09/21/2005: "No truce with ULFA, no silver bullet for Naga problem, says Pranab Mukherjee"
No truce with ULFA, no silver bullet for Naga problem, says Pranab Mukherjee :- Webindia Amritsar September 21, 2005 3:19:40 PM IST
Dimapur, Sept 21 (ANI) : Rejecting prospects of any unilateral cease-fire and suspension of ongoing counter insurgency operations against the ULFA, Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here, addding that it was "premature" to make any comment on the issue. He also said that there was no silver bullet to solve the 'complex' Naga problem. But in the same breath he also praised the recent announcement by the ULFA to form a People's Group for initiating peace process with the Centre. However, he was unambigiuous in his remark that as of now there was no truce as such. Mukherjee who is touring the army's forward base in the eastern region of the country with the army chief, General JJ Singh and several senior commanders of the Eastern Command, as part of stock taking of the situation in the country's eastern borders, also admitted that the Naga issue was a complicated one with lots of inherent challenges. While treading a cautious line on the virtual gridlock in the Naga talks, the Defence minister pointed that there was no silver bullet to solve the protracted problem. The Defence minister remarked,"No readymade solution is available".
Indicting that the two sides are trying their best to put some loose ends together, Pranab Mukherjee said that the very fact that the two sides were engaged in sustained talks exibited willinges on both sides to resolve the problem. He said the two sides were exchanging suggestions so as to reach some sort of "acceptable settlement" and that the ground situation should be appreciated. Responding to a query that the powerful Naga armed group NSCN (I-M) had only relucatantly greenlighted the truce agreement for six months only thereby injecting cloud of uncertaintly over the eight-year-old truce, the Defence minister pointed that there was a strong groundswell of support in favour of peace and ceasefire despite speculations of breakdown of truce and talks.
He said that this groundswell of support was responsible for consolidating the process. Throwing light on the degeneration of security environment in Manipur, the veteran Union Cabinet minister said that the very fact that military forces were deployed was per se an indication that not everything was hunky dory in that state. "Had the situation been good, it could have been resolved by the police. The very fact that the army has been deployed is an indication that the situation is not normal," he added. Mukherjee is set to hold a closed-door meeting with the 3 Corps Commanders and GOC Nagaland on the current situation in the state as well as in Manipur and onging CI operations along Indo-Myanmar border. (ANI)
Before talks, NSCN (I-M) wants assurance on integration of Naga areas Wednesday September 21 2005 Newindpress
NEW DELHI: Unlike previous rounds, the NSCN (I-M) has put the Centre on notice and sought a firm assurance on the integration of all Naga-inhabited areas before the next round of talks that are likely to begin in October, a top Naga source said. The Nagas, however, have told the Centre that they were willing to engage the governments of Assam and Manipur to find a way out of their opposition to any move to take away Naga-inhabited areas of their states.
The Nagas have also indicated that they would be willing to compromise on other demands. ``Besides integration of Naga-inhabited areas, we have told the government that we are willing to consider an amicable compromise on other points,'' a top Naga source told this website’s newspaper.
Sources said NSCN (I-M) general secretary T H Muivah, who is in Bangkok will come to India as soon as the dates are decided. ``But we want a firm assurance on the integration,'' said a source.
On whether they have considered pulling out of peace process, he said unless the Centre came up with a firm assurance, they would be left with no option but to renew the struggle. The Nagas had last year submitted a 30-point charter to the government. Their key demands include integration of Naga-inhabited areas, raising of a separate Naga force which will work with the Army to protect the border of Nagaland, and a ``special federal relationship'' with India. The Naga peace talks that began early this year had hit a major hurdle during the blockade of Manipur by the Naga student organisations. As a result, when the ceasefire between NSCN (I-M) and the Centre came up for renewal on July 31, the Nagas proposed a one-month extension. After negotiations, it was extended by six months, instead of the intended one-year.
Pranab hints at extending Naga truce SHIV AROOR Indian Express
DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 20: Arriving in the region today for the first time since he took over as Defence Minister, Pranab Mukherjee opened his two-day tour by hinting that the ceasefire with NSCN (I-M) may be extended beyond the agreed six months. He, however, maintained silence on the ongoing operations against the ULFA in Assam’s Tinsukia forests. Admitting that the North-East issue was ‘‘complex, with no readymade solutions’’, he said: ‘‘There is a groundswell of encouragement among the local populace for peace and development. The environment is conducive to some sort of settlement, though it is impossible to put a timeframe for any such milestone. The fact that the ceasefire (with NSCN I-M) was brought down from one year to six months does not imply that it will not be extended at the end of the six months.’’ Sidestepping questions on the Army operations against the ULFA, he said, “There is no ceasefire with the ULFA so far, so it is premature to comment. We are looking at larger political consensus for political dialogue with all groups.’’
On the Naga issue, he said: ‘‘There are groups with divergent interests. This is what makes the problem complex. Our Home Minister is trying his best to arrive at a solution agreeable to all and I, as Defence Minister, have assured full support from my side,’’ he said. Army chief Gen J J Singh is accompanying Mukherjee on his tour here to Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. Mukherjee will visit Leimakhong in Manipur on Wednesday, headquarters of the Army’s 57 Mountain Division. ‘‘The situation in Manipur is bad, there is no doubt. If it was good or normal, we would not need to deploy Army there. But there have been perceptible improvements,’’ he said. Earlier, while speaking to reporters on his special aircraft from the Capital to Kolkata this morning, Mukherjee said: ‘‘The incident that took place in Churachandpur, where militants engaged in actions seems to be sending a signal ahead of my visit. But I am here to visit troops in all forward areas.”
