Assam: Fleeing robber injured in police firing, drug peddlers escape

During interrogation, they revealed their involvement in other cases of snatching in Guwahati city, the statement said.

Guwahati: A suspected robber was injured in police firing as he was trying to flee, while four drug peddlers managed to escape despite policemen shooting at their car in Assam, officials said on Sunday.

Both the incidents occurred at separate places in Guwahati.

In the first case, a suspected robber, who was arrested earlier along with his accomplice, was leading a police team to Uhabori area under Azara police station to recover stolen motorbikes and other articles on Saturday night. The accused tried to flee after snatching a weapon from one personnel, a senior officer said in a statement.

“To stop the fleeing accused, one round was fired upon the accused on his leg. The injured accused has been referred to GMCH (Gauhati Medical College and Hospital) after preliminary treatment at Azara PHC,” the statement read.

The two suspected robbers, who hail from Jalpaiguri district of neighbouring West Bengal, were nabbed by Guwahati Police on Saturday and a stolen bike was recovered from them.

During interrogation, they revealed their involvement in other cases of snatching in Guwahati city, the statement said.

In another case, 500 grams of heroin was recovered from a car in Hijubari area early on Sunday but four drug peddlers managed to flee in another vehicle.

“It’s HUGE! In a joint operation by @GuwahatiPol & @KamrupPolice, 0.5 kg heroin has been recovered at Hijubari. Keep up the good work,” Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Twitter.

A senior police official said four drug peddlers coming in two cars were intercepted. They left one car and fled in the other.

“Our officers fired several rounds at the car, but they could flee. We have launched an operation to nab them,” he added.

At least 26 suspected militants and criminals were shot dead in police encounters in the state since May as they reportedly tried to snatch service weapons or attempted to escape from custody, while 41 accused were injured along with some policemen. PTI

Also read: Assam govt to preserve heritage of Dimasa Kachari kingdom: CM

Assam govt to preserve heritage of Dimasa Kachari kingdom: CM

At the beginning of the Dimasa rule, Dimapur used to be the capital of the kingdom, which was later shifted to Malibang, now in Dima Hasao district of Assam.

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said that the state government will preserve the heritage of the 18th century Dimasa Kachari kingdom and develop its last capital at Khaspur, located 25 km from Silchar town in Cachar district.

At the beginning of the Dimasa rule, Dimapur used to be the capital of the kingdom, which was later shifted to Malibang, now in Dima Hasao district of Assam.

During a visit to Khaspur during the day, Sarma said the state government will take up a project on 100 bighas (25 acres) of land to preserve the heritage of the Dimasa Kachari kingdom and to make Khaspur into an attractive tourist destination, an official statement said here.

The Department of Indigenous Faith and Culture of the state government will initiate steps for the preservation of the heritage of the kingdom, the chief minister said.

The sun gate, lion gate, main gate, the king’s temple, Rani Chandrabha Hasnu Park, named after a Kachari queen, are among the relics dotting the place.

Moreover, the state government would take steps to strengthen the Barman Dimasa Kachari Development Council in a bid to fast-track the development of the community, the chief minister added.

Sarma visited monuments of the kingdom at Khaspur that bear testimony to the unique architecture of the Dimasa Kacharis , the statement said.

Later in the day, he unveiled a statue of Gobinda Chandra Narayana Hasnu, the last of the Dimasa Kachari kings, at Silchar Circuit House premises.

The statue has been installed under the aegis of Barman Dimasa Kachari Development Council, which drew praise from the chief minister.

The Dimasa Kachari kingdom had come into existence in the 18th century as a result of a matrimonial tie between the Koch royal family and the Dimasa rulers.

The kingdom was annexed by the British a couple of years after the end of Gobinda Chandra Narayana Hasnu’s rule around 1830.

The chief minister also visited Bhuban Tirtha, in the same district, and offered prayer at the ancient temple atop a hill and sought blessings for the people of the state.

Attending a meeting there, the chief minister said the state government would develop Bhuban Tirtha as an important pilgrimage site having all amenities for pilgrims with active cooperation of the local people, the statement added.

Assam: Rs 116 crore approved for building mini sec. in Barak Valley

People of three districts - Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi- will also save time for their official works as they will not require to come to Guwahati for the same.

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said his government has sanctioned Rs 116 crore for construction of the mini secretariat of Barak Valley at Silchar, which is expected to be completed within three years.

