North East Security Watch

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Bodo areas calm, rehabilitation starts

Guwahati, Sept 3 (IANS): With no fresh incidents reported from anywhere in Assam over the past few days, the state government has started the process for rehabilitation of the displaced people in the three violence-hit districts, officials said on Sunday.
Clashes between the Bodos and Bengali speaking Muslim settlers that broke out in Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri districts since July 19 have so far killed 95 people and displaced over four lakhs.

Relief and rehabilitation of the displaced people of the three violence hit districts has started, an official said.

Till Friday last, a total of 2,40,090 inmates of the relief camps have already left for their homes in the three districts. However, about another 2,45,831 inmates of the relief camps are still living in over 200 such camps in the violence-hit districts, an official said.

The process of verification of land documents of the inmates of the relief camps, which was made mandatory by the Bodoland Territorial Council and Assam government, have also been started in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts. The same will be started in Dhubri soon.

On Saturday, schools and other educational institutions, which were closed due to violence for more than a month now, have also started opening and likely to resume regular classes soon.

"It is good that the situation have become normal. The shops and markets have started opening as the administration have lifted the curfew and we hope that no more violence takes place in Kokrajhar," said Jayanta Boro, a school teacher. Boro added that they have started the school on Saturday but there were few students.

"We hope the students will be back in the schools soon," he said.

A senior police official at the Assam Police headquarters in Guwahati said that there have been no violence in Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts (BTAD) for more than last few days.

"The deployment of security forces would, however, remain in the BTAD for obvious reasons. The day curfew have been lifted and only night curfew prevails now in Kokrajhar, Chirang and Dhubri," he said adding that the forces have been maintaining a close vigil.

Inspector General of Police (BTAD) S.N. Singh said that there are close to 40 companies of central paramilitary forces in the three districts now. The army and state police forces have also been deployed in the districts, he said.

He also said that the army had started an operation in Kokrajhar district to seize all the illegal arms and weapons in the districts.

The Assam government has also requested the individuals and organisations in the BTAD not to organise any procession and rallies for next one month in the BTAD keeping in view the sensitivity of the issue. The government made the appeal as the rallies and processions might aggravate tension in the area.
 

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Centre directs State to seize illegal arms
R Dutta choudhury
GUWAHATI, Sept 2 – Concerned over the availability of illegal weapons in Assam particularly in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) area, the Centre has asked the State Government to launch a full scale operation to seize them and to take action against those possessing such weapons.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that according to information available, such illegal weapons were used in a number of cases of violence in the recent ethnic clashes in the BTAD area and the MHA asked the State Government to take strict action in this regard. The MHA has also warned the ex-BLT men that strong action would be taken if anyone among them is found to be involved in acts of violence.

Sources said that the available inputs indicated that ex BLT men were involved in a number of instances of violence in recent times. Though the Ranjan Daimary faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) did not issue any instruction to its cadres to indulge in violence, some of the lower level cadres were involved in clashes, sources said.

It may be mentioned here that according to an assessment of the security forces, at least 250 to 300 illegal weapons including AK series rifles and small arms are available in the BTAD area as during the disbanding of the BLT in 2003, all the cadres did not deposit all their weapons and some weapons are still being brought to the area.

Meanwhile, MHA sources said that there is need for apprehending the persons acting from behind the scene to instigate people during the recent clashes and hoped that the probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) would be able to find out how the clashes started and who was responsible. Sources said that though only seven cases were handed over to the CBI, it would be enough for the central agency to find out the reasons for the clashes.

On the large scale violence during the Assam bandh call by the AAMSU on August 28, sources said that all the culprits have been identified and strict action would be taken against all those involved.

On the availability of forces, MHA sources said that the additional forces sent to Assam following the outbreak of trouble would not be withdrawn at least till the situation improves. Sources said that as the entire State is declared as Disturbed area and Army is engaged in the counter-insurgency operations, the State Government can always requisition the services of the Army whenever required.
 