Nagaland CM-led Peace Corps calls for end to Naga talks gridlock: New Kerala
By Jahansher Firoze, Dimapur: Amidst reports of virtual gridlock in the long-drawn-out Naga peace process, Nagaland’s powerful DAN alliance government-constituted Consultative Committee for Peace (CCP) has vowed to continue to play the role of a facilitator in the ongoing peace process between the Government of India (GoI) and the NSCN (I-M). Strongly indicating its commitment to throw in its expertise, resources and depth of good will generated in the Naga society towards solidifying the peace process despite visible signs of wear and tear in the process, the CCP adopted a resolution on Monday vowing to continue to play the role of a facilitator to the peace process by creating a “conducive atmosphere for an early solution to the Naga political issue”.
The CCP also issued a fresh appeal to the Government of India (GoI) and the strongest Naga armed organization, the NSCN (I-M), to exhibit more urgency, transparency and sincerity while conducting the ongoing peace process between them. At a closed-door meeting of the CCP held at the residential office of the chief minister Neiphiu Rio in Kohima on Monday, the CCP further urged the Centre and the NSCN (I-M) to expedite the peace process. It may be mentioned that the CCP spearheaded by the chief minister Neiphiu Rio and comprising of influential Naga personalities, had been contributing considerably to the ongoing peace process between the Centre and the NSCN (I-M) by facilitating various civil society organizations and NGOs to firm up consensus on various critical issues crucial to the success of the peace process. The CCP also reiterated its previous appeal to all Naga underground factions to abide by the ceasefire ground rules, to halt fratricidal killings and to unite and work for ushering in peace. In yet another significant resolution unanimously passed at the CCP meet, the peace committee further pledged to maintain equi-closeness (read play a nonaligned role) with all Naga underground factions. An official said that this was one of the six resolutions adopted by the CCP. Praising the positive role played by the print and electronic media over the years in consolidating the peace process, the CCP appreciated the role of the print and electronic media and appealed to them to disseminate correct, unbiased, positive and optimistic reports. The DAN government-constituted peace group also appreciated the contributions of the influential tribal hohos, churches, civil societies, various political parties and NGOs to the peace process and appealed to them to strive for strengthening the peace process in the larger interests of the Naga people. Further, the CCP congratulated the Naga Hoho, other NGOs and the civil society for organizing the August 31 Naga Integration Rally at Kohima in which all “participants across the length and breadth of Naga homeland expressed their unequivocal support to the integration of Naga homeland”. The Kohima rally had drawn over one hundred thousand Naga integration supporters from all across Naga-inhabited areas of Nagaland and Manipur and organizers had billed it was one of the biggest rallies ever held in a Naga territory.
‘Peace process will take time’ Morung Express News September 20
DIMAPUR : Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, today said that some progress had been made in the Indo-Naga peace talks although he pointed out that the issue was complex and no readymade solution could be found to such a vexed political problem. He was addressing media persons at the Army’s 3 Corps headquarters, Rangapahar after arriving from Kolkata. He was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff JJ Singh besides other high ranking army officials. This is his first visit to Nagaland as Defence Minister. Mukherjee said that peace in Nagaland had fostered a conducive atmosphere for people in general. He said the main purpose for his visit to Nagaland was to hold interactions with troops who are engaged in protecting the international border. He also said he was unable to meet political leaders of the State because of time constraints while stating that he had been associated with Nagaland for the past 35 years in various capacities in the government as well as in the Congress party. Replying to Pramod Mahajan’s earlier statement during the former’s recent visit to Dimapur wherein he had stated that the UPA government was derailing the peace process, the veteran Congress leader said, "What is necessary is to appreciate the acceptable solutions among the contesting parties." The Defence Minister has also welcomed the gesture of ULFA forming a citizen’s committee to initiate peace process to end decades-long violence in Assam but pointed out that the militant outfit should first cease their hostility to create a conducive atmosphere. "The formation of the citizen’s committee is a welcome step but it is premature to make comment at this stage as how the things will emerge", the Defence minister told.
The Defence minister arrived here on a three-day visit to north-eastern states to take stock of the ground situation in forward posts by holding review meetings with the army officials. On September 21, he will visit Leimakhong and address the troops there. He will also hold talks with the Inspector General, Assam Rifles (IGAR-South). On the same day, Mukherjee will leave for Aizawl where he is scheduled to inaugurate an Army recruiting office followed by his visit to Tezpur where he will be briefed about the security scenario by the GOC, 4 Corps. On Sepember 22, Mukherjee will hold meetings with Army officials at Tawang and Tenga in Arunachal Pradesh.
NSCN(IM) to open more rehabs Masangum September 20 Morung Express Jalukie (MExN): Elated by the success of "Operation Salvage", a rehabilitation center at Heningkunglwa, the NSCN-IM said that more such centers were in the offing in other parts of Nagaland. The organization yesterday announced that two more rehabilitation center for drug addicts, one in the Ao region and another in the Tangkul regions were on the anvil. "The government is in the process of opening up more centers in other parts also", said V Horam, Deputy Kilo Kilonser yesterday while addressing the inaugural function of the Men’s Volley Ball Tournament being organized by inmates of Operation Salvage.
Few months back, the success of Operation Salvage, which the NSCN-IM had likened to call as the social-based pilot project of the GPRN, had prompted the establishment of similar center in the ‘Union Territory-1’. The GPRN credited the unprecedented success of Operation Salvage to its Tatar, David Parei. V. Horam said that all the centers would be following the same pattern of self reliance and management, modeled on Operation Salvage. He also said that the centers would be institutions for learning towards self development as well as a new beginning. Expressing concern over the rise of drug addictions and AIDS cases in Nagaland, the Organization said that it was dreadful to imagine what the future holds for the Naga nation when the dreams of resourceful youths were being shattered and rendered to a state of hopelessness. "With the active cooperation from the people, NSCN shall continue to work for total transformation of our society", said V. Horam, adding this effort was with the sole vision of salvaging the Naga youths from doom.