He went to the construction site on the first of his two-day visit to the valley and said it will help in disposing of the administrative works.

People of three districts – Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi- will also save time for their official works as they will not require to come to Guwahati for the same.

The mini secretariat will also help implement various government schemes and programmes without any delay, Sarma said.

Sarma also reviewed the construction work of Silchar bypass connecting Silchar-Aizawl (NH 306) and Silchar-Karimganj (NH 37) and directed the officials concerned to complete the project soon in the interest of people of Barak valley.

The chief minister laid the foundation stone of a multi-utility building of Red Cross Society, Silchar.

The state government has already allotted Rs 50 lakh for the project and another Rs 50 lakh would be provided on receipt of utilisation certificate of the sanctioned amount, he said.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, robust healthcare infrastructure is important and the state must remain prepared for future challenges, Sarma said.

Earlier on his arrival at Silchar, the chief minister paid floral tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee at Rangpur and recalled the late leader’s role in the welfare of all sections of people.

Assam: Two militants of newly formed outfit killed in Kokrajhar

"Two cadres have been declared dead after an exchange of fire between police/security forces and terrorists," Assam Police ADG tweeted.

Guwahati Sep 18 : Two suspected militants of a newly formed outfit have been killed and their camp busted by security forces in Assam’s Kokrajhar district, a top police officer said on Saturday.

Additional Director General of Assam Police GP Singh said in a tweet that a camp of United Liberation of Bodoland (ULB) at Ultapani area of Kokrajhar was busted by security forces during an operation that had commenced on Friday night.

“Two cadres have been declared dead after an exchange of fire between Police/Security forces and terrorists,” he wrote on the microblogging platform.

Singh added that two pistols and grenades were recovered from the militants.

In a video released earlier this week, a group of men announced that a new outfit by the name of United Liberation of Bodoland has been formed, and a separate state for the Bodos is their primary demand from the government.

Also Read: Assam CM dedicates 14 oxygen generators to people

Assam CM dedicates 14 oxygen generators to people

Sarma dedicated 14 of the 40 oxygen generators, received as donation from the PM-CARES Fund and set up in 14 hospitals across the state

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday said the state government has augmented its oxygen storage capacity to 342 metric tonnes and in case there is an outbreak of the third wave of Covid-19, it will be in a better position to deal with the situation.

Sarma dedicated 14 of the 40 oxygen generators, received as donation from the PM-CARES Fund and set up in 14 hospitals across the state, to the people on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s 71st birthday.

The 14 oxygen generators have a capacity to generate 15.71 metric tonnes of the life-saving gas per day.

The remaining 26 generators with a capacity of 47.69 metric tonnes per day will be inaugurated soon, an official release said.

“These (14) oxygen generation plants will greatly help the health services delivery system of the state to provide critical care facilities to the patients,” Sarma said.

He thanked the prime minister for donating the oxygen generators which, besides helping the state to become self-sufficient, can provide medical oxygen to the neighbouring states during any emergency situation.

Assam has also made good progress in inoculating people against Covid-19 as 75 per cent of the total eligible population received the vaccine with 20 per cent of them got both doses, Sarma said.

Assam govt to set up innovation fund with SIDBI to promote start-ups

SIDBI's nod came following Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's proposal in this regard.

Guwahati: The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) on Tuesday agreed to set up an innovation fund in partnership with the Assam government to promote start-ups.

SIDBI’s nod came following Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s proposal in this regard.

Sarma was speaking at a meeting in which SIDBI handed over a commitment letter of Rs 350 crore to the Assam government under Cluster Development Fund.

Efforts would be taken to create clusters to promote ‘one district-one-product initiative’ which is also the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the CM said.

With improvement in the law and order situation and no insurgency problem, the state now has a conducive environment for more collaborative approach in promoting, financing and developing MSME sector, Sarma said.

SIDBI Chairman cum Managing Director Sivasubramanian Ramann handed over the commitment letter to Principal Secretary of Industries and Commerce and Public Enterprises K K Dwivedi in the presence of the Chief Minister.

Following Sarma’s request, Ramann agreed to partner with the state government in setting up an innovation fund to promote start-ups in Assam and support and promote self-help groups to the enterprise level and bring them into the formal sector of the economy.

Ramann gave a presentation highlighting the expertise and services of the SIDBI.