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Fake currency racket active in NE
Staff reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 2 – Counterfeit currencies sourced from beyond the country's borders have emerged as the latest threat to India's economy, a dangerous trend that involves a network spread across Assam and some other parts of the Northeast.
Police and intelligence agencies are concerned over the increased seizure of fake banknotes in recent times, and suspect it to be part of a bigger game plan that is likely to involve foreign players based in neighbouring countries.

Intelligence operatives refer to past precedents as well as incidents in history that prove the use of counterfeit currencies to hurt the economy of a country or region. They point fingers at some South Asian countries where such designs are implemented through highly advanced printing machines, and are subsequently passed on to their partners in India.

Apart from economic implications, which usually are felt over a long period, counterfeit notes of high dominations are favoured by traders in illegal arms and narcotics. Both incidentally have been a bane for the people of the Northeast.

It is believed that consignments of higher denomination notes are still crossing over the porous borders into Assam and some other parts of the Northeast. At times criminals carrying out this crime against the country have also pointed in this direction.

Bankers and businessmen in different parts of the state are also reporting the widespread circulation of counterfeit currency. It has led to some neighbouring countries such as Bhutan to handle Indian currency of Rs 500 with great trepidation. Similar instances have been reported by visitors to Nepal.

A senior banker, who did not wish to be named said that some fake notes can be easily spotted. But more recently, new ones have shown marked improvements and at times are difficult to identify by the lay person. There are some reports of bank personnel being fooled by the quality of a counterfeit currency, which again hints that those are being printed on high quality paper in top of the line presses.
 

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Manipur pushes back 60 illegal migrants

IMPHAL, Sept 2 – At least 60 illegal migrant workers, who were trying to enter Manipur through Jiribam border check post at Manipur-Assam border, about 222 km west of here, were pushed back by State police, official sources said today.
Police personnel halted several workers at Jiribam check post yesterday and verified their documents, the sources said.

Sixty workers, who could not speak Manipuri or any tribal dialect and appeared to be Bangladeshi nationals with no valid documents, were found at the other side of the check post in Assam, the sources said, adding they were not allowed to enter Manipur.

Official sources said the State Government had already intimated the police about detection of 43 illegal migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar on August 30 last during combing operations in Imphal East and Thoubal districts of Manipur.

Twenty four migrant Bangladeshis were found at Golapati Hatta area in Imphal East district during search operation, while 19 Myanmarese nationals were found at Lilong area in Thoubal district, sources said.

Official sources said the 24 Bangladeshi nationals were mostly from Latsahi, Nabganj, Chappai Nabganj and Rajek districts in that country.

Manipur DGP Y Joy Kumar said the entry of illegal migrants in the State was a "very serious matter" and all out efforts would be made to identify and deport them to their respective countries.

Manipur Home Minister Gaikhangam had earlier said steps had been taken to intensify checking of illegal migrants at three major border points – Jiribam (Assam-Manipur border), Mao (Manipur-Nagaland border) and Moreh (Manipur-Myanmar border).

Gaikhangam said State police forces had been instructed to maintain strict vigil at the border points and also intensify checking of illegal migrants at all the districts in the State, adding this process would continue in the State for some time.

Meanwhile, Manipur Government has initiated process to deport the illegal foreign migrant labourers in the State to their respective countries, official sources said. The Union Home Ministry has been urged to take necessary steps in this regard, they said. – PTI
 

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NSCN-IM Cadres Beaten up by Angry Mob

Three cadres of the NSCN (IM) were beaten up by an angry mob at Bhandari town, Wokha on August 30. It occurred at a booze joint. Sources speaking on condition of anonymity disclosed that the hostility erupted over a telephonic exchange which went awry. According to the sources, the three cadres functioning under Bhandari 'Town Command' of the NSCN (IM) were shifted to Wokha for medical attention. It erupted after one senior functionary of the group based at Bhandari had a "misunderstanding" over the phone. The functionary is said to have called one number and inquired on the person's identity at the other end of the line. The receiver reportedly replied in a rude tone irking the caller leading to rough exchanges of words between the two, the sources said.