PRANAB-ULFA DIMAPUR, SEP 20 (PTI) Outlook India
Defence minister Pranab Mukherjee today welcomed the gesture of ULFA forming a citizen's committee to initiate peace process to end decades-long violence in Assam but asserted that the militant outfit first cease the hostility to create a conducive atmosphere. The formation of the citizen's committee is a welcome step but it is premature to make comment at this stage as how the things will emerge, the Defence minister told newsmen here at Army's 3 Corps headquarters after arriving from Kolkata. However, he insisted that the militant group must cease hostility to create a conducive atmosphere to initiate a peace process. The Defence minister arrived here on a three-day visit to north-eastern states to take stock of the ground situation in forward posts by holding review meetings with the army officials. Stating that he had been associated with Nagaland for the past 35 years in various capacities in the government as well as in the Congress party, Mukherjee said the peace talks with the major Naga outfit NSCN(IM) was moving in right direction but pointed out that the issue was a complex one and no readymade solution could be found to such a vexed political problem. Noting that people in Nagaland have been urging for peace and settlement of the Naga problem and that the atmosphere was conducive, the Minister said it was not possible to say precisely what type of solution would emerge as the government has to take into consideration views and opinions from all shades of people to find an acceptable settlement. On Manipur situation, he attributed the deteriorating law and order problem to numerous underground groups operating in the state with different motives. However, he said, the Home ministry was trying to restore normalcy in the state.
When asked about the playing of volleyball matches between the members of armed forces of India and China in border area, Mukherjee said there should be more and more such activities to build confidence between the two neighbours. After a briefing by the GOC of 3 Corps Lt Gen Daljeet Singh here tomorrow morning, Mukherjee will leave for Leimakhong in Manipur where he would address the Jawans. Accompanied by the Chief of Army Staff Gen J J Singh, the Defence minister will then proceed to Aizawl in Mizoram and from there he will visit the forward areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Defence sources said.
In Nagaland, the return of touristsKARTYK VENKATRAMAN Posted online: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 at 0000 hours IST
KOHIMA, SEPTEMBER 20: It was only five years ago that the Union Home Ministry decided to relax the restrictions on the entry of tourists into Nagaland. Already, the hotels in the Naga capital are booked to capacity. The biggest draw is the five-day ‘‘Hornbill Festival’’ held annually, for the last 5 years, from December 1. There’s a group of five Western backpackers alighting from a bus and proceeding to the travel agent’s office. ‘‘It used to be a rare occurrence, but not anymore. It seems as if it were Manali, Kulu or Kodaikanal,’’ says an oldtimer. Nagaland may not be half as publicised as Kerala, but eight years of ceasefire between insurgents and the Centre have seen an increase in the number of tourists visiting this North-East Indian state. According to the Department of Home, Nagaland, in 2001, a year after the restrictions were relaxed, 618 Restricted/Protected Area Permits (RAP/PAP) were issued by the state and the Union Home Ministry. This number has been steadily growing — 659 RAP/PAP in 2002, 743 in 2003, 1,086 in 2004, and 414 in 2005 till date. According to the Home Ministry regulations, foreigners have to apply for an RAP/PAP well in advance of visiting Nagaland. This permit is issued either to married couples or to people in groups of four or more. However, domestic tourists need to avail of an Inner Line Permit to enter Nagaland. While travel in the state is restricted to Dimapur, Kohima, Mokokchung and Wokha districts it doesn’t seem to deter tourists. Nagaland is projecting three upcoming events as its main draw this year — the Handicrafts Sale and Exhibition (October 10-15, Dimapur), the Royal Gold Cup Soccer Tournament (November 7-11, Kohima), and the year-end Hornbill Festival held at Kisama near Kohima. According to K.T. Thomas, assistant director, Department of Tourism, the main attractions here are eco-tourism and culture-based tourism. ‘‘Many Western tourists come here expecting to see the so-called ‘original’ Nagaland, with semi-naked tribals and their customs. What they find is a modernised society. So, at the Hornbill Festival, we give them a flavour of old and new Nagaland,’’ says Thomas. Every square-inch of the state seems fit for tourism with its plunging valleys and misty green hills. Spread over 16,527 sq km, 16 out of the 32 tribes and many sub-tribes — that come under the generic term ‘‘Naga’’ — reside in the seven districts. Each tribe has its own distinct culture and lifestyle. At the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama, these 16 tribes have recreated their villages. Thomas says that there has been a marked rise in the tourists, both foreign and domestic. ‘‘We need more hotels that can cater to international tourists. Today we have only three such hotels in Kohima. In fact, the question is whether we are capable of accommodating all those who wish to come for the Hornbill Festival. The hotels are already booked to capacity.’’ Another important need is investment by the private sector. ‘‘We need better roads, water supply, more flights. The taxi fares are on the higher side. A lot of regulations will have to be brought in to streamline tourism here. Also, the government should start issuing RAP/PAP to individual tourists and even to groups of less than four persons.’’ The sightseeing attractions in Kohima are: the Kohima War Cemetery (World War II), and the Kohima village or Barra Basti, said to be the second-largest village in Asia. In Dimapur it’s the ruins of the ancient Kacheri kingdom and at Mokokchung, shawls, handicrafts and a glimpse of the Ao Naga tradition. This is one place where a tourist won’t be starved of choice. So don’t miss out, the whole world is coming to visit!
• It was only five years ago the Union Home Ministry decided to relax the restrictions on the entry of foreign tourists in Nagaland. Today its hotels are booked months in advance.
