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Arunachal Pradesh

Five killed as magnitude 6.7 earthquake hits Manipur, other NE states

At least five people were killed when a strong earthquake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, hit Manipur and other North-Eastern states of India and neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan in the early hours of Monday.
 
Massive 6.7 quake strikes northeast India
 
At least five people were killed when a strong earthquake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, hit Manipur and other North-Eastern states of India and neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan in the early hours of today.
 
Official sources in Imphal said more than 45 people had been reported injured in the quake.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 24.8°N and longitude  93.5°E, occured at 0435 hours at a focal depth of 17 km.
 
According to IMD, the epicentre of the earthquake was in Tamenglong district of Manipur, about 35 km from Imphal, the state capital.
 
The tremors were also felt in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar, among other places.
 
Initial reports from Manipur spoke of damages to many buildings and houses. People in many places ran out of their homes to safety as a precautionary measure. Many people posted pictures of damaged buildings and walls with cracks on social media sites. Some government offices and a six-storeyed building in Imphal were among those affected.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke over the telephone to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on an official visit to Assam, and asked him to oversee the situation.
 
Mr. Modi also spoke to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on the situation.
 
The Manipur Government has sought the assistance of the Army and the Assam Rifles in the rescue and relief efforts.
 
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said Mr. Modi was continuously monitoring the situation.
 
Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been instructed to move from Guwahati to the areas affected by the earthquake.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh said he had spoken to Mr. Gogoi and the Manipur Chief Secretary about the situation and assured them of all possible help from the Centre.
 
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"I'm also contacting other North Eastern states to know the extent of damage caused by the earthquake," he added.
 
In New Delhi, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is coordinating with the State Governments concerned, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Defence (Mod), NDRF, Ministry of Communications and other Departments and agencies for seach, rescue and relief efforts.
 
NDMA officials have spoken to the Control Rooms and Relief Commisioners of all the States in the North-East and West Bengal.
 
Communication systems are functioning, particularly those of state-owned BSNL, in the affected areas.
 
The National Crisis Management Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary held a meeting here this morning to assess the situation and provide all necessary help from the Government of India.
 
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Search operations resume for missing chopper carrying Arunachal CM Dorjee Khandu

Massive search operations were resumed early Sunday morning to trace the Pawan Hans helicopter carrying Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, which went missing on Saturday while on a flight from Tawang to state capital Itanagar.

Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Dorjee Khandu.
Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Dorjee Khandu.
Massive search operations were resumed early this morning to trace the Pawan Hans helicopter carrying Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, which went missing yesterday while on a flight from Tawang to the state capital, Itanagar.

Reports from Itanagar said four Indian Air Force (IAF ) helicopters had been deployed along the Tawang-Itanagar route to look for the chopper.


On the ground, men of the Army and para-military forces have begun search operations along the Indo-Bhutan border, where the helicopter was suspected to have headed.


Apart from Mr Khandu and the two pilots, J S Babbar and K S Malick, the Chief Minister's security officer Yashi Chadook and a female passenger, identified as Yeshi Lamu, sister of Tawang MLA Tsewang Dhondup.


The state government held an emergency meeting in Itanagar yesterday evening to review the situation.


The helicopter had left Tawang around 0950 yesterday and was due to land at Itanagr at 1130 hours. The last contact with it was around 20 minutes after it took off from Tawang and it had crossed the Sela Pass.


Mr Khandu was returning from Tawang after receiving Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who flew to Tawang yesterday to participate in a Speakers' conference there.


The Chief Minister was scheduled to participate in a May Day rally in Itanagar today.


About three hours after the helicopter was reported missing, there were reports that it had landed safely inside Bhutan, but there was no confirmation of this from Pawan Hans or from Bhutanese authorities.


The Bhutanese government has also deployed several search teams in the border area to look for the helicopter.


"The state government has been in constant touch with the Central government and the government of Bhutan as the safe landing of the Chief Minister's chopper in Bhutan is yet to be officially confirmed," a UNI report quoted Arunachal Pradesh government spokesman Jarbam Gamlin as saying.


He urged the people not to panic and to pray for the safe return of the Chief Minister and the others.


(With inputs from United News of India)


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Arunachal Pradesh MLA, 10 others killed in militant ambush

National People's Party (NPP) MLA from Arunachal Pradesh's Khonsa West Assembly constituency, Triong Aboh who was killed along with 10 others after suspected Naga militants fired at the vehicle they were travelling in, at Bogapani in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh, on May 21, 2019. (File Photo: IANS)
National People's Party (NPP) MLA from Arunachal Pradesh's Khonsa West Assembly constituency, Triong Aboh who was killed along with 10 others after suspected Naga militants fired at the vehicle they were travelling in, at Bogapani in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh, on May 21, 2019. (File Photo: IANS)
At least 11 persons, including Arunachal Pradesh legislator Tirong Aboh, were killed in an ambush by suspected Naga militants in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday, police said.
 