Dwivedi also gave a presentation detailing the existing landscape of MSME sector in Assam and scope of SIDBI to align with the state government to bolster its development.

Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, Health and Family Welfare Minister Keshab Mahanta, representatives of industry associations and senior officials of the state government were present at the meeting.

Assam Electronics Development Corp partners with iBus for digital infra

With this partnership, the two entities will offer connectivity solutions on large campuses, IT parks, hospitals, SEZs and commercial buildings, the statement said.

Guwahati: State-run Assam Electronics Development Corporation Ltd has appointed tech firm iBus Networks as its exclusive business partner for deploying and operating digital infrastructure on commercial premises, a statement said on Monday.

With this partnership, the two entities will offer connectivity solutions on large campuses, IT parks, hospitals, SEZs and commercial buildings, it said.

The nodal implementing agency of the state information technology department and the private network solution provider will identify appropriate business opportunities and collectively look forward to design and deploy digital infrastructure (DI), Assam Electronics Development Corporation Ltd managing director MK Yadava said.

The development of DI will reduce the digital divide in India, he said.

The Assam government undertaking has over 36 years of experience in delivering solutions in electronics, telecom and IT.

Tech firm iBus along with its group entities is an in-building network coverage provider in the country, covering 500 million sq ft in over 900 sites of 19 states.

“This partnership gives us the ability to meet our goal of providing access to internet to all sections of the population,” iBus CEO Ram Sellaratnam said.V

Assam govt to provide free marine engines to private ferries

Assam government will provide marine engines to 850 private passenger vessels, free of cost, that have applied under a special scheme.

Guwahati: The Assam government on Sunday said it will provide free-of-cost marine engines to hundreds of private passenger vessels.

A number of safety measures as part of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for plying of vehicles across the state, especially between Nimati Ghat in Jorhat and Majuli where a tragic boat accident last week had claimed two lives with a third person still missing, has also been issued, a statement issued by the Government said.

The decisions were taken at a review meeting of the Directorate of Inland Water Transport (DIWT) here, chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday evening.

The state government will provide marine engines to 850 private passenger vessels, free of cost, that have applied under a special scheme.

Marine engines will be fitted after survey of the boat’s fitness by a surveyor appointed by DIWT, Assam, the statement said.

“DIWTA in consultation with DC (deputy commissioner) concerned will assess the requirement for more than one ramp /temporary jetties at each Ghat and arrange to construct accordingly,” it said.

The statement added that the DCs, DIWTA and other senior officers will have to frequently visit and inspect arrangements made at the ghats to ensure that the ferry service are operating smoothly.

As part of the SOP for Nimati Ghat and Majuli, plying of private vessels with single engine, except those with marine engines with reversible gear, will remain suspended, the statement further said.

Six government vessels, including two Ro-Pax, will remain in operation between Majuli and Jorhat and one dredger will be used to maintain the channel/gradient for smooth ferry services even in the lean season.

All 19 private passenger vessels plying between Majuli and Jorhat will be fitted with marine engines with reversible gear at the expense of the government within six months, it was decided at the meeting according to the statement.

All passengers will be required to wear life jackets before departure of the vessel and tickets will be issued to all passengers and their names and contact details will be maintained in a register.

Minimum two ramps/ temporary jetties will be maintained at each ghat of Majuli and Jorhat for docking and mooring of boats.

One life-buoy ring against four passengers has been made mandatory and the life-buoys should be kept on the guard rails for immediate throwing towards people in the water.

One Magistrate in Majuli and one in Jorhat will be detailed to be present during departure and arrival of the ferries, and the magistrate will submit the daily report to the concerned DC, the statement added.

Safety audit will be carried out for vessels by competent IWT officials before being put to use and the vessels must be inspected for their overall fitness, availability of firefighting and lifesaving equipment, competence of crew members, etc.

Reliable communication network should be maintained between the master and in-charge of the ghat and they should regularly remain in contact over phone.

Training of all the masters and crew has to be undertaken on basic navigation stability, related rules in the water, firefighting, emergency operation, etc.

The meeting also decided that one SDRF team will be stationed at Majuli and it will be kept in readiness to respond to any emergency.

Master (In-charge of the Boat) of passenger ferry will not be changed without prior approval of competent authority of the IWT.

Principal Secretary, Transport, KK Dwivedi, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Samir Kumar Sinha, Commissioner, Transport, Adil Khan and other senior officers of Transport department were present at the meeting, the statement added.