• Eight years of ceasefire between insurgents and the Centre have seen an increase in the number of tourists
• The state and the Centre issued 618 Restricted/Protected Area Permits (RAP/PAP) in 2001. This number has been steadily growing — 659 RAP/PAP in 2002, 743 in 2003, 1,086 in 2004, and 414 in 2005 till date
Woman found in hotel pool still in coma Express India Express News Service Police say they want to quiz the victim, daughter of a politician, to find if there was foul play. New Delhi, September 20: A 32-YEAR-OLD woman from North-East who was allegedly found drowning in a swimming pool at a South Delhi five-star hotel a week ago is still in coma. The incident had raised many questions about the sequence of events that led to the incident Police sources quoting hospital doctors said that the victim could have had a heart attack as her heart was not working when she was brought to the Vasant Kunj hospital. Officers said they were waiting for the victim to regain consciousness so that they could record her statement and also find out if there was any foul play or if it was a case of sexual assault.
The victim, Masino, belongs to Nagaland and is the daughter of a prominent politician. She had been staying in a rented accommodation in Vasant Vihar with her three-year-old son for the past several months. Masino and her husband are separated. On September 13, the victim went to a hotel in RK Puram with a friend Senti for swimming. Senior police officers said she had been invited to the hotel by a friend. ‘‘She had come to the pool as a guest member on invitation by a friend from New Zealand who had been staying at the hotel for the past several days,’’ said a senior officer. The officer however said the foreigner was not at the pool when the incident occurred. Senti told the police that Masino got into the swimming pool and after some time she noticed the victim losing control. Senti raised an alarm when she saw Masino drowning. She was brought by lifeguards and given artificial respiration. Masino was immediately rushed to Spinal Injuries Centre in Vasant Kunj, the police said. The doctors there said she had suffered a heart attack. A senior doctor said the victim is suffering from a medical condition called brain hypoxia wherein the brain does not get enough oxygen. Her maternal uncle who is staying in Delhi was informed about the incident who in turn informed the victim’s family in Kohima. ‘‘We have not received any complaint from the victim’s side. Neither has her friend made any allegations of negligence against the hotel staffers,’’ said a senior police officer.
Treat addicts as patients, not outcasts’Express News Service Kolkata, September 20: Alcoholism and drug addiction are on the rise in Kolkata, and an increasing number of youth are falling prey to such diseases in the city. Although prevalent among most age groups, chemical dependency is predominant among able-bodied young and middle aged people. According to experts, drug addiction and alcoholism are defined as “an illness in which there is a pre-occupation with the chemical, and a loss of control over oneself over its consumption, as a type of dependence that could harm a person’s health and interfere with his ability to work and get along with other people”. People are driven to this sort of dependency due to economic, physical, mental, spiritual and cultural factors. Tobacco, Alcohol, Cannabis (Ganja, Charas and Siddhi), Opiates (Opium, Heroin and Brown Sugar), Barbiturates, Amphetamines, Cocaine, Solvents and Caffeine are the most commonly abused drugs in and around Kolkata. Newsline focuses on detoxification and rehabilitation centres that addicts can get themselves admitted to, in order to fight chemical dependency.
Kripa Foundation for the Chemically Dependant
Established in 1989, this rehabilitation centre is at the forefront of the drive against chemical dependency. Since it was set up, more than 5000 patients have been successfully treated at the centre. The rehabilitation course offered here is of six months duration. Patients have to pay Rs.4,500 for the first month, and Rs.3,000 from the following month. The centre can treat 65 patients at a time, and 64 patients are presently admitted in the programme. “We have 80 per cent success rate with our patients. The programme consists of counselling, meditation, education on chemical dependency and group communication, besides other aspects. We have an in-house psychiatrist and counsellor at the centre,” said Sandeep Mitra, a lecturer at the centre. With every dependant, there is a co-dependant suffering from distress. Kripa offers a Family Systems Therapy Programme to deal with this. It is based on individual and group interactions. “We are getting an increasing number of patients who are school students. They take to ganja and sniffing adhesives out of curiosity, and become addicted to the substance,” pointed out Mitra. Office: 139 B, Rashbehari Avenue.bilitation centre: Gangarampur, Boy’s Town Bus Stop.phone — 2464 3836
Mukherjee's visit just about averts running into choppy water By Our Staff Reporter Sangai Express
IMPHAL, Sep 20 : Even as Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to address the media tomorrow at Leimakhong, the All Manipur Working Journalists' Union has decided to boycott all function, press releases, defence sponsored programmes and civic action programmes handed out by the Defence Ministry with immediate effect. Outlining the reasons for its stand, the scribes body said that a Major of 5/8 Gorkha Regiment snatched away three digital cameras of two vernacular dailies yesterday at RIMS, when the reporters had gone to cover a story in connection with an incident at Bishnupur. However following a letter of regret from the office of GOC Hqs 57 Mountain Division, AMWJU decided late this evening to relax its stand of boycotting handouts and programmes of Defence Ministry. The matter wil be put up before the 3 Corps Commander as he is the over all Commander of the troops deployed in Manipur, said a statement. AMWJU will also seek the details ot the measures intiated for its demand which must be intimated within one week. A memorandum addressed to the Union Defence Minister said that as the first step, AMWJU has resolved to condemn the incident in the strongest words, to boycott all function, press releases, defence sponsored programmes and civic action programme carried out or handed out by the Defence Ministry and to refrain from taking back the cameras in good condition until appropriate action is taken up against the guilty personnel within one week and an assurance from the 3 Corps Commander that such incidents will not be allowed to be repeated. Detailing the incident, the memorandum said that at about 10 pm of September 19, a Major of 5/8 Gorkha Regiment who had brought some injured personnel of the Regiment to RIMS hospital snatched away three cameras from the reporters of Matamgi Yakairol (2 cameras) and Poknapham (1 camera). The reporters were on duty to cover the list of injured personnel who were brought to the hospital after the incident at Bishnupur, said the memorandum. A Major of the Regiment asked a group of journalists who had converged at RIMS to delete the pictures they had taken. Later the Major snatched the cameras from the reporters and even threatened to smash them when asked by one reporter to switch off the camera as it was in on mode. AMWJU urged the Union Minister to take the mater seriously and do the needful.