Police said that Aboh and his family members were travelling from Dibrugarh in Assam to Khonsa, when their vehicle was ambushed by suspected NSCN (IM) militants at Bogapani in Tirap district, located on Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.
 
Aboh, a sitting National People's Party (NPP) MLA from Khonsa West constituency of the hill state, contested the recently held Assembly elections for a second term and received threats from the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Issak and Muivah (NSCN-IM) militants over this.
 
The police confirmed that Aboh had died, but refused to divulge details of the other victims.
 
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju confirmed the number of killed to be 11 and condemned the incident.
 
"I'm shocked and saddened by the brutal attack and tragic killing of MLA Shri Tirong Aboh of Arunachal Pradesh, his family including 11 people. Strongest possible action will be taken against those responsible for such dastardly attack," Rijiju tweeted.
 
NPP chief and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma expressed shock over the tragedy. "The NPP is extremely shocked and saddened by the news of the death of its MLA Shri Tirong Aboh (Arunachal Pradesh) and his family. We condemn the brutal attack and urge @rajnathsingh and @PMOIndia to take action against those responsible for such attack," Sangma tweeted.
 
"Extremely shocked by the unfortunate killing of Khonsa MLA Tirong Aboh and several others, by insurgents. Strongly condemn this barbarous act. Action will be initiated to hunt down the perpetrators. My heartfelt condolence & may souls of those departed rest in peace," Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu tweeted.
 
IANS
 

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Moderate earthquake jolts West Siang region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale, jolted the West Siang region of Arunachal Pradesh in the early hours of today.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.6°N and longitude 94.4°E, occurred at 0145 hours at a focal depth of 10 km.
 
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Indian Army patrol finds World War II aircraft wreckage in Arunachal Pradesh

A 12-member Indian Army patrol along with a police representative recovered the wreckage of a World War II vintage US Air Force aircraft in Roing district of Arunachal Pradesh on March 30, the Ministry of Defence said.
 
The patrol located the aircraft debris covered by thick undergrowth and buried under five feet of snow, the Ministry said in a press release yesterday.
 
Based on the information received from local trekkers in Lower Dibang district through the police, a special Army patrol was sent to locate the wreckage in a remote location, 30 km from Roing. 
 
The patrol moved through thick jungles and snow covered areas for eight days to trace out the wreckage.  Seldom has anyone ventured into the area that is obscured from the air due to thick foliage, it said.
 
It is expected that the discovery of the vintage aircraft will lead to the revelation of some historically significant fresh inputs, the release added.
 
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Congress manifesto document of lies: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a public rally at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, on April 3, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a public rally at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, on April 3, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Terming the Congress manifesto a "dhakosla patra" (document of lies), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday accused the Congress of failing to fulfil the aspirations of the people in the northeast in 60 long years.
 
But his own government was committed to making Arunachal Pradesh and Northeast India as the gateway to East Asia, Modi told a Lok Sabha election rally at the General Ground here in East Arunachal Pradesh district.
 
"One family has ruled the country for 55 years but still they cannot claim that they have done what is required to be done for Arunachal Pradesh and other northeastern states," the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader thundered. 
 
"I am one person who is ready to take up challenges. I cannot claim that in five years I have done all that is required to be done but this 'chowkidar' is working non-stop to ensure development," said Modi. 
 
"They have released their 'ghoshna patra'. But it should be called a 'dhakosla patra'. It's full of lies."
 
Citing an example, he said the Congress manifesto in 2004 had promised to provide electricity to all households of the country by 2009. However, they repeated the assurance again in 2009.
 
In 2014, they said that 100 per cent households in urban areas and 90 per cent in rural areas will be given electricity connection. 
 
"Still 18,000 villages were yet to be connected with electricity when our government came to power in 2014," he said.
 
But the BJP government connected all these 18,000 villages with electricity within 1,000 days, he said. 
 
"Have you ever heard of me taking a vacation or leave? Have you ever seen me enjoying? Your love gives me energy to work continuously day and night. It is our commitment to make Arunachal Pradesh and other northeastern states the gateway of East Asia," he said. 
 
He said the BJP stands for the protection of the culture, tradition and history of various communities. 
 
"They (Congress) came to power for the sake of power but this 'chowkidar' is ever ready to fulfil the aspirations of the people. You have seen 60 years of Congress rule and 60 months of governance of our government. Can you tell me how many Prime Ministers came here during their rule? 
 
"I have come to Arunachal Pradesh and northeast over 30 times during last five years," he said. 
 
"The chowkidar is always awake and keeps people awake by shouting 'Jaagte Raho'. This chowkidar is here to awaken you against the false promises and lies of Congress."
 
The two Lok Sabha seats and the 60 Assembly constituencies in Arunachal Pradesh will go to polls on April 11.
 
IANS
 

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Congress will scrap Citizenship Bill forever: Rahul

File photo of Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Rahul Gandhi
Launching his party's Lok Sabha campaign for the northeast here on Tuesday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill would be scrapped if his party came to power.
 