After disconnecting the call, the functionary deputed three cadres to confront the receiver, a youth. However, the youth had also informed some of his friends and lay in wait. News spread, and quickly it turned into a mob. Outnumbered, the cadres were given a sound thrashing. Police eventually intervened and rescued the cadres from the clutches of the angry mob, the sources said. The three cadres were then taken to Wokha for medical attention. The vehicle in which they came was also returned. Fortunately, no further untoward incidents were reported as an outcome of the assault, the sources said. As of Thursday, the situation was said to be calm.
 

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GPRN/NSCN: NSCN-K Practicing Slavery


The GPRN/NSCN has accused the NSCN (Khaplang) of practicing "slavery", using Nagas as "labourer" to 'carry baggage for several arms groups form Manipur, Assam without paying even a penny of wages.' "The GPRN/NSCN informs Khaplang to stop using Nagas in Myanmar as potters, forceful labour which is claimed to be president directive. Nagas have been used and treated in the status of donkeys under the directive of Khaplang, forced to carry baggage's etc for several arms groups from Manipur, Assam etc without paying even a penny of wages. Eastern Nagas are being 'enslaved and discriminated inhumanly to serve as potters'. Under the shadow of Khaplang's dictating directive various arm groups from NE states are being sheltered, given safe haven and base at the cost of 'blood and tears' of innocent Nagas. Which can no longer be tolerated come what may," a note from the 'MIP' of the GPRN/NSCN stated.

The group also accused the Khaplang-led NSCN faction of restricting the movement of eastern Nagas towards western Nagaland even for the purpose of education. "Since the Nagas living in Myanmar have no proper schooling facilities or accessible to amenities. They still come to Nagaland for education however; the Khaplang's directive restricting the movement of eastern Nagas towards western Nagaland even for the purpose of education is completely illogical of sick mind-set," the note said. "However, with the winds of revolutionize, it is anticipated that the Nagas in those area will be able to have a very noteworthy impact in future."
 

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Govt to set up NRC directorate
Staff reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 4 – The State Government has decided to set up a special directorate to look into various aspects relating to updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the State.
Besides, a commission, headed by a retired judge, will be constituted to advice on the guidelines for the process of updating the NRC.

This was announced by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi while addressing the media persons here today. Gogoi had last week announced that the work of updating the NRC will be completed within next three years.

On a different note, the Chief Minister clarified that the State Government has not banned protest demonstrations or processions, and it had only requested to refrain from such agitations for a month in view of the law and order situation in the State.

"Some sections have misinterpreted the request. Moreover, if the people are unwilling to heed our request for the sake of peace and harmony, the Government has nothing to say," he added.

Gogoi, however, stressed that agitation alone cannot solve the problem of illegal migrants and there was a need for some concrete steps, which the Government is committed to take.

"We also support movements against illegal foreigners but can never allow harassment of genuine citizens in the name of detection of illegal settlers," he pointed out.

He said the Government was firm on checking infiltration and detecting and deporting illegal foreigners.

On the situation in BTAD areas, the Chief Minister said that the situation in BTAD area is crawling back to normalcy and that the co-ordination committee will meet on September 6 again to discuss further course of action.
 

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Intercepted migrants to be sent back
Spl CORRESPONDENT
NEW DELHI, Sept 4 – With the illegal migration from Bangladesh threatening to become a national issue, the Centre last year amended the rules regarding deportation of illegal migrants from Bangladesh intercepted while entering the country.
The fresh procedures now involve immediate sending back of the illegal immigrants, who are intercepted at the border, said Minister of State for Home Affairs, M Ramachandran in reply to a Lok Sabha question.

The revised procedure for detection and deportation of illegal immigrants was communicated to the State Government in November, 2009, which was partially modified in February, 2011, the Minister added.

In case of Assam, suspected foreigners are referred to Foreigners' Tribunal for determination of nationality. After the foreigners' tribunal determines the nationality, appropriate action is taken for the deportation of foreigners. In Assam, 36 such tribunals are currently functioning, Ramachandran disclosed.

The Minister further admitted to reports of illegal infiltration of Bangladeshi nationals, stating that they manage to infiltrate into the country in spite of check and control at the international border, particularly through a few patches where fencing is not feasible due to difficult terrain and riverine areas.

