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PHOTOS: Northeast ignores threats, celebrates R-Day

Last updated on: January 26, 2012 15:21 IST

Northeast ignores threats, celebrates R-Day

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K Anurag in Guwahati

The call for boycotting Republic Day celebrations given by insurgent outfits failed to dampen the spirit of the occasion all over northeast India.

 

Addressing the official celebration in Guwahati, Assam Governor J B Patnaik sought lasting peace in the insurgency hit state.

 

Patnaik expressed satisfaction over peace overtures of the government bearing fruit in the form of surrender of a large number of insurgents and also tried to persuade the anti-big dam protestors saying all their apprehensions will be 'effectively addressed'. 

Reiterating the government's pledge to protect the interests of the people, the Governor said, "Regarding the under construction Lower Subansiri Hydropower Project of the NHPC, it is the state government's solemn commitment to ensure that all apprehensions are effectively addressed and all possible steps taken to ensure that people living in the downstream areas are not affected adversely in any way."

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The anti-big dam movement in north-eastern Assam, particularly against the ongoing Lower Subansiri project of the NHPC, has snowballed into a major problem for the government as the protestors have refused to ease almost two-month-old blockade against movement of construction materials and equipment to dam site at Gerukamukh in Dhemaji district of Assam bordering Arunachal Pradesh thereby bringing construction activities to a grinding halt. 

The Governor also emphasised on the need for the North East Water Resource Authority (NEWRA) for 'scientific water resource management and flood control in the entire region'. 

On the return of peace to the state, Patnaik said, "Sustained developmental efforts, counter-insurgency operations and peace overtures for people willing to come forward for negotiated settlement has paid rich dividends." 

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He pointed that several militant outfits, including the pro-talks ULFA, have signed ceasefire agreements, while many have already laid down arms and final settlements will be signed soon. 

Urging the groups that have still remained at large, including the Paresh Barua-faction of the ULFA, to come for talks, the Governor said the government would always keep its doors open for talks.

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Tags: ULFA

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In Nagaland, Governor Nikhil Kumar highlighted the achievements of the state in various fields.

Kumar said "today our literacy rate, health indicators and economic growth are much better than many states of the country."

 

Appreciating the role of administration, police, paramilitary forces, civil society and church in maintaining law and order, the governor said "our state has had the distinction of having the least crime rate in the country last year as per the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau."

 

On the demand for creation of a separate 'Frontier Nagaland' by dividing four border districts, Kumar said the government was committed to address the grievances of the people of that region and had offered to set up an autonomous council with sufficient financial and administrative power.

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In Tripura, Governor Dr D Y Patil unfurled the tri-colour at the Assam Rifles ground in Agartala and appealed to the youth to join hands to build a peaceful and developed Tripura.

 

The Governor was given guard of honour by the state and central paramilitary forces along with the state police and NCC.

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In Arunachal Pradesh, Governor Gen J J Singh exhorted people to come in open against such culture for all-round development of the state.

 

Unfurling the national tri-colour on the occasion of 63rd Republic Day at Indira Gandhi Park in Itanagar, the Governor cautioned the state government would not tolerate such culture in future and would deal with all such activities with a stern hand.

 

"Violent and forcible bandhs have no place in a democracy and by no definition can they be considered as democratic means of protest. They can never be a replacement for dialogue and negotiations," Gen Singh said.

Referring to the incidents of extortion by rebel outfits in troubled Tirap and Changlang districts of the state, the governor informed that the massive developmental package announced by the Centre for the districts recently would have an "exemplary effect on the insurgency situation" in both the districts.

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In Manipur, Governor Gurbachan Jagat unfurled the national flag and took salute from the participants in the march past at Kangla in Imphal.

 

Despite massive security arrangements, a powerful bomb was exploded by suspected militants in the capital complex, but none was injured.

 

Normal life has been affected in the state due to the boycott call by major insurgent organisations, including United National Liberation Front and Revolutionary People's Front, official sources said.

 

Police patrol was intensified throughout the state especially in the in Valley districts of Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur and Thoubal.

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