"The BJP has said it will bring the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 if it comes to power. But we are against it. We are not going to allow this Bill. It is against the interests of the people of northeast. We will scrap it forever," said Gandhi at a public rally in the Arunachal Pradesh capital.
 
The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, failed to get it cleared by the Rajya Sabha due to opposition by some of its own allies. 
 
BJP President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have defended the Bill and have said their party would revive it on return to power.
 
The Congress chief also promised to restore the special category status of northeastern states. "Some states require special status due to unique issues of connectivity, terrain and infrastructure. We will restore the special category status of Arunachal Pradesh and other northeastern states," said Gandhi.
 
Launching a scathing attack on the BJP, he said the RSS and the BJP wanted to push one political, cultural ideology and one thought process across the country, thereby destroying the unique cultural heritage and history of northeast.
 
"Just look at universities of the country. Merit is no longer the criteria to select the vice-chancellors. The determining criteria is their proximity to the RSS. The Planning Commission was replaced by the Niti Aayog, no one knows what this Aayog does," Gandhi said.
 
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Slamming the five years of the National Democratic Alliance government, he said, "Prime Minister Modi wants a Congress-free India. Just see how much hatred he has in his heart. We do not want to spread hatred. We don't want to destroy the BJP and the RSS. But we will not allow them to impose their ideology on people." 
 
Accusing the BJP of politicising the martyrs' sacrifice, Gandhi said, "Modiji talks about patriotism, but he was busy in shooting (film) for over three hours after the Pulwama attack took place." 
 
"Before that, a few years ago, when the Chinese President came to India and Modiji was sitting with him in Gujarat, the Chinese army entered Doklam. But Modiji did not utter a word. On the contrary, he went to China after that without any agenda. This is Modi's patriotism," Gandhi said.
 
Criticising death of three people in February during protests against grant of permanent residence certificate (PRC) to the non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribal (APST) communities of Namsai and Changlang districts, he asked why the government did not talk to the agitators.
 
Large-scale violence against PRCs had resulted in death of three youths and a huge loss of public and private properties.
 
IANS
 

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Two BJP Ministers, 12 MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh join NPP

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In a setback to the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh, 15 of its leaders including two ministers and 12 other sitting legislators joined the National Peoples' Party (NPP) on Tuesday.
 
The mass desertion followed the Bharatiya Janata Party's decision not to grant party ticket to state General Secretary Jarpum Gamlin, state Home Minister Kumar Waii and Tourism Minister Jarkar Gamlin and several other sitting legislators for the Assembly elections.
 
The BJP's Parliamentary Board had on Sunday released a list of 54 candidates for the polls to the 60-member-assembly, which are being held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls in the state on April 11.
 
On Monday, Jarpum Gamlin dashed off his resignation letter to BJP's Arunachal President Tapir Gao. 
 
He was camping in Guwahati since Monday morning where Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma met him and other disgruntled leaders on Monday night.
 
"Jarpum, Jarkar, Kumar Waii and the 12 sitting MLAs of the BJP met the NPP General Secretary Thomas Sangma on Tuesday and joined the NPP," a senior NPP leader said in Guwahati, adding that the party is very hopeful that the inclusion of these leaders would strengthen the party.
 
Meanwhile, the NPP has decided to field candidates in all the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the northeast for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. While the party has released its list of candidates for Meghalaya, it is likely to release its list of candidates for the rest of the constituencies soon.
 
IANS
 

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LS polls: Ex-Arunachal CM Tuki to take on Rijiju

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The Congress in Arunachal Pradesh has decided to field former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki against BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju in the Arunachal West constituency in the Lok Sabha elections.
 
Tuki's name features in the list of 27 candidates released by the Congress on Saturday night. Besides, former Arunachal Pradesh Minister James Lowangcha Wanglet has been fielded from Arunachal East constituency.
 
Rijiju represents the Arunachal West Lok Sabha seat while senior Congress leader Ninong Ering represents the Arunachal East constituency. 
 
While Tuki was the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh between 2011 to 2016, Wanglet had in the past served the state as Home, Finance and Civil Supplies Minister. 
 
Wanglet, who hails from the royal family known as the Lowang's of Namsang-Borduria, is the founding general secretary of Peoples' Party of Arunachal, a regional political party.
 
He was elected four times to the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
 
Tuki, a seasoned politician, replaced Jarbom Gamlin as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh on November 1, 2011 and continued till January 2016. 
 
However, after a political crisis in 2016, President's Rule was imposed ending his tenure as the Chief Minister.
 
IANS
 

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PM lays foundation stone of Command and Control Centres in Sikkim, Arunachal and Tripura

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Integrated Command and Control Centres in five North Eastern Smart Cities, through video conference yesterday.
 
The Prime Minister digitally unveiled the plaque for the Command and Control Centres at Namchi and Gangtok in Sikkim, Itanagar and Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh and Agartala in Tripura.
 
In his address, Modi said he was happy to be part of this new beginning for smart governance in the North East. The urban centres of the North East, with their pool of skilled human resource, have the potential to emerge as growth hubs for the entire region.
 