This activity takes place clandestinely and so no specific detail is available about the magnitude of the illegal migrants staying in India, including the north eastern States, he explained.

The people of the north eastern States perceive their ethnic and cultural identity being threatened by illegal infiltrators, he further added.
 

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White Paper on influx soon: CM
Staff reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 4 – Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said that his Government will publish a white paper on steps taken to detect and deport illegal migrants and went on to dare opposition parties like Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the BJP (NDA regime) to come out with details of measures adopted by them when they were in power.
Addressing a news conference here today, Gogoi said that the Government will come out with the white paper in first week of October and has already directed the officials to compile the details.

"My Government has taken a number of steps to detect and deport foreign nationals, much more than what the AGP and the BJP had done," the Chief Minister asserted.

"We will publish a white paper on what steps we have already taken and what are our plans for the future. We will provide comparative figures with previous AGP and BJP (NDA) Governments," he said.

Alleging that the AGP and BJP tend to raise the foreigners' issue just ahead of elections to gain political mileage, Gogoi informed that the Government has plans to increase the numbers of tribunals in the State, besides developing the infrastructure.

"We will take up the matters with the Central Government and will make the Tribunals more effective," he added. At present there are over 2.37 lakh cases pending before the Foreigners Tribunals in the state.
 

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AGP demands probe on ex-IB chief's charge
Staff Correspondent
DIBRUGARH, Sept 4 – Former Chief Minister of Assam and president of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Prafulla Kumar Mahanta today demanded a high level investigation into the alleged payment of Rs 15 crore to the banned ULFA outfit by a few politicians during the National Games held in the state.
Reacting to news report published in The Assam Tribune today, in which former Special Director of the Intelligence Bureau, RN Ravi said that an amount of Rs 15 crore was paid to the ULFA to 'buy peace' when the banned outfit had called for boycott of the National Games in the State, the AGP president said that Prime Minister should institute a high level investigation by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court into the alleged doling out of money to ULFA. The alleged nexus should be unearthed and all those involved should be slapped with punishment, Mahanta said. "If common man can be punished for having links with the ULFA, people in the government should also face the law of the land for their anti-social behavior. Law is for all and the guilty, whoever he or she may be, should be nailed," Mahanta demanded.

Mahanta also questioned the Union Home Ministry for failing to initiate action against the guilty despite having knowledge of the payment by the government. "If the Intelligence Bureau was aware about the transaction, why did the Home Ministry not act?" he asked.

Mahanta said that AGP had raised the issue earlier, too, and the statement made now by Ravi proved that government paid substantial amount of money to the ULFA.

:facepalm:
 

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NESO rally against illegal migrants on Sept 6
Staff reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 4 – The North East Students' Organisation (NESO) and the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) will jointly take out a protest procession in the city on September 6 demanding expulsion of foreigners from the NE region and ensuring security of students of the region.
The union made an appeal to the people to gather at the Latasil ground here at 11 am on that day for taking part in the programme.

Leaders of students organisations from the seven NE States will take part in the programme.

AASU president Sankar Prasad Roy and its general secretary Tapan Kumar Gogoi underlined the need to build a united struggle for the expulsion of the foreign nationals illegally staying in the region.
 

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ASDC opposes BTAD dissolution demand
Correspondent
DIPHU, Sept 4 – The main opposition party of the Karbi Anglong autonomous district, Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC) has expressed serious concern over the demand of dissolution of Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District (BTAD) by certain social organisations and political parties.
While rubbishing the dissolution demand, Rabindra Rongpi, general secretary, ASDC, through a press note has termed the demand for revocation of Bodo Accord and dissolution of present Bodoland Autonomous Territorial Council (BTAD) as unconstitutional and unfortunate.

The ASDC leader strongly opposed the demand of a few political parties and so-called organisations for disbanding of the elected body. It is not only unconstitutional but also illogical. He said that ASDC cannot agree with the demand and as a party they condemn such a demand, Rongpi added.

Speaking on the accord, he said that the Bodo Accord was the outcome of a long struggle of the Bodo community. They obtained it after spilling lots of blood and at the cost of thousands of lives.

