Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Updates

1) Oz elections is a bloody mess -- and needing a loong separate post from the weekend papers I could amass. A hung and dry Parliament keeping statisticians on tenterhooks. We may have to wait for another week or so to know who has the best shot for the minority government --- Labor or Liberal. Seems like Labor have just a tad of an outside shot now. The independent MPs seem to be having a whale of a time, shining in the limelite that the media could shower upon these folks.
2) Nepal elections are another bloody mess. It is de javu time. The only seriously funny incident worth noting this time is that:

The Maoist chief, who had entered the ring on Monday claiming he could win since he had managed to woo a bloc of four parties from the Terai, which had been sitting neutral earlier, proved to have been deluded as 206 lawmakers abstained from voting, opposing the Maoists’ failure to fulfil their peace commitments. With 111 MPs voting against him, the 55-year-old former prime minister could get only 10 votes from outside his party, tantalisingly short of the halfway mark of 300 needed to form the new government.

When will they stop this farce?
3) Some important news on the top maoist Polituburo, not reported broadly enough. Linky

A fast track court today awarded life imprisonment to two top Maoists — Amitabh Bagchi (53) and Tauhid Mulla alias Kartik (36). The court of Alok Kumar Dubey handed down the order after the duo was found guilty of waging war against the nation and also indulging in unlawful activities. The judgment comes exactly a year after the two were booked by the Ranchi police on August 24, 2009. Bagchi, a CPI (Maoist) politburo member and secretary of the central military commission of the outfit, and Mulla, a Bengal state committee member — are from Shyampukur in Calcutta and Murshidabad respectively. Bagchi was calm when the court delivered the verdict around 4 in the afternoon but Mulla appeared nervous. He repeatedly pleaded with the court to find him a way out.

The court delivered the judgment on the basis of a large number of Maoist documents and books recovered from Bagchi. Moreover, no policemen or witnesses turned hostile in the case. Additional public prosecutor S.N. Khanna said there were eight prosecution witnesses, but none for the Maoists. Bagchi’s books — Jail Break Jehanabad and Dandkaranya Nai Jansatta — were found to be highly provocative by the court. Moreover, the documents in his possession had details of the outfit’s structure and names of cadres manning the outfit. The two were arrested last year from Ranchi railway station.

A case was registered against the duo at the Chutia police station under Section 121 of IPC (waging war against the government) and Section 10 and 13 (B) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and 17 Criminal Law Amendment (CLA) Act. The judge, in his order, said the crime committed by the two was more heinous than the ones involving the killing one or two persons. “They have been found guilty of preparing the whole generation to wage war against the nation,” the court said.

Bagchi has several pseudo names, including Amit, Anil, Sumit, R.K. Da, Suman and Sumananda Singh. He is the son of one Ranjeet Bagchi, a resident of Shivdas Bhaduri Street under Shyampukur police station of Calcutta. Mulla is son of Farid Mulla of Bucha Danga under Newada police station of Murshidabad district in Bengal. Sources said Bagchi happened to be the member of the CPI (Maoist) politburo, as well as a member of the Central Military Commission, the body that decides the armed strikes by Maoists across the country, and a member of the rebel central working committee and the eastern regional command.

4) Linky

Maoist rebels suffered another blow today as one of their top ranking commanders, who was wanted for murder, extortion and loot for seven years, surrendered before North Chotanagpur IG Manoj Mishra and DIG U.P. Singh in Bokaro, sending out signals of widening crack, in the rebels ranks. The surrender of Ramendra Singh alias Pankaj Singh (51), who was the in charge of outfit in Rohtas, Kaimur, Aurangabad, Jehanabad in Bihar and Chatra, Koderma in Jharkhand, came as a bolt from the blue for the Maoist organisation, which is yet to come to terms with the July 16 surrender of another top leader and explosives expert Varun Manjhi.

5) Can you believe this story? They first caught Nickole Tamang, an out of the blue capture in the first place. Then, he escaped. If I were Madan Tamang's kith or kin, I would nt know whether to laugh or cry at this bloody farce. Linky

Nickole Tamang apparently escaped yesterday morning when one of the policemen guarding him stepped away from him to take a cellphone call as the signal was feeble. CID officers said that a little before 6.30am, Nickole told constable Arabinda Kumbhakar he wanted to go to the toilet attached to the ground floor room of cottage No. 29, where he was being detained. A few minutes later, the constable — the other on-duty guard had gone out for tea — received a call on his cellphone. But the signal being weak, Kumbhakar stepped out of the room and walked further away where the reception was clearer.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader came out of the toilet after some time and, finding the constable busy speaking over the phone in another corner of the cottage, quietly slipped out, the police said. “It appears that Nickole cleverly guessed from the fading voice of the constable that he was moving away from the room. He grabbed the opportunity to escape,” a police officer said. Kumbhakar found Nickole’s room empty after he finished his conversation and raised the alarm. Police records show that Kumbhakar was away from his post between 6.32am and 6.40am, handing Nickole, the prime accused in the Madan Tamang murder case, eight minutes to make his getaway.