The Smart City Mission enables cities to identify their potential and challenges. It catalyses smart solutions for the challenges, through public consultation.
 
Smart City Command and Control Centres use digital technology to integrate different service networks. They enable real-time collaboration among departments such as Police, Transport, Power, Water, Sanitation, and Public Safety utilities, he said.
 
“I believe that with the system in place, administrators will be able to monitor city operations better and respond in real time,” he added. 
 
The implementation of Integrated Command and Control Centres is gathering pace across India. As on March 1, these Centres have already become functional in 15 Smart Cities. Work is in progress at 50 other Centres.
 
“I am told that the North-East will have its first completed Smart Command and Control Centre as early as October 2019. One of the key components of the system is the CCTV Surveillance system for Citizen Safety. This system is designed to help tackle crime. The Intelligent Traffic Management System will help ease traffic flow,” he said.
 
“The Solid Waste Management component in the Command and Control Centre will boost cleanliness in these cities. Smart Street Lighting will make our streets safer and citizen-friendly. It will also improve energy efficiency through the conversion to LED systems.
 
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“Smart cities are also installing Public-Address Systems and Variable Message Signs to communicate important civic information,” he added.
 
The Prime Minister pointed out that Digital access is an important component of Digital India Mission. Public Wi-Fi system will provide free internet access to citizens.
 
The North-East is an environmentally sensitive region. The Environmental Monitoring System and Disaster Management modules will give real-time information to citizens and the Government. It will help improve the overall quality of life, he said.
 
“As cities start implementing and expanding the different elements of this system, they will be able to improve the ease of living for their citizens.
 
“I am told that there are over 500 projects with a total worth of nearly 15,000 crore rupees in the ten Smart Cities in the North East. Work orders have already been issued for 59 of these projects,” the Prime Minister said.
 
“I am happy to see Namchi in Sikkim, begin work on its Integrated Water Supply projects, LED Street lights and footpaths. Water is becoming a huge challenge in our hill cities. Gangtok has started work on rainwater harvesting. It has also undertaken projects to construct multi-level car parks with Smart Parking features to ease traffic congestion,” Modi said.
 
Agartala has its own unique challenges due to its saucer-shaped geography that makes it vulnerable to floods. The city administration has taken up projects to manage the same under the Smart Cities Mission.
 
Itanagar has plans to improve its city road network through its Smart Roads and Intelligent Traffic and Transport Management system. Pasighat is addressing the challenges of housing, energy management and business development through key Smart City projects.
 
So, each city has identified its key problems and is moving towards finding solutions to these problems, he said.
 
“I am happy to note that the other five North Eastern cities of Guwahati, Aizawl Kohima, Imphal and Shillong are also moving in this direction. Project implementation under the Smart Cities Mission is now gathering pace.
 
“I am confident that we are fast progressing towards the urban transformation of our North Eastern cities. This will improve quality of life and boost economic development of the region,” he added.
 
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MEA says Arunachal integral part of India after China objects to Modi's visit to state

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India today asserted that Arunachal Pradesh in the North-East is an integral and inalienable part of this country, shortly after China voiced its strong opposition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the state earlier in the day.
 
"The State of Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. Indian leaders visit Arunachal Pradesh from time to time, as they visit other parts of India," the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said in response to a query on the statement by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
 
"This consistent position has been conveyed to the Chinese side on several occasions," he added.
 
Earlier, Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying as saying that, "China's position on the China-India border issue is consistent and clear-cut." She stressed that the Chinese government has never recognised Arunachal Pradesh.
 
She said India should bear in mind the common interests of the two countries and urged it to respect interests and concerns of the Chinese side, cherish the momentum of improvement in bilateral ties and refrain from "any action that may lead to an escalation of disputes or complicate the border issue."
 
Modi was in Arunachal Pradesh today as part of a visit to the North-East, that also took him to Assam and Tripura, to launch various development projects, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, expected to be held in April-May.
 
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Modi to visit Guwahati, Itanagar and Agartala on Saturday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Guwahati in Assam, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh and Agartala in Tripura tomorrow as part of a one-day trip during which he will launch several development projects.
 
In Itanagar, he will unveil a series of development projects at IG Park in Itanagar. 
 
Among other things, he will lay the foundation stone for the construction of a greenfield airport at Hollongi. At present, the nearest airport to Itanagar is at Lilabari in Assam at a distance of 80 km.
 
The airport at Hollongi will reduce the distance by a fourth. In addition to providing better connectivity to the region, the airport will also unravel the tourism potential of the state. The airport will boost the economic growth of the region and will be strategically important to the nation. The airport will have various sustainability features like green belt along approach road to act as noise barrier, rain water harvesting, use of energy efficient equipment, and so on.
 
Modi will also lay the foundation stone of Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh. It will provide all-weather connectivity to Tawang Valley for civilians as well as security forces throughout the year. The tunnel will reduce travel time to Tawang by an hour and boost tourism and related economic activities in the region.
 