Rongpi on behalf of the ASDC party has appealed to the organisations and political parties that instead of making such demands, they should engage themselves in establishing permanent peace and tranquility in BTAD.

Besides, he has also appealed to the general public to refrain from delivering any statement on sensitive issues which may flare up communal hatred among communities. "It is necessary to restore peace not only in BTAD area but in entire Assam; we should avoid doing politics with the political situation of Assam", Rongpi added.
 

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Tension in Dhubri after desecration of place of worship

Dhubri, Sept 8 (PTI): Police today fired in the air to disperse a mob protesting the damage to a place of worship and theft of ornaments worth Rs two lakh from there in Assam's Dhubri district, police said.
Police fired six rounds in the air at R K Mission Road here as locals blocked the road, protesting the desecration of the worship place last night when curfew was in place in the town.
 

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Special anti-terror Act extended in Tripura

AGARTALA, Sept 8 (IANS): The Tripura government has extended for another six months the operation of a stringent law that gives sweeping powers to para-military troopers deployed in disturbed areas to curb terrorism, an official said here Saturday.
"The state-level coordination committee has recently assessed the overall security situation in the state. It has suggested extending the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958) by another six months," a state home department official told IANS.

He said: "The state government has accepted the recommendation of the coordination committee overseeing the anti-insurgency operation in Tripura."

Chief Secretary S.K. Panda is the chairman of the committee comprising top officials of central and state security forces.

"Though four-and-a-half decades old terrorism has been tamed in Tripura, the Left Front government is averse to taking any chances for some more time," the official said.

Tripura has 70 police stations. The AFSPA is fully in force in 34 police station and partially operational in six police station areas.

The Act was first enforced in Tripura in 1997, when terrorism was its peak in the northeastern state.

The Act provides unlimited powers to the security forces to shoot at sight, arrest anybody without a warrant and carrying out searches without hindrance.

It also insulates the security forces from legal processes for any action undertaken under the Act.

Local rights groups and political parties, specially tribal based Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), describe the Act as "draconian" and want it repealed.

"Innocent people are victimised by the security forces in the name of anti-insurgency operations," said Nagendra Jamatia, former minister and a senior leader of the INPT, an electoral ally of the opposition Congress.

"Demand for repealing the AFSPA was one of the issues in our movement against the Left Front government," Jamatia told IANS.

According to the leaders of INPT and other tribal-based parties, several hundred tribal youth have been either detained or arrested under the AFSPA over the years.

Besides Tripura, the AFSPA is also in force in Manipur (excluding the Imphal Municipal Council area), Assam and Nagaland, and in the Tirap and Changlang districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

Human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila of Manipur has been on an indefinite hunger strike since 12 years, demanding withdrawal of the Act.

Tripura's two militant outfits - National Liberation Front of Tripura and the All Tripura Tiger Force - both banned by the Indian authorities, have set up their bases in Bangladesh and get support from other separatist outfits of the northeast. They have been demanding secession of Tripura from India.
 

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Bhutan expels illegal Indian immigrants
Kalyan Barooah
NEW DELHI, Sept 7 – The Centre may be dithering over expelling illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, but neighbouring Bhutan issued expulsion orders to 31 illegal Indian immigrants last year, despite pressures from New Delhi.
India could draw lessons from the neighbouring Himalayan country when it comes to acting tough on immigrants working illegally in the country. Notwithstanding pressures from India to go easy on the illegal Indian immigrants, they were issued with repatriation orders.

The Royal Government of Bhutan has informed India that during a routine inspection by the immigration officials in September, last year, in Gelephu, 31 illegal Indian immigrants were detected. These illegal immigrants were issued with repatriation orders, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi said in a Lok Sabha reply.

The Indian Mission has strongly intervened with the Royal Government through several notes verbale, aides-memoire and personal interactions with senior functionaries. The Royal Government has informed that it has no intention to cause inconvenience to Indian nationals working with proper permits and operating their own business with valid trade licence, Ravi said.

The only concern is with those expatriates working without valid work permits and operating illegally, the Minister added.