6) The Naga bodies can mess with the Meiteis, can they mess with the ULFA? One bunch of thugs beating up another. Instant karma. Linky

Reacting to the threats by NSCN (IM) that it would evict Assamese people living in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh if the economic blockade launched by AASU and AJYCP activists in the wake of NSCN (IM) attacks on the villagers of Charaipung area in Assam continues, the pro-talk faction of United Liberation Front of Asom said it would begin an economic blockade against Changlang district by closing the Margherita-Changlang road at Margherita from 5 am tomorrow for 72 hours. Announcing the protest programme, general secretary of the group, Jiten Dutta informed that if NSCN (IM) did not withdraw their threat to the Assamese people of Tirapdistrict, it would block all the roads leading to Arunachal Pradesh from Assam. It may be mentioned that the road that leads to Khonsa, district headquarter of Tirap, from Jaypur in Dibrugarh district has been blocked by activists of AJYCP, AASU and other organisations since August 21 last.

At the press meet convened at the Press Club here today which was also attended by the vice president of the faction, Prabal Neog, Dutta stated that theywould also take similar action against the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland living in Assam if NSCN takes any action against the people from Assam living in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh or in Nagaland.

Here is more on the contested border between Assam and Arunachal. Linky

The border in the district, which is 101 km in length falls under four Police Stations, namely Titabor, Borhola, Teok and Mariani and there are as many as 13 border outposts, namely Panikhaiti, Bekajan, Gorajan, Gahorichowa, Bandar Chaliha, Kheremiya, New Panikhaiti, Rajabari, Gabharu, Disoi Valley, Chutiabari, New-Chungtia and New Sonowal. The people of Nagaland have encroached the whole disputed bordering areas of Assam by and large and made permanent settlement there. Sometimes tension prevails between the local people of Assam near the border and Naga encroachers due to various disputes. There are ample evidences of threatening the local entrepreneurs by the armed militants of the neighbouring district in those areas in earlier times. In such a situation, it is an astonishing fact how the interstate border is going on without a permanent border magistrate there since last 12 years.

Meanwhile,

The United Naga Council (UNC) of Manipur has extended the 20 day economic blockade on Manipur which was to end on Tuesday morning by another 25 days after New Delhi allegedly failed to intervene into their demands. A spokesman of UNC told the local press that they are extending their agitation since their demands are not fulfilled. A meeting of the Council was also held in Senapati district headquarter, 60 km north of here on Saturday.

The only saving grace this time is that: Linky

The extension of the blockade on National Highway 39 and 53, the life-lines of the State, forced Central para-military forces to intensify their routine road opening patrol (ROP) along the 65 km Mao-Kangpokpi sector of NH 39 on Tuesday. Speaking to The Assam Tribune, SP Nishit Ujjwal of Senapati district, said that the ROP has been intensified by six companies of CRPF and two companies of BSF along the route. “We have also alerted the police”, he added. The police official also confirmed the arrival of around 190 goods trucks from outside the State along the NH 39. A CRPF team also escorted around 32 empty trucks from Imphal to Nagaland sector of the Highway on Tuesday. When contacted over telephone, Nagaland police at Khuzama check gate bordering Manipur’s Mao Gate confirmed the movement of emptytrucks with CRPF escorts. Meanwhile, sources here said that another fleet of around 300 goods trucks are on their way to Imphal through the Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar Highway (NH 53).

Thank god for small happinesses.
7) Meanwhile, the CPI custodian has changed tack?! Linky

CPI’s national executive committee member Promode Gogoi today said that 60 lakh of the 2.6 crore people of Assam were Bangladeshis, and the problem of foreigners in the State should be solved by updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Talking to newsmen here today, the veteran CPI leader said: “In 1997, the then Union Home Minister Indrajit Gupta told the Parliament that there were 40 lakh Bangladeshis in Assam, and that 40 lakh Bangladeshis have increased to 60 lakh now.” He said that nowhere in the world, foreigners were given the voting right. “AIUDF leader Badruddin Ajmal is doing business in Kuwait, but he cannot cast his vote there. It’s only in Assam that a large number of foreigners have got the voting right,” Gogoi said, and added: “It’s condemnable that the State Government has put on hold the work of the NRC pilot project following a protest programme by an organization.”

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