of 70,494 Buddhists live in Mizoram. State Economics and Statistics department officials said that Buddhists were mainly Chakmas inhabiting the western belt of the state.

It maybe mentioned that Chakma’s are also in large numbers in Tripura They mostly live in the south western part of the state where Chakmas were given a separate autonomous district council in 1972, sources said. The population was based on the Census 2001 in which the number of Christians was placed at 7,72,809. Buddhist community was followed by Hindus at 31,562 and by Muslims at 19,326, the report said. There were 326 Sikhs, and 179 people following Jainism and 3,105 classified as others.
Looking at the sheer growth of the population Mizoram is perhaps the only state after Arunchal and Sikkim where the Buddhist are more than the Hindus .
READ MORE - Buddhism thriving in Mizoram