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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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Minor earthquakes recorded in Uttarakhand, Tripura

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Two earthquakes of slight intensity, measuring 3.8 and 3.2 on the Richter scale, shook the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand and Tirap region of Arunachal Pradesh, respectively, today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake in Uttarakhand, which had its epicentre at latitude 30.7°N and longitude 78.6°E, occurred at 1420 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin said.
 
The tremor in Arunachal Pradesh had its epicentre at latitude 27.0 N and longitude 95.6 E, occurred at 1054 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, the bulletin added.
 
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5th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav in NE Region from March 23-31

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The 5th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM)-2017, a national cultural festival, will be inaugurated at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on March 23.
 
The 9-day festival, organized by the Ministry of Culture, will shift venues to other North Eastern states including, Dimapur (Nagaland) from March 26 to 28, Majuli (Assam) from March 27 to 29, Imphal (Manipur) from March 27 to 29th March, Aizawl (Mizoram) from March 28 to 30, Gangtok (Sikkim) from March 28 to 30, Shillong (Meghalaya) from March 29 to 31 and Khowai (Tripura) from March 29 to 31.
 
An official press release said the main stage at Parade Ground in Tawang in the open air stage area will host cultural programmes from March 23-25 between 12:30 pm and 4 pm. The cultural extravaganza will be inaugurated by Governor of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh P B Acharya in the presence of Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma and Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu as Guest of Honour.
 
The essential thrust of the festival is to present rich diversity and uniqueness of Indian culture and to promote the cultural inter-linkages amongst the states to strengthen national integration and also to bid the artists of other parts of the country with the people of North East in a single thread of culture, the release said.
 
About 5,000 artistes from the North East and 2,000 from across the country will showcase cultural heritage through performances, arts and cuisine. The festival will involve the seven Zonal Cultural Centres and other organizations under the Ministry of Culture.
 
The North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC), Dimapur is the nodal agency for the organisation of the festival.
 
Each Zonal Cultural Centre has been provided with slots to present their arts during the festival which would showcase an amalgamation of ‘Ek Bharat, Srestha Bharat’, ‘HamaariSanskriti, HamaariPanchaan’ and ‘Swachh India’. The extended programme will be convened at Dimapur (Nagaland) from March 26 to 28 by South Zone Cultural Centre. Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre will organise the festival at Majauli. The festival at JNMDA Complex Imphal (Manipur) will be helmed by South Central Zone Cultural Centre.
 
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The North East Zone Cultural Centre will organise the festival at Aizawl, Mizoram and North Central Zone Cultural Centre at Gangtok (Sikkim). The festival at Shillong (Meghalaya) will be held by North Zone Cultural Centre and West Zone Cultural Centre will stage it at Khowai (Tripura).
 
The festival will showcase the spectacular diversity of India, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Gujarat to Bengal through folk, tribal and classical art forms in all its dimensions – dance, music, drama, puppetry, handicrafts and food.
 
An exhibition on Buddhist art and tradition is also being organized at Parade Ground of Tawang. Craftsmen from all over the country will display and sell handicrafts to the general public.
 
Traditional delicacies from different regions of the country will provide the visitors with a delightful culinary experience. Day-long performances of traditional performers of fringe-folk arts like ‘Behroopiyas’, ‘Baazigars’, ‘KacchiGhori’, and so on will take place at Parade Ground.
 
The inaugural ceremony will have varied art forms like Buddhist Chant and Gung, Vedic Chanting, Purulia Chhou, Yoga, Dhol Cholom and Pung Cholom, Sri Khol, Bhor Taal, Ladakhi dance, Chakhesang music, Bonalo, Siddhi Dhamal and Godambaza.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in Dibang Valley region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Dibang Valley 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 28.7°N and longitude 96.0°E, occurred at 0230 hours at a focal depth of 36 km.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Lower Subansiri region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale, shook the Lower Subansiri region of Arunachal Pradesh this evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 27.9°N and longitude 93.8°E, occurred at 1824 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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President accepts resignation of Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan

V. Shanmuganathan
V. Shanmuganathan
President Pranab Mukherjee today accepted the resignation of Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan, who was holding additional charge of the post of Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.
 
A press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said the President had appointed Mr. Banwarilal Purohit, Governor of Assam to discharge the functions of the Governor of Meghalaya and Mr.  Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya, Governor of Nagaland to discharge the functions of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, in addition to their own duties, until regular arrangements for the offices of the Governor of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh are made.
 
Mr. Shanmuganathan, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, had sent in his papers to the President yesterday, a day after about 80 employees of the Raj Bhavan in Shillong had written to the President on Wednesday, seeking his removal.
 