Assam CM focuses on roadmap for growth

Various issues regarding the implementation of projects and preparing the development roadmap for the state are being discussed, said Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma

Guwahati: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday focused on preparing a roadmap for the state’s growth at a conference with deputy commissioners (DCs) of all 34 districts.

Attending the inaugural day of the two-day meet in Karbi Anglong district, Sarma wrote on Twitter, In these two days in Diphu, we shall discuss how to achieve speedy growth of the State. Several Ministers, MLAs and key senior officials are here with me.

Various issues regarding implementation of projects and preparing the development roadmap for the state are being discussed, he added.

The chief minister further said conferences with DCs and superintendents of police (SPs) will be organised separately as well as jointly every six months, which will be held outside Guwahati.

Talking to reporters at Diphu, Sarma said that the state government has decided to keep close contact with the district administrations and as part of that initiative, SPs’ conference was held in Kaziranga earlier and now a meeting with the DCs is being held in Diphu, an official statement said here.

Assam CM invites ULFA (I) chief for peace talks

The chief minister said that Assam is celebrating Independence Day without any bandh called by militant groups, including ULFA, for the first time in decades.

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday appealed to ULFA (I) chief Paresh Barua to come to the negotiating table.

Sarma also expressed his gratitude to COVID warriors for their unrelenting fight against the pandemic, and reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the war against drugs and human trafficking.

He made 10 ‘requests’ to the people of Assam, including taking care of aging parents and marrying off daughters not before the age of 21, to mark the 75th Independence Day.

Speaking at the state function organised on the occasion, the chief minister said that Assam is celebrating Independence Day without any bandh called by militant groups, including ULFA, for the first time in decades.

“On behalf of the people of Assam, I appeal to Paresh Barua to come forward for dialogue. Let no youth of our state be killed anymore,” he said.

The ULFA (I), which had been calling for Assam Bandh on Independence Day and Republic Day for several decades, refrained from the practice for the first time for Independence Day this year.

The outfit has also declared a unilateral ceasefire since May this year in view of the pandemic situation. The chief minister had earlier urged Barua to come for peace talks after assuming power in May this year.

Sarma thanked all COVID warriors, including doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians and ambulance drivers, for working tirelessly in the pandemic. Noting that COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible people was progressing well in the state, he said that 1.5 crore doses will be administered in the next one week.

He congratulated boxer Lovlina Borgohain for her Olympic bronze medal and said that her success is an inspiration for all.

Sarma paid tributes to the six Assam Police personnel killed in violence along the inter-state border with Mizoram on July 26, and conferred them the ‘Chief Minister’s Special Service Medal in a Crisis Situation’ posthumously.

He said that the Assam government is committed to resolving the border disputes without compromising with the state’s constitutional boundary. “I urge the northeastern states to resolve the disputes through talks to keep the ‘soul’ of our region alive,” he said.

The chief minister said that the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, which was passed by the assembly on Friday, shows the state government’s resolve to protect the cultural ethos of the state.

He said that the government is committed to eradicating poverty through population control and will carry on its war against drugs, human trafficking and other social menaces.

Sarma said his government will fulfil its pre-poll promises including providing one lakh government jobs and waiving loans taken by women from micro-finance institutions. “We want to do away with red-tapism in bureaucracy,” he said.

The chief minister announced that freedom fighters’ pension issued by the state government will be increased to Rs 36,000 at par with the central remuneration and state honours will be accorded to all these former revolutionaries during their last rites.

He made 10 ‘requests’ to the people of the state and urged them to comply with these to build a better Assam.

Sarma urged people to observe birth and death anniversaries of Vaishanvite preachers Srimanta Sankardeva and Madhabdeva as opportunities to emulate their teachings. He called on people to make it a tradition to begin all programmes with a rendition of the state song and conclude those with the National Anthem.

Urging people to take care of their aging parents, the chief minister said that his government will sanction seven days leave per year to its employees to visit their parents and requested other employers and businessmen to follow suit.

To improve the work culture, he requested government employees to spend an extra hour at the office and leave no work pending. He appealed to people to stop using single-use plastics and do at least one ‘good deed’ this year like giving free tuition to needy students or organising health camps.

Sarma urged people not to marry off their daughters till they attain the age of 21, and cooperate with police to fight drugs and human trafficking.