A new dedicated DD Channel, for Arunachal Pradesh, DD Arun Prabha, will be launched by the Prime Minister. It will be the 24th channel operated by Doordarshan. 
 
He will also dedicate the 110 MW Pare Hydroelectric Plant in Arunachal Pradesh to the nation. The project, constructed by NEEPCO, will harness hydro power potential of the river Dikrong (tributary of Brahmaputra) and provide cheap hydro electric power to the North Eastern states, thereby improving power availability in the region, an official press release said.
 
Modi will also lay the foundation stone for a permanent campus of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) at Jote, Arunachal Pradesh. It will cater to film students especially those from the North Eastern states. 
 
He will inaugurate the upgraded Tezu Airport in Arunachal Pradesh. The airport has been retrofitted and a new terminal constructed for making it fit for commercial operations under UDAN, the regional connectivity scheme.
 
As many as 50 health and wellness centers in Arunachal Pradesh will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister. He will also declare 100% household electrification in Arunachal Pradesh under Saubhagya Scheme.
 
From Itanagar, the Prime Minister will return to Guwahati, where he will  lay the foundation stone of the North East Gas Grid which will ensure uninterrupted availability of natural gas across the region and boost industrial growth in the region. The grid is part of Government’s plan to provide cheap and quality gas to the entire North East Region. He will lay foundation stone of City Gas Distribution Networks in Kamrup, Cacher, Hailakandi & Karimganj districts.
 
He will inaugurate Hollong Modular Gas Processing Plant in Tinsukia, Assam. The facility will deliver 15% of the total gas produced in Assam. He will also inaugurate LPG Capacity Augmentation of Mounted Storage Vessel in North Guwahati. 
 
The foundation stone of NRL Bio Refinery at Numaligarh and a 729 km gas pipeline from Barauni to Guwahati, passing through Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim and Assam, will be laid by him on the occasion.
 
The last leg of the Prime Minister's visit will be in Agartala.  He will dedicate to the nation the Garjee - Belonia Railway Line through unveiling of plaque at Swami Vivekananda Stadium here. The line will boost Tripura as the gateway to South and Southeast Asia. He will also inaugurate the new complex of Tripura Institute of Technology at Narsingarh.
 
He will unveil the statue of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur at Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport, Agartala. Maharaja Bir Bikram is widely regarded as the creator of modern Tripura. He is credited with planning of Agartala city. Unveiling of his statue is in line with the Union Government’s policy of honouring the unsung heroes of India, who have contributed greatly to nation building, the release added.
 
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Three children killed in Arunachal after bomb explosion

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Three children were killed when a live bomb they thought was a toy exploded near a firing range of the Indian Army in Arunachal Pradesh's Anjaw district, an official said on Sunday.
 
The incident occurred on Saturday evening at Chirang village when the children picked up the used shell and began playing with it. 
 
The shell exploded, killing them on the spot.
 
Chief Minister Pema Khandu expressed shock and grief at the incident, and condoled the deaths of the three children.
 
He announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh each to the family of the deceased.
 
Khandu cautioned the villagers against going near danger zones such as the Army firing ranges.
 
Also, the Chief Minister asked the Indian Army to issue advisories or put up sign boards depicting danger zones or restricted areas.
 
"Such incidents should not recur, for which extreme precautionary measures have to be put in place by the Army, the civil administration and the village elders," Khandu said.
 
IANS

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DGBR reviews progress of critical roads in border areas

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Director General Border Roads (DGBR) Lt Gen Harpal Singh, reviewed the progress of works of operationally critical roads in the Area of Responsibility of Project Arunank on November 20-21.
 
An official press release said here on Wednesday that the DGBR carried out an inspection of the Tama Chung Chung (TCC)-Taksing and TCC-Bidak roads.
 
The General officer was accompanied by CE (P) Arunank Brig RS Rawal during the inspection of the sector. While expressing general satisfaction about the works, the DG stressed that the quality of work should be of highest standard and at the same time the projected date of completion (PDC) should be adhered to at all costs.
 
The DGBR travelled by road from Taksing to Gelensiniak-Bidak and arrived at Limeking. Enroute the General officer inspected the ongoing road construction and took stock of plan of Bailey Bridges on various nallahs and rivers for fair weather connectivity to Taksing and Bidak. 
 
Lt Gen Harpal Singh was convinced about the difficulty of terrain, unpredictable weather and the constraints of local resources in the region which posed a huge challenge to BRO in timely completion of the roads. DG met the BRO personnel and CPLs at various work sites, complimented and exhorted them to keep pushing forward so that connectivity on these roads could be established.
 
Lt Gen Harpal Singh carried out the inspection of Hapoli- Sarli-Huri Road yesterday. He expressed his satisfaction at the pace of progress and directed that the PDC for connectivity should be met at all costs. 
 
He complimented them for their dedication to working in an extremely remote area with tough terrain conditions and persistent inclement weather. He exhorted them to continue the good work and ensure timely completion of the task with the highest quality.
 
The General officer called on the Governor and Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh and apprised them about the status of roadworks in the state, the release added.
 