The letter alleged Mr. Shanmuganathan, 68, had turned the Raj Bhavan into a "young ladies club", hurting its "decorum and prestige". Mr. Shanmuganathan, however, denied all the allegations. He was in Itanagar to attend the Republic Day functions there when the controversy broke.
 
The letter said the employees were going through "severe humiliation, mental stress and torture" ever since Mr. Shanmuganathan had taken over as Governor.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Upper Subansiri region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale, shook the Upper Subansiri region of Arunachal Pradesh this evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.3°N and longitude 94.1°E, occurredat 1851 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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U.S. and India search for WWII American Airmen

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The United States Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) recently completed a mission in India to locate the remains of servicemen missing since World War II.  
 
The DPAA team concentrated their efforts on sites where U.S. aircraft are believed to have crashed in the Himalayas with still unaccounted-for U.S. servicemen.  
 
The DPAA team visited several locations in Arunachal Pradesh to determine if the reported sites can be definitively correlated to known crash sites involving missing U.S. servicemen, a press release from the U.S.  Embassy here said.
 
U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma said, “The United States is committed to making sure all the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who served our country come home.  DPAA’s mission in India is a vital part of that commitment.”  
 
Mission commander Lt Col Pritz added, “We want to thank the government of India, the Ministry of External Affairs, the government of Arunachal Pradesh, and the Indian Air Force for their invaluable assistance and cooperation in conducting this mission.  Without their support, this mission would not have been successful.”
 
If the team can corroborate evidence at the site with historical records and reports, future missions to the sites may conduct an excavation in an attempt to recover the remains and return them to DPAA’s laboratory for identification. 
 
While discussing the sites with local residents, the team received a presentation of human remains and osseous material, which a witness recovered near the wreckage of a crashed aircraft.  After arriving at the site, the team found additional human remains believed to be associated with missing U.S. service members.  Once approved by the Indian government, these remains will be sent to the DPAA Laboratory with the goal of identification.
 
All the sites were located within Arunachal Pradesh, which is where the vast majority of losses occurred.  The DPAA team trekked to sites ranging from 2,500 feet to 10,000 feet in altitude, over trails that took anywhere from a few hours to several days to reach from the last point a vehicle could travel.
 
Last year DPAA successful recovered remains from the same region.  In April, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter received the remains from the Indian government and DPAA is working to identify them.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Upper Siang region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale, shook the Upper Siang region of Arunachal Pradesh this morning.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.6°N and longitude 94.9°E, occurrd at 0746 hours at a focal depth of 106 km.
 
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Bye-elections to be held on November 19 to fill four LS, eight Assembly seats

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The Election Commission (EC) today said it would hold bye-elections to fill casual vacancies in the Lok Sabha from three States and eight seats in the Legislative Assemblies in seven States.
 
The vacancies in the Lok Sabha are from Lakhimpur in Assam, Shahdol (ST) in Madhya Pradesh and Coochbehar (SC) and Tamluk in West Bengal, an official press release said.
 
The Assembly seats vacant are 20-Baithalangso (ST) in Assam, 45 – Hayuliang (ST) in Arunachal Pradesh, 179-Nepanagar (ST) in Madhya Pradesh, 263-Monteswar in West Bengal, 195-Thiruparankundram in Tamil Nadu, 4-Barjala and 25-Khowai in Tripura and 17-Nellithope in Puducherry.
 
The release said the notification for the bye-elections will be issued on October 26 and the last date for making nominations is November 2. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 22.
 
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Arunachal Pradesh’s first Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi store opened

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Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers  Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated Arunachal Pradesh’s first Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Store at Naharlagun here on Monday.
 
State Chief Minister Pema Khandu was also present on the occasion.
 
The two dignitaries witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Health & Family Welfare Department of Arunachal Pradesh and Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI), an agency under Department of Pharmaceuticals.
 
As per the MoU, 84 Jan Aushadhi Stores will be opened in Arunachal Pradesh, an official press release said.
 
Congratulating Arunachal Pradesh for taking the initiative, Mr Mandaviya said that the Union Government was committed to development of the border state.
 
He said the scheme is for the poor and needy, and hence the Ministry is working hard to open more and more stores under the scheme. He called upon the doctors to prescribe generic medicines, which cost a fraction of the branded drugs.
 
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Making quality medicines available at affordable prices has been a key challenge for the Government. The prices of branded medicines are much higher than generic medicines in the market due to various reasons.
 
With a view to achieve the objective of making available quality medicines at affordable prices, the Government has been taking several regulatory and fiscal measures from time to time, he said.
 
In order to provide further relief to the common man in the area of healthcare, a countrywide campaign was started for ensuring availability of generic medicines at affordable prices to common man, he said.
 