Mukherjee happy with truce but concerned with State Newmai News Network
Dimapur, Sep 20 : Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said no “readymade solution” (of the decades-old Naga political problem) is available (as of now) although he appreciated the ongoing dialogue between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM). In a brief interaction with mediapersons on his arrival at 3 Corps Headquarters, Rangapahar near Dimapur, the Defence Minister admitted that the Naga issue was a complex one though he said both Government of India and NSCN (IM) were engaged in dialogues to find out some positive outcome. Welcoming the peace process, Mukherjee said “the ceasefire has been extended for six months and certain progress have been made.” He appealed to all concerned to create a conducive atmosphere for finding a settlement. To a query on the fate of the peace process after expiry of the current ceasefire, the Defence Minister said the truce could be extended thereafter. Mukherjee also expressed deep concern over the ongoing security scenario in Manipur. “Manipur situation is bad and deployment of Army personnel is itself an indication that the situation is not good,” he said adding “we have to rationalize the situation”. He said the Defence Ministry as well as the Home Ministry was taking measures for tackling the ongoing unrest in Manipur. The Defence Minister, who is on a three-day visit to the North-East, will leave for Leimakhong, Manipur on September 21 where he is scheduled to address the security personnel besides holding an interaction with the Inspector General of Assam Rifles (South). He is also scheduled to visit Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and hold meetings with top Army officials on the security scenario.
The Defence Minister was accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff, General JJ Singh, GOC 3 Corps Lt Gen Daljeet Singh, senior officials of the Defence Ministry and a battery of mediapersons.
St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation Centre and Relief Services
This rehabilitation centre was established on March 19, 1986, and was inaugurated by Mother Teresa. The founder, the late John Pathickaden, revived the Alcoholics Anonymous Programme in Kolkata in 1983. He also introduced the Narcotics Anonymous Programme to the city in 1987. The centre is now run by the founder’s wife — June Pathickaden — called ‘Auntie June’ by patients. The centre offers a six months (or more as the case may be) live-in treatment programme for chemically dependants. The main components of the programme are — intensive treatment in an inpatient setting with a highly structured programme, individual counselling, group therapy, reality therapy, work therapy, occupational therapy, stress management and AA/NA meetings.
The fees for the programme are Rs.2,500 per month. The centre can accommodate 25 patients at a time. At present, there are a total of 10 patients recovering at the centre. “We have so far treated more than 1500 patients in the live-in programme with a moderate success rate. Patients have come to us from West Bengal, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Delhi, Punjab, Jharkhand, Mumbai, Bhar and Uttar Pradesh,” said June Pathickaden. “We have also educated and trained more than 180 persons in the field of chemical dependency. Besides this we have conducted workshops and awareness programmes in schools, colleges, companies, hospitals and jails,” she added. The rehabilitation programme is based on the 12 step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous. Cognitive Behavorial Therapy, and Group Therapy form the core of the programme. Counselling sessions and spiritual therapy are also provided. “We teach the patient’s family members to create a crisis situation, by asking him to leave home. It is only when his security instincts are threatened, does the patient come to us voluntarily. The next step is getting the patient to overcome his denial phase. Finally, we teach him how to become a responsible and useful member of society,” said one of the counsellors, himself a former alcoholic.
“We are taught to take one day at a time here, and the programme has really helped. It helps us to get to the bottom of the problem. We get to know ourselves, and realise that alcohol and drugs were just a cover for a deep-seated problem,” said a recovering alcoholic, a former bartender at a city hotel. The centre also arranges counselling programmes for family members, and after care prgrammes in the form of home visits by staff, and weekly feedback reports. It also refers patients to agencies and organisations for job placements.
154, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Keorapukur.
Telephone — 2402 4603
Calcutta Samaritans’ Rehabilitation Centre
This rehabilitation centre was established by Calcutta Samaritans in 1979. Subsequently, a facility for female patients was set up in 2002. Since its inception, the centre has successfully rehabilitated about 3,500 alcoholics and drug addicts. The centre has a detoxification unit, and the detoxification programme for patients lasts for three weeks. This is followed by a comprehensive rehabilitation programme, which is of four months duration. The charges for the programme are Rs.6,000 per month, but the economic condition of the patient may be considered for negotiating to a lower fee. The thrust behind the programme is psycho-spiritual therapy for chemically dependants. The day is divided into three 8 hour periods — for work, rest and recreation. The emphasis is on a disciplined life, by following a specific time-schedule. One to one counselling sessions, and group interactions are a vital part of the rehabilitation programme.
“We have facilities for 45 male patients, and 15 female patients at the centre. However, we are in great demand, and at present we have 66 male patients, and 9 female patients. We get patients from all kinds of socio-economic backgrounds. Chemical dependency has become a major social crisis. Most of our patients belong to the 15-23 age group,” said Tanmay Kanjilal, warden at the centre. The centre also lays a great deal of emphasis on the patient’s relationship with, and acceptance by family members and society at large. To this end, it organises social integration counselling and workshops for family members.
Office : 48, Rippon Street. Rehabilitation centre : Arunaday Midway Home, 17 Kumarpara Lane, Narendrapur.