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Two NE tourist circuits under Swadesh Darshan Scheme inaugurated in Arunachal Pradesh

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Two new North East tourist circuit projects under Swadesh Darshan Scheme were inaugurated at PTSO Lake in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday. 
 
These are the Bhalukpong-Bomdila-Tawang Project and the Nafra-Seppa-Pappu, Pasa, Pakke Valleys- Sangdupota-New Sagalee- Ziro-Yomcha Project. 
 
The projects were jointly inaugurated by the Union Minister of Tourism, K J Alphons. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and State Minister for Tourism Jarkar Gamlin were present at the inauguration. 
 
Mr Alphons, in his speech, said the efforts of Ministry have shown positive results and the foreign tourist arrivals in the region marked an upward trend over the years. The region received a total of 1.69 lakh foreign tourist visits during 2017 as against 1.45 lakh in 2016 registering a growth of 16.7% over the previous year. 
 
The domestic tourist visits reached 95.47 lakhs in the year 2017 against 77.71 lakhs, registering a growth of 22.8% over 2016. The increased number of tourists, in turn, has created better employment opportunity for the local population, he added.
 
The project Development of Bhalukpong-Bomdila-Tawang was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in March 2015 for Rs 49.77 crore. Under this project, the Ministry has developed facilities like accommodation, cafeteria, wayside amenities, last mile connectivity, pathways, toilets, the multipurpose hall at Jang, Sorang Monastery, Lumpo, Zemithang, Bumla Pass, Gritsang TSO lake, PTSO Lake, Thingbu and Grenkha Hot Spring, Lumla and Sela Lake.
 
The Nafra-Seppa project was sanctioned by the Ministry in December 2015 for Rs 97.14 crore. The facilities developed include a helipad, wayside amenities, trekking trails, rafting centre, log huts, craft bazaar, eco-park, tourist facilitation centres, parking, multipurpose hall, festival ground, and so on, an  official press release added.
 
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(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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World Cup: Switzerland beat Serbia in Group E clash

A late goal by Xherdan Shaqiri earned Switzerland a 2-1 win over Serbia in a Group E clash of the FIFA World Cup at the Kaliningrad Stadium here.
 
Aleksandar Mitrovic handed Serbia the lead in the fifth minute during the match on Friday.
 
Switzerland equalised in the second half, thanks to a superb long range strike by Granit Xhaka (52nd).
 
Shaqiri (90th) found the winning goal in the final minute of regulation time.
 
Switzerland thus became the first team at this World Cup to clinch a come-from-behind victory after conceding first.
 
They now have four points from two matches, having held title contenders Brazil to a draw in their campaign opener.
 
They are at the same number of points as Brazil, but sit at the second place behind the South Americans due to an inferior goal difference.
 
Serbia are on three points from two games. They are currently third in the group.
 
Serbia enjoyed a promising start when Dusan Tadic won the ball near the corn er flag and sent in a cross which was headed in by Mitrovic.
 
The setback galvanised the Swiss who dominated possession for the rest of the game.
 
But despite being under considerable pressure, the Serbian defence prevented the Swiss from creating too many clear chances in the first half.
 
Switzerland finally made their domination count when Shaqiri's shot was bloc ked by the Serbian defence.
 
Xhaka pounced on the loose ball and unleashed a first time attempt from outside the penalty box which beat Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic with its pace and vicious swing before bulging the net.
 
Xhaka is the third Swiss player to score in more than one World Cup tournament.
 
He follows in the footsteps of former stars Jacques Fatton and Andre Abegglen.
 
Abegglen scored in the 1934 and 1938 World Cups while Fatton scored at the 1950 and 1954 editions.
 
Shaqiri hit the post soon after with a curling attempt from the right edge of the Serbia box.
 
Serbia did have their chances in the second half, not least a square pass across the face of goal by Aleksandar Kolarov which missed the extended leg of a Serbian player at the far post by mere inches.
 
Shaqiri found the winner in the closing stages off the counter.
 
He latched on to a pass out of defence, made a solo run from the half line with the Serbian defence caught off guard, before scoring with a calm finish.
 
IANS
 
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Moderate earthquake shakes Myanmar-Arunachal Pradesh border region

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale, shook the border region between Myanmar and Arunachal Pradesh today.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 27.2°N and longitude 96.8°E, occurred at 1116 hours at a focal depth  of 30 km.
 
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Gujarat’s Madhavpur Mela to see cultural integration with North-East

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The famous Madhavpur Mela of Gujarat will see its first ever cultural integration with the North-East with which it is said to share its roots, according to Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma. 
 
The Mela is being held from March 25 to 28 at Madhavpur Ghed in Porbandar district of Gujarat. 
 
Dr Sharma told reporters here yesterday that the purpose of this integration is to bring various parts of the country, especially the North-East, close to each other under the banner of “Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat” announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
The Madhavpur Mela of Gujarat shares its connection to the Mishmi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. The Mishmi tribe traces its ancestry to the legendary King Bhishmak and through him to his daughter Rukmini and Lord Krishna. For the first time ever, the festival will celebrate the immortal journey which Rukmini undertook from Arunachal Pradesh to Gujarat with Lord Krishna, he added.
 