The Government has decided to open 3,000 stores under Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana (PMJAY) during 2016-2017 and to reinvigorate the supply of generic drugs.
 
Jan Aushadhi scheme is being implemented in the country through Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) under the administrative control of Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. As many as 423 Jan Aushadhi Stores are functional across the country.
 
In order to promote the campaign of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana, a one-time financial assistance to the extent of Rs.2.50 lakh (Rs 1 lakh for furnishing, Rs 50000 for computer and peripherals, refrigerator etc and another Rs 1 lakh worth medicines to commence operations) is given to those who open shops in Government Hospitals and also to those who are individual entrepreneurs, NGOs and Charitable Trusts.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes East Siang region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale, shook the East Siang region of Arunachal Pradesh early this morning.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.4°N and longitude 95.0°E, occurred at 0351 hours at a focal depth of 10 km.
 
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Minor earthquake jolts West Siang region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, shook the West Siang region of Arunachal Pradesh this evening.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.7°N and longitude 94.7°E, occurred at 2001 hours at a focal depth of 10 km.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes East Kameng region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale, shook the East Kameng region of Arunachal Pradesh in the early hours of today.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 27.6 N and longitude 92.7 E, occurred at 0035 hours today at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Union Ministers, singer Asha Bhosle celebrate Raksha Bandhan with troops in Arunachal Pradesh

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Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju visited Tawang, a border area in Arunachal Pradesh on August 17-18 as part of the campaign launched to celebrate the 70th year of Independence.
 
Ms Sitharaman tied "rakhis" on the wrists of paramilitary personnel deployed at the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Border Out Post (BOP) in Lumla, one of one of the remotest BOPs on the India-China border, on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan yesterday.
 
Raksha Bandhan was also celebrated in a function at the picturesque location of Dolma Lakhang where she tied rakhis on the wrists of Army and paramilitary personnel.
 
Addressing the function, she emphasized the importance of Tawang  from both strategic and religious point of view and assured of all cooperation from her Ministry for development of the region.
 
Terming her visit to Tawang War Memorial as an emotional one, she thanked the forces for their umpteen sacrifices for the cause of nation. She said the interests of Arunachal Pradesh were a priority and the Central government remained fully committed for the development of the region.
 
Mr Rijiju apprised the gathering about the plans chalked out by the government to mark the 70th year of Independence and said it was being done to pay tribute to the martyrs of Indian freedom struggle and also to boost the morale of the forces besides contacting the people staying in the border areas.
He said damaged roads would be repaired along with improving connectivity wherever required.  The issue of damage caused in the landslides would also be taken up.
 
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Later Mr Rijiju, along with legendary singer Asha Bhosle, visited Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh and celebrated the Raksha Bandhan festival with the jawans of the Indian paramilitary forces and the Army.
 
Ms. Bhosle expressed her happiness on visiting this beautiful town in western part of Arunachal Pradesh and thanked Mr Rijiju for providing this opportunity to her for interacting with the members of the forces in the border area. Mr Rijiju reciprocated by words of appreciation for the singer coming all the way to motivate the jawans.
 
The Government is commemorating the 70th year of Independence in a big way and a special 15-day celebratory campaign called “Azadi-70 celebrations” has been launched from August 9-23 throughout the country.
 
As a part of this initiative, a musical programme was organized last evening at Buddha Stadium at Bomdila. The personnel from SSB, ITBP, BRO and Army, apart from the general public, attended in huge numbers.
 
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Advanced Landing Ground at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh gets operational

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju inaugurating the upgraded Advanced Landing Ground (ALG), at Pasighat, in Arunachal Pradesh on August 19, 2016.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju inaugurating the upgraded Advanced Landing Ground (ALG), at Pasighat, in Arunachal Pradesh on August 19, 2016.
The upgraded Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh was inaugurated by Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju today.
 
A flypast by a formation of three Sukhoi-30 MKI Air Dominance Fighter aircraft, that took off from one of the forward EAC airbases was a highlight of the event.
 
This was followed by a Su-30MKI also landing at the ALG. The touchdown by a frontline fighter jet of the IAF at the ALG is a 'historic first' in the predominantly hilly state of Arunachal Pradesh, which has several ALGs at varying altitudes, an official press release said.
 
The event was attended by a large number of civil and military dignitaries including the Chief Secretary and Secretary, Civil Aviation, Arunachal Pradesh.
 
Air Marshal C Hari Kumar, Air Officer Commanding-in-chief (AOC-in-C), Eastern Air Command and Air Vice Marshal Manavendra Singh, Senior Officer-in-Charge Administration, Eastern Air Command, Shillong were also present.
 
Earlier, the AOC-in-C and other senior officials, who arrived at the ALG by an An-32 aircraft from Shillong, were received by the Chief Construction Engineer (North East Project). Mr Rijiju had arrived in a BSF helicopter.
 