Telephone : 2229 9731/ 5920
Set up in 1979 by Dr. Satyajit Dasgupta, Baul Mon is a reputed detoxification centre, that alcoholics and drug addicts can visit before going in for a comprehensive rehabilitation programme. Since this centre was set up, it has successfully treated more than 3000 chemically dependant patients. “While we do not have a drug/alcohol rehabilitation programme here, we have an excellent detoxification facility — the first step in the process. We specialise in dealing with the initial withdrawal symptoms of addicts and alcoholics. Once the detoxification is done, we refer our patients to various rehabilitation centres,” said Debika Roy Chowdhury, a psychiatric social worker at Baul Mon. The detoxification programme for alcoholics lasts for a minimum period of one month, while for drug addicts, it lasts for a minimum period of 14 days. The centre charges a fee of Rs.300 per day. Patients have to pay an extra charge for blood tests, and other medical tests. “The dormitory in our centre can accommodate 20 patients at a time. Presently, we have 14 patients undergoing detoxification here,” said Roy Chowdhury. Along with detoxification, the centre also provides counselling sessions for the patients, which are conducted by the in-house counsellor. The family of the patient is also involved in the process, through family counselling sessions at the centre. Meetings are held every Tuesday and Friday for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts.
11 killed in rebel ambush Violence on eve of Defense Minister’s Manipur visit Newmai News Network September 20
IMPHAL: Manipur’s banned Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) ambushed an army convoy killing eleven personnel and wounding five others in a major attack in Bishnupur district late last night.
Reports said nine of them died on the spot while one each succumbed to injuries at the Bishnupur hospital and Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal. Two of them are in serious condition and they are being operated upon at the RIMS hospital today.Any army source admitted the casualty and said it was a well planned ambush. The attack was carried out by about 15 militants. The KYKL claimed responsibility for the ambush and said the second operation command of the outfit carried out the attack. Reports said that militants fired from the hilltops while a three vehicle convoy of the 5/8 Gurkha Rifles was returning to their post located at Ngariyan after their routine road opening patrol at the surrounding areas. One vehicle hurtled down the gorge and most of those who died were traveling in the first vehicle. The driver of the 2 ton truck was also among those killed.
Following the incident a massive search operation was launched and the operation continued today. Chief Minister, Okram Ibobi Singh expressed concern at the incident as it came on the eve of the visit of Defence Minister, Pranab Mukherjee to Manipur tomorrow. The Union Minister, who is on a tour of the North east will be arriving by helicopter from Nagaland tomorrow morning at Leimakhong army camp. "The law and order situation remains a serious concern of the state government. Due to the prevailing situation Manipur government could hardly take up any development activities. The government is redeploying the security forces to check rebel activities," Ibobi Singh told reporters at his office. Asked if his government requires additional central forces he said that the centre had provided enough forces and with the existing strength the government was seriously trying to improve the situation. The government does not need more forces, he said. In another incident gunmen of the Peoples United Liberation Front (PULF) shot dead two persons in different places in Thoubal district last night. The outfit shot dead Md Nasubali alias Kalu, 45 of Thoubal at Yhoubal Phoudel. A spokesman of the outfit said Kalu was given capital punishment for dealing in drugs. The other person identified as Tampakmayum Habibur, 24 of Yairipok Singda was gunned down near his home. The PULF spokesman accused the man of extorting money from the public by posing as a member of the outfit and also working against the outfit in collaboration with the Assam Rifles.
WRITE-WING Sisyphus syndrome in ManipurR. Rungsung Morung express
For years, a state like Manipur having a population of much less than a district of U.P. or West Bengal had been in India Political arena as a junior team without any trophy or a consolation certificate. Politicians after politicians played the role of king Sisyphus who was condemned to roll a heavy stone up a steep hill only to have it roll down again as it nears the top. The stone gather no moss but instead the stone became scratched with poke marks and look ugly and rough. Manipur polity is, in reality, a game of hide and seeks not knowing who will find what and for whom the game is played. The gamesters met at the corner and baulked at one another and they further went to Delhi with the begging bowl to feed people at home. Its rulers (Meiteis or tribal) had dumped scores of public projects which had run down the drains mixing with mires and silted at the bottom of Loktak Lake.
Most of the elected or all members lacked committed sense of people’s welfare with their minds morally turpitude and see only money through three (3) legged chair. On the other hand some public and coterie feel good and happy in the hope of getting unmerited and undeserved money for doing no works when your or his or my elected representatives sit in the power chair. Who cares? I or you or he or they die today or tomorrow! For whom the government is tolling the bell? Here in Manipur the ones who know how to steal live better and are well-off. Whatever the condition(s) we are in today none or nobody can safely escape from the turmoil since we are in the same room having the same temperature and bearing the same heat, hot or cold. No use of raising finger accusing and pointing at one another. Knowing the reality what Manipur today is, it would be good to know who is who and what is what wherein the reality shows that valley people do not have a single resource to sustain themselves whereas hills are abound with many mineral resources unexplored. And yet Valley people are kings and hill people are slaves to nourish valley people. So the battle cries of valley people to shackle tribals with the calling of names. This is their modus operandi. Over and above all, the valley underground movement plus Naga issue have created more complications and entanglement goes deeper wherein tribals feel unsafe and Valley people, like buffaloes, are wallowing in the field chewing the cud. One out of many instances was that Rs. 5 crore from Tribal Welfare Fund was utilized/ diverted to the construction of Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, Imphal that hosted the 5th National Games. Out of tribal funds Imphal valley is shining which they call "Manipur is shining-Manipur Sana Leipak (golden land)". Sweet to hear? Whatever mindset the valley people have against the Nagas we have only one clear mind that at all cost Nagas must be united for the good of all. In this very matter the Meiteis have to answer a very authentic question related to history that says: "Tangkhul is the elder brother of Meitei". As such the meiteis have to admit it and affix "Meitei Naga" like other Nagas. Nagas welcome you. Better redeem the lost entity. If not, we better keep silent. One does not see nor know the reasons about the Meiteis being so furious and angry with the Nagas. For the uncertain tomorrow it would be best to follow the right path and seek the good neighbor. Creating turbulence will cause harm and futile. Nagas will not fall back nor will ever flinch from its course to destination. The talk for peace with practical application in words and in deeds is the only way to peaceful co-existence. Why should we blame New Delhi without doing our homework’s?