Bhismaknagar, located near Roing in the Lower Dibang Valley district, also finds mention in Kalika Purana. The IGNCA, Manav Sangrahalay of Ministry of Culture and States of Gujarat, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and others have joined hands to give a new dimension to the festival.
 
A Jatha of 150 persons from the North-East will be given a traditional welcome at Madhavpur Mela as representatives of Rukmini’s family. The entire concept of celebration this year symbolizes unity in diversity of the country and establishes the East to West connect, he added.
 
All States and Union Territories except West Bengal are participating in the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat campaign and have been paired for the purpose of exchanges at the level of students, sports and through culture.
 
Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Raghvendra Singh said some of the local sites and temples connected to the Madhavpur festival have been upgraded by the Ministry of Culture and connecting the North-East through such kind of events and cultural exchanges will now be made a regular feature.
 
Apart from Dr Sharma, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brigadier (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd), Chief Ministers Vijay Rupani (Gujarat), Pema Khandu (Arunachal Pradesh) and N Biren Singh (Manipur) will join the Mela on March 27, along with senior officials of the Ministry of Culture and Gujarat Government.
 
The four-day event will see a vibrant cultural trail of art, dance, music, poetry, story-telling and folk drama from Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and the other North-Eastern States with the aim to integrate the rich cultures of the two regions.
 
Madhavpur Ghed, a small but culturally significant village, is the place where, according to folklore, Lord Krishna married Rukmini, the daughter of King Bhishmaka. Located on the seashore, close to Porbandar, the 15th-century Madhavrai temple marks the site. 
 
This event is commemorated by a cultural fair held every year, commencing on Ram Navami. A colourful chariot carrying the idol of Krishna is taken around the village and the festivities usually continue for five days. This year the Ministry of Culture is collaborating with the state government of Gujarat to scale up the festival.
 
The Mela will witness, for the first time ever, several eye-catching performances from the North-East, especially Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. Troupes from Assam will perform Rukmini-Haran, a popular folk theatre of the region. A musical troupe from Manipur will sing songs related to Rukmini in the Khullong Ishei and Nat gen?e.  Dance-dramas based on Rukmini-Krishna legends from Arunachal and Manipur and folk dance of the Idu Mishmi tribe from Arunachal will be part of the varied repertoire.
 
An exposition and sale of art and crafts of Gujarat and handloom and handicrafts products from Arunachal, Manipur and other North-Eastern states will be part of the event. 
 
A Visual Art Exhibition on Krishna and Rukmini put together by different institutions of Ministry of Culture like the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya highlighting the variegated legends of Krishna and Rukmini will be organised at an exhibition space being created for the purpose.
 
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Modi calls for focus on HR, infrastructure, modern technology in health sector

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said there was neeed to focus attention on human resource development, infrastructure and use of modern technology in the health sector.
 
Speaking after inaugurating the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre here during a day's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, he said the Union Government was working towards building medical colleges in all parts of the nation. He said this is because, when one studies in a particular area, one becomes better acquainted with the local health challenges.
 
Mr. Modi said healthcare had be of good quality and must be affordable. He said the prices of stents had been brought down so  that the poor and middle class families benefit. 
 
He said the Ayushman Bharat announced in the Budget recently would help provide quality and affordable healthcare.
 
The convention centre inaugurated by Mr. Modi has an auditorium, conference halls and an exhibition hall.
 
He also dedicated the State Civil Secretariat Building to the nation, and laid the foundation stone of the academic block of the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Science.
 
He noted that most of the key departments are based in the new Secretariat, which would make it easier for people coming from distant villages.
 
He expressed happiness at the inauguration of the Convention Centre. "This is more than a building, it is a vibrant centre that will further the aspirations of Arunachal Pradesh,: he said. He said that conferences and cultural activities will draw government officials and private companies. He said he would personally suggest to people that they could go to Arunachal Pradesh, and hold important meetings at this Convention Centre. 
 
He recalled that he had visited Shillong for a North-East Council meeting, and an important meeting related to agriculture was held in Sikkim.
 
The Prime Minister said Union Ministers, and officials from the Union Government are visiting the North-East regularly.
 
Mr. Modi complimented State Chief Minister Pema Khandu for his good work in the State. He said the Chief Minister has prepared a top quality roadmap on how Arunachal Pradesh should be in 2027. He added that inputs for this plan were taken not just from officials but also from people from all walks of life.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in West Kameng region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the West Kameng region of Arunachal Pradesh late last night.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 27.3°N and longitude 92.5°E, occurred at 0013 hours today at a focal depth of 10 km.
 
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Modi to visit Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay a day's visit to Arunachal Pradesh tomorrow when he will inaugurate the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre in Itanagar.
 
The convention centre has an auditorium, conference halls and an exhibition hall. It is expected to become a significant landmark of Itanagar, an official press release said.
 