There are no inputs though to suggest that Indians are being displaced in Bhutan, Ravi added.

However, instances have come to notice where foreigners have been asked to leave the country, if their stay is not in accordance with the Labour and Employment Act 2007 of the Royal Government of Bhutan, Ravi pointed out.

The law does not allow illegal immigrants to work or reside in the country. According to law, if an employer employs a worker illegally, a monetary penalty of Nu. 10,000 per day is imposed on him, the Minister said.

As reported by this newspaper, Assam Government during the last two years managed to deport only 134 illegal migrants.
 

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Manipur outfits warn migrants to leave by Dec 31
Sobhapati Samom
IMPHAL, Sept 7 – Expressing serious concern over the continued influx of migrants in Manipur, the Coordination Committee of the seven Manipur based militant groups have asked the migrants to leave the State for bringing a solution to the migrants' problem in the region.
If the native people have engaged the outsiders for work or business, they should be advised to leave the State by December 31, 2012, the Committee of the seven outfits (CorCom) comprising – Kangleipak Communist Party, Kanglei Yaol Kanna Lup, People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak, People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Pro), Revolutionary People's Front, United National Liberation Front and United People's Party of Kangleipak said in a statement here.

It also asked all concerned not to issue No Objection Certificate, Birth Certificate, EPIC, Insurance related documents or any kind of identity card while drivers and transporters have been warned not to bring in outsiders to the State.

It said USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Singapore, Japan to mention a few are presently facing problems of illegal migrants and some of these countries have made certain rules and regulations to check illegal migrants while some have banned entry of migrants.

Likewise, Northeastern region has started to face serious threats from uncontrolled inflow of illegal migrants, says the CorCom. The indigenous Tripuris in the present Tripura are today living like minorities in their own land, it said. In Assam, indigenous population is also facing a serious threat as migrants constitute 46 per cent of the population.

The situation is no different in neighbouring Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya, it further added. Stating that illegal migrants and outsider population has reached alarming proportions, the CorCom said the Government of India is hiding the population figure of outsiders from the Census Report 2011.
 

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Meghalaya detected 12,000 Bangladeshis since 2008
Raju Das
SHILLONG, Sept 7 – The Union Government, which has no details about the magnitude of Bangladeshi infiltrators, could very well reach out to this Congress-run hill State of Meghalaya, which detected over 12,000 Bangladeshi infiltrators in less than five years.
Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, replying to an unstarred question in the Rajya Sabha yesterday said that there are no specific details about the magnitude of such infiltration, although admitting the phenomenon taking place clandestinely.

However, giving information about the detection of Bangladeshi infiltrators, State Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said in the Assembly today that from 2008 to July this year, 12,321 Bangladeshi infiltrators were detected in the State.

The Meghalaya Government, on the other hand, was more precise. It gave the year-wise details about the numbers of such infiltrators being prosecuted, deported and "sent back directly."

Sangma said, in the past five years from 2008, 697 Bangladeshi infiltrators were prosecuted, in all. Another 564 were deported and 11,644 were sent back directly.

In the case of deportation, it involves the legal process where the infiltrators are deported to the country of origin. But the case of "sent back directly" is a bit trickier. Sangma said these "Bangladeshi infiltrators" are sent back to the places where they claim to belong – and that in most cases are places in India, particularly Assam.

Sangma later told reporters that NGOs have not been given legal sanctity to prosecute infiltrators, but once the proposed Directorate of Infiltration is in place these NGOs would "coordinate" with the government in detecting illegal infiltrators. However, he did not give out specifics as to how the coordination would take place.

Meanwhile, miscreants assaulted a number of bus passengers at Mawryngkneng in Jaintia Hills district on National Highway 44 in its "drive against infiltration" today. The bus was on its way from Silchar to Guwahati. Seven of the miscreants were detained and brought here, police said. NH 44 connects Barak Valley in Assam, and also Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur.
 