The new runway surface and other infrastructure built are similar to the other upgraded ALGs that have been inaugurated in the recent months. It has facilities such as aprons for ground manoeuvring, Air Traffic Control Tower, perimeter road and security wall.
 
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The ALG will facilitate operations of fixed wing aircraft as well as helicopters of both civil and military operators. It will provide air connectivity with rest of the country and give a huge fillip to tourism in the state. The pristine and picturesque landscape of Pasighat and unspoilt natural beauty of the area would attract tourists, ushering in prosperity for the local people, the release said.
 
AAI is in the process of setting up a civil terminal, the construction of which is yet to commence.
 
The ALG at Pasighat was taken over by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in February 2010. Previously, it was a small strip that was partly paved, partly grassy, and reinforced with perforated steel plates.
 
It was utilized in the past for air maintenance sorties and casualty evacuation by the IAF. Commercial helicopter operations were also  undertaken from the helipads that existed earlier.
 
Following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Government of Arunachal Pradesh and Ministry of Defence in June 2009, the IAF had embarked on an ambitious reconstruction plan to upgrade eight ALGs, including infrastructure development at an overall outlay of nearly Rs. 1,000 crore.
 
The ALGs at Walong, Ziro, Along, Mechuka and Pasighat have since been upgraded and are operational now. Two ALGs at Tuting and Tawang are expected to be ready by the year-end, while the ALG at Vijaynagar would be taken up for reconstruction as soon as the road connectivity between Miao and Vijaynagar is restored, the release added.
 
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Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul found dead

 
Former Arunachal Pradesh CM Kalikho Pul found dead at his residence
Former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul, who held office for about four and a half months from February to July this year with the support of rebel Congress MLAs as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before being unseated by a Supreme Court verdict, was found dead at his residence here this morning.
 
Sources said Mr. Pul, 47, was found hanging at the official residence of the Chief Minister, which he had not vacated, by a servant around 9 am today.
 
Police officials suspect it to be a case of suicide and the circumstances suggested he had taken the extreme step late last night.
 
Police took possession of the body and sent it for a post-mortem examination, the sources said.
 
Arunachal Pradesh had plunged into a political crisis in November 2015 after 21 of the 47 Congress MLAs turned against then Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, reducing the ruling party to a minority with just 26 members in the 60-member assembly.
 
President's Rule was imposed in the state on January 26 and Mr. Pul, who led the rebel MLAs, was sworn in as the new Chief Minister on February 21 this year. Apart from the rebel Congress MLAs, he had the support of 11 BJP MLAs.
 
The Supreme Court restored Mr. Tuki's government in a landmark verdict on July 13 this year by which it scrapped all decisions taken by Governor J P Rajkhowa that led to the fall of the government and restored status quo ante in the state as on December 9, 2015.
 
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However, hours ahead of a trust vote Mr. Tuki had been asked to seek in the legislative assembly by the Governor on July 16, the Congress Legislature Party met here and elected Mr. Pema Khandu as its new leader and he was sworn in as the new Chief Minister on July 17 with the support of 45 members, including two independents, in the 60-member assembly, which had an effective strength of 58.
 
Mr. Pul also returned to the Congress fold with the other dissident MLAs on July 16 and was present at the meeting in which Mr. Khandu was elected as the new leader.
 
"Shocked to hear of untimely demise of promising young leader Kalikho Pul whose contributions shall always be remembered," President Pranab Mukherjee said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
Congress President Sonia Gandhi expresed shock at the "untimely and tragic demise" of Mr. Pul and extended her condolences to his family.
 
"Shocked and deeply saddened at the untimely demise of Kalikho Pulji. My heart goes out to his family & loved ones," Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.
 
Born on July 20, 1969, Pul hailed from Hawai in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh and belonged to the Kaman Mishmi ethnic group. He represented the Hayuliangconstituency in the state legislative assemby. He served as Finance Minister in the Gegong Apang Ministry from 2003 to 2007.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Lower Dibang region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity,measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale, shook the Lower Dibang region of Arunachal Pradesh late last night, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.5 N and longitude 95.5 E, occurred at 0001 hours today at a focal depth of 20 km, an IMD bulletin said.
 
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Congress leader Pema Khandu sworn in as CM of Arunachal Pradesh

 
Pema Khandu takes oath as Arunachal Pradesh CM
Congress leader Pema Khandu was sworn in today as the ninth Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, bringing the curtains down on weeks of political drama in the crucial north-eastern state.
 
Mr. Chowna Mein was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister.
 
Mr. Khandu, 36, the eldest son of late Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, who had died in a helicopter crash