The Prime Minister will also dedicate the State Civil Secretariat Building to the nation, and lay the foundation stone of the academic block of the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Science. 
 
From Arunachal Pradesh, the Prime Minister will proceed to Tripura on a "non-official" visit, the release added.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes West Kameng region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale, shook West Kameng region of Arunachal Pradesh this morning.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 27.3°N and longitude 92.7°E, occurred at 0601 hours at a focal depth of 10 km.
 
Earlier, a minor quake, measuring 3.0 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the West Khasi Hills reigon of Meghalaya just after midnight last night. The quake had its epicentre at latitude 25.5 N and longitude 91.0 E, occurred at 0002 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, the bulletin addded.
 
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Loan agreement signed for Pare Hydroelectric Plant

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A loan agreement and a guarantee agreement for providing additional funding of euro 20 million was signed here yesterday for the Pare Hydroelectric Plant in Arunachal Pradesh under Indo-German Bilateral Development Cooperation.
 
The loan agreement for the project was signed by Mr. A.G. West Kharkongor, Chairman and Managing Director, North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) and Mr. Christoph Kessler, Director, KFW while the guarantee agreement was signed by Mr. S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finace and Mr. Kessler in the presence of Dr. Martin Ney, Ambassador of Germany to India,.
 
In 2008, Germany had signed a loan agreement with NEEPCO for providing euro 80 million with Government of India’s guarantee for the project under Indo-German Bilateral Development Cooperation. 
 
An official press release said the broad objective of the project is generation of hydroelectric power for socio-economic development of the North Eastern Region. The purpose of the project is efficient and ecological friendly generation of electric power. This will contribute to the economic efficient generation of power, growth in the North East region and protection of global climate, it said.
 
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Bye-elections in R. K. Nagar, Tamil Nadu and four seats in Arunachal, UP, West Bengal to be held on December 21

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The Election Commission today announced that it would hold bye-elections on December 21 to fill up five vacancies in the State Legislative Assemblies of Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
 
The vacant seats include Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, where a bye-election was necessitated by the death on December 5, 2016 of then Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
 
The other seats for which bye-elections will be held are 12 – Pakke-Kasang (ST) and 28 – Likabali (ST) (Arunachal Pradesh); 207-Sikandra (Uttar Pradesh); and 226-Sabang (West Bengal).
 
The notification for the elections will be issued on November 27 and the last date for filing nominations is December 4. Scrutiny of nominations will be held on December 5 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is December 7.
 
Counting of votes will be taken up on December 24 and all the results are expected by that evening.
 
The electoral rolls of the five constituencies, revised with reference to 01.01.2017 as the qualifying date, will be used for the bye-elections.
 
The Commission has decided to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails in the bye-elections in all the polling stations, an official press release added.
 
The bye-election to fill the Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar seat was originally slated for April 12 this year, but the Commission had, on April 10, rescinded it because the electoral process had been "seriously vitiated" by unlawful activities of candidates and political parties, including bribing of voters.
 
At that time, the Commission had said that the bye-election would be held in due course when the vitiating effect created by the distribution of money and gift items to allure the electors got removed with the passage of time and the atmosphere in the constituency became conducive to the holding of free and fair election.
 
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Kovind tells legislators they must help achieve aspirations of people

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President Ram Nath Kovind today told members of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly that they must remember that they had been elected to achieve the aspirations of the people of the State and to render public service.
 
Addressing a special session of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly here today, he said that, after election, they represented all citizens of their constituency, including those who may not have voted for them.
 
He said that, as legislators, they are guardians of public interest and trust. It is their responsibility to make laws that improve the lives of people and to resolve issues of public concern.
 
The President said they were all citizens of a culturally rich and diverse country. "There is such variety in food, clothing, customs and even religious traditions in India. And yet, this diversity is our strength and unites us. Whether it is Tirupati or Tarnetar or the Buddhist monastery of Tawang, it inspires every Indian and is a matter of pride for each of us," he said.
 
The President said that Arunachal Pradesh’s experience of “unity in diversity” expressed the country's traditions beautifully. There are many ethnic and religious communities in the state, and they live together in harmony. This is an ideal for all Indians, he said.
 
The President said that, being a border state, Arunachal Pradesh offers a unique opportunity to trade and do business with neighbouring countries. He expressed hope that Arunachal Pradesh would become a driver of India’s trade and economic relations with ASEAN countries under the Act East Policy.
 
Earlier in the day, the President attended the valedictory function to mark the completion of 40 years of the Vivekananda Kendra in Itanagar.
 
Speaking on the occasion, the President praised the Vivekananda Kendra for commendable work in Arunachal Pradesh in the field of education. He was happy to note that the Vivekananda Kendra’s schools had kept alive the guru-shishya tradition through the Gurukul system. They have maintained Indian culture through yoga, pranayama, meditation, Sanskrit and other legacies of the country's past.
 
The President noted that the Vivekananda Kendra schools are a happy synthesis of India's traditional knowledge and values and of modern science and technology.
 
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