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NSCN factions exchange heavy gunfire in Dimapur
Correspondent
DIMAPUR, Sept 7 – The expected quiet Thursday on account of the NESO bandh call was shattered in Dimapur when a fierce gun battle broke out between rival groups – NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) and NSCN (K) near Livingstone Higher Secondary School, Thahekhu village, at around 8 am yesterday.
In the heavy gun-battle that lasted for more than an hour, two NSCN (K) members, identified as 'SS' Sergeant Momo Anal, 26, of Toposhin village, Chandel, in Manipur, and 'SS' Sergeant Major Abenthung Kikon alias James, 25, of Mekokla village, sustained injuries in the chest and leg. They have been admitted to Dimapur District Hospital.

In a highly tense event that unfolded, around 20 fully armed cadres of the NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) reportedly surrounded the building of one Major Khetovi of the NSCN (K) where around 17 of its cadres were holed up. Sources said among the cadres in the house were some members who had recently defected from the GPRN/NSCN.

There were also three children and a woman civilian. Miraculously, no harm came upon them during the gun battle.

After fully surrounding the building, the NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) cadres rained a volley of bullets and also lobbed hand grenades into the compound. The NSCN (K) members retaliated from inside. Two vehicles belonging to the NSCN (K) were completely burnt during the incident.

The police later recovered two unexploded grenades which were taken away by the Bomb Squad. Nearby residents said they heard around five hand grenades exploding. Many surrounding buildings were also pierced by bullets. No casualty among civilians was, however, reported.

IRB and police personnel arrived on the scene while the battle was going all out. District administration and civil bodies led by Naga Council also quickly turned up. By that time, irate citizens of the colony, especially womenfolk, had gathered with drums and loud speakers to intervene and chase away the warring cadres.

The cadres of the NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) made their flight towards Signal Angami side after the arrival of the security forces, civil bodies and the public.

Another drama unfolded with the arrival of the Assam Rifles. The AR troops demanded that the NSCN (K) members holed up in the house be handed over to them. In a twist of events, the public, majority of them women, refused to hand over the underground members and rather demanded safe passage for them. The underground members were finally given safe passage and escorted out of the area with their arms and ammunition.

However, a standoff situation ensued again when Assam Rifles troops, numbering around 50, stopped the party escorting the NSCN (K) cadres out near Purana Bazar area and demanded that they be handed over to them. The escorting party was guarded by IRB personnel.

Guns were cocked on the ready and both parties stood their ground creating high tension. The situation was defused only after the arrival of DC Dimapur.
 

Oracle

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Karbi bodies vow to fight influx
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DIPHU, Sept 7 – Along with the rest of the State, the issue of influx of illegal immigrants has triggered massive protests in Karbi Anglong district too. Different student organisations and KSYC have urged the district administration to take all preventive measures needed for the detection and expulsion of Bangladeshi nationals within 15 days beginning from the current month of September.
Bipul Tisso, assistant secretary, media and publicity, KSYC central executive committee, stated that the KSYC would fully cooperate with the authorities concerned for the detection and expulsion of Bangladeshis as it cannot allow any such national to stay in the district. "We will launch a massive search operation on our own in the probable areas of the autonomous district to track down their places of hiding if the authority fails to take proper action on the issue," he added.

The KSYC further said that it has already started a liaison with other student bodies of different communities and youth organisations of the State for lunching a joint agitation on this issue. The youth council stated that after reviewing the socio- political developments in the State in the aftermath the bloody clashes in the BTAD areas and adjoining districts, it was convinced that a large Bangladeshi nationals' influx has taken place in Karbi Anglong district.

The youth council added that it can spot a number of such doubtful nationals in the vicinity of the town, at places like Panbari and other localities where certain religious minority people are staying. Most of these people are not well acquainted with the local languages and it is believed that they had come from the clash-hit areas.

The United Students Union of Karbi Anglong (USUKA) has also decided to stage a massive torch rally on September 9 in Howraghat town to protest against the influx of illegal immigrants into the State.

Meanwhile, a local vernacular daily published from Diphu, quoting police sources, claimed that 538 suspected Bangladeshi nationals have been detected by the Baithalango police in Hamren subdivision, who were awaiting deportation. The KSYC has alleged that the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, civil administration and the police were not doing enough in dealing with the menace of influx of foreign nationals.
 

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