KYKL ambush toll rises to 11 The Imphal Free Press
IMPHAL, Sep 20: Another soldier of the Gurkha Rifles injured in yesterday`s ambush by the KYKL succumbed bringing up the total casualties to 11. The condition of the other injured personnel are are now stable, according to PRO defence officials. Soldiers of the 5/8 Gurkha Rifles were returning to their camp after the day`s highway patrolling in three vehicles when they suddenly came under heavy fire from about 20 KYKL guerillas lying in ambush at a spot along a steep ascent at Upper Ngariyan Village in the Tamenglong district, but only 8 km west of Bishnupur police station.
According the source, there were retaliatory fires and search operations have since been launched, although there have been no major results so far. He also said there were no loss of weapons of the ambushed patrol party. The post mortem of the deceased personnel were conducted at Bishenpur district hospital today under strict vigil of the Army. Even police were not allowed to entered the hospital campus freely. Out of the eleven personnel five were killed at the spot, four sucumbed to injuries on the way to Bishenpur from the ambush site, one on the way to RIMS hospital and remaining one at RIMS emergency ward at around 11 pm, according to reports. All the injured army Jawans are being treated in various hospitals in Imphal. Two of the injured were serious but the conditions are now stable. The police is yet to established detailed facts and circumstance of the incident as there is an apparent lack of co-ordination between the police and Army, another report added.
Tense in Bodo area following killing, calls bandh on Sept 21, 23 By: Lonie Brahma Choudhury Kokrajhar (Assam), Sept 20: Tension and fear psychosis prevails in the entire Bodo belt following the killing of two surrendered National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) by suspected NDFB who are under ceasefire with the govt of India since 1st June yesterday evening at Taraibari under Kokrajhar police station in the district. The incident happened around 5.30 pm Monday when three surrendered NDFB Lakhan Basumatary, Bistu Basumatary and Mwitha Mushahary in two motor bikes were moving towards the area came under attacked by the waiting militants. While Bistu was gunned down on the spot, the militants took away Lakhan. His dead body was recovered today morning in the nearby Harinaguri forest. Mwitha who was in the same bike along with Bistu managed to flee. According to Mwitha they have been receiving threatening called by NDFB area commandant B Gwmwisa since one month now. ‘He was demanding 10% of the total amount sanctioned by DRDA for work of the Choraikhola-Dangdupur road under taken by three of us, which later came down to 5%. One week back he threatened us of killing as we had informed the development to the police.
A spokesman of NDFB from Athiabari camp however denied the charge saying the outfit is not behind the incident. ‘The NDFB has been wrongly charged. The killing is not done by NDFB. Western Area commandant of NDFB B Chila told the Kokrajhar media over telephone that the outfit is not behind the killing and wrongly dragged. ‘Since the ceasefire with the govt of India we are maintaining cordial relationship with all including the surrendered NDFB, he said and appeal all to stay away from such baseless killing among the community. On the other hand the surrendered NDFB has demanded security to the surrendered members. ‘The surrendered members must be provided security beside the killer must be brought to book at any cost, demanded Bikash Basumatary of the coordination committee for surrendered NDFB. ‘We will not remain silent if we are targeted again, he added The committee also demanded ex-gratia of 5 lakh next to the kin of the dead. The committee has also called for 12-hours Kokrajhar district bandh on September 21 followed by BTC bandh on 23rd September.
The intellectual and conscious citizen of the region fear of another fratricidal killing in the community and appeal all to maintain peace and harmony among all.
Nagas' demand for integration : A historical perspective – IV By Usham Dhananjoy Singh Sangai
Among the Naga leaders who stood against the separatist movement of the Nagas and who stood for the integrity of Manipur the names of R Khathing, L Solomon etc may be mentioned.
Major Ralengnai Kha-thing popularly known as Bob Khathing was born on 28.2.1912. He was the second son of late Harming of Ukhrul. He graduated from Cotton College, Gauhati in the year 1939. He was Headmaster, Ukhrul Mission ME school in 1940. In 1941 he was called to Military Service during the 2nd World War. In 1942 he joined King's Commission, 19th Hyderabad Regiment as 2nd Lieutenant. He then become Local Captain Manipur Sector V Force. He left the Army as Major to become Minister in charge of Hill Administration and Manipur Rifles in the Interim Council w.e.f. 12th Sept 1947 (FN), then in the caretaker Govt as Minister in charge of Hill Affairs from 18.10.48 to 28.11.48. He was returned from Sadar Hills Constituency with a thumping majority as an Independent Candidate. The Ministry under the Chief Minister of Priyobrata Singh was formed from the forenoon of Monday 29.11.1948 under section 11 of the Manipur State Constitution Act 1948. R Khathing was Minister in charge of Hill Affairs. R Khathing undertook an extensive tour of hill areas of Manipur in order to explain the new administrative set up and ensure the smooth extension of the jurisdiction of Hill People's Regulation as well as the Hill Bench of the chief court. During that period, two major incident disturbed the peace and tranquillity of Manipur - Athiko Daiho BA, a tribal leader of Mao area got excited with the prospects of independent. He at first decided to declare his Mao area independent. In actual fact he instigated a rebellion by instigating the villagers not to pay tax etc. R Khathing, the Minister in charge of Hill Affairs was not amused with Daiho's idea. So he reacted firmly, depute a Magistrate with Assam Rifles. A Daiho and others were arrested and put into the jail.
Another rebel whom R Khathing had to deal with was one L Tawna, an ex-serviceman from Senvon Village near Tipaimukh. Tawna started a civil movement for integration of Parbing and Tipaimukh area of Manipur with Lushai Hill District. L Tawna was the president of Mizo Union, Manipur. He proposed a meeting of Mizo Union at Saikot on 24.7.1948.
The meeting being in the nature that would bring dissatisfaction among people endangering public place and tranquillity of the State, the State Council issued a prohibitory order banning the holding of such a meeting or assembly or procession of 5 or more persons for a period of one month from 22/7/1948. In order to deal with the uprising, Priyobrata Singh, the Chief Minister and R Khathing, Minister Hill Affairs visited Senvon, Parbung and Tipaimukh on foot.
TC Tiankham, the other tribal Minister in the interim council also helped them since he was from Churachandpur area. Anyhow, the three Ministers were able to persuade Tawna to give up his confrontational attitude and instead accept a Govt's job. L Tawna was a non-matriculate when he joined Army. He did his Army first class certificate of education and Army special of Education while serving in the Army. Those qualifications made him slightly above matriculate standard. So he became eligible for the post of Sub-Deputy Collector. He was offered and he accepted. Once in Govt service, Tawna's mouth and activities were sealed. Thereupon, the movement died its natural death. Tawna retired subsequently as Sub-Divisional Officer (Lt. Colonel H Bhuban Singh - 'Major Bob Khathing 20-21, Imphal 1992). When the Assembly was dissolved in 1949, he joined back the Army and then ultimately to NEFA service as Political officer in the Indian Frontier Administrative Service. During the Chinese invasion of India in 1962 he was the Liaison Commissioner in the rank of a Brigadier in the Army. He was then sent to Nagaland as the Chief Secretary in 1967. In 1972 he was sent as Ambassador of India to Burma. He died of heart attack on 12th January 1990.
Another Naga leader who stood for the integrity of Manipur and who fell to the bullets of the assassin was L Solomon, a Tangkhul from Tuinem village, Ukhrul district Manipur. He was born on 22.7.1928 and was a graduate. He was a member of Manipur Territorial Council 1962 and became a Cabinet Minister from 1-7-1963 to 12-1-1967. Again he became a member of Manipur Legislative Assembly 1967 and a Cabinet Minister from 19-2-1968 to 20-3-1972 under the 3rd Koireng Ministry.
(He was Deputy Speaker, Manipur Legislative Assembly from 16-8-63 to 15-11-1965. He was a member of the Manipur Public Service Commission MPSC during 1978-1984).
Commenting on the activities of Naga Integration Council, he once said: 'The Naga integration was first started by some leaders of Nagaland. Some frustrated Manipuri Naga leaders were utilised as weapons. These Manipuri Naga leaders were Ex-MPs or Ex-MLAs; they shouted that they would not part even an inch of land to Nagaland. When the Manipur Legislative Assembly passed a resolution demanding Statehood, they were members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly. Among the four Naga leaders of Naga Integration Council, one belonged to Tangkhul one to Kabui, one to Mao and another was Anal. Some months ago and in November 1970 they tried to meet the Prime Minister. All of them were defeated in the last general election. Some of them were active Congress workers. They were expelled from the party for indiscipline, they are very frustrated people. While the Congress Ministry was installed in Manipur, they were hankering after the Ministerial berths, they used to say that if they were given ministerial berths, they would do their best to keep the integrity of Manipur in tact. Now they are joining the movement for the integration of Nagas. The Nagas of Na-galand spearheading the Naga integration movement are giving shelter to these frustrated Manipuri Nagas. They had carried them to New Delhi and kept them in five star hotels. Further they tried to mould their mind-set and even threatened with dire consequence in order to obtain these objectives. (Source: Shyamkanhai- Manipur Leigak Lon Amasung Leigak Pathapki, Itihas p 99).
Reacting to the memorandum dt 26th July 1968 submitted to Shrimati Indira Gandhi Prime Minister of India, from the Naga Integration Committee Manipur, Imphal, L Solomon said that there were no valid grounds for integrating the Naga areas of Manipur with that of Nagaland. The statements given by the members of Naga Integration Committee were not valid. He said: 'In Manipur there are three major tribals of Nagas. They are: i) Tangkhul ii) Mao and iii) Kabui.
These tribes have their own respective languages, they speak Manipuri when they committed with one another, there are no other common/link language. Forty per cent of hill tribes knows Manipuri, they therefore could communicate with one another without much difficulty. In Nagaland, they speak a dialect of Assamese also known as Nagamese. This language is spoken as the common language of the Naga of Nagaland. One percent of the Nagas of Manipur do not know this language.
Manipur State was in existence as a sovereign State from time immemorial, the hill areas of Manipur was never a part of Nagaland. Kohima was under the suzerainty of the Maharaja of Manipur. When the British came, they amalgamated Kohima with Assam for administrative convenience.
There is a cultural bond between the hill tribes and the people of the valley. History records that there was no enmity between the two. Naga inhabited areas cannot be separated from Manipur in consideration of the special relationship from time immemorial. Without good communication and link languages it is impossible for the Nagas of Manipur to integrate with the Nagas of Naga-land. Foodstuff are available in plenty in Manipur. Without good communication, without common language and without valid reasons for living together the innocent Nagas of Manipur should not secede from Manipur.” (Ibid pp 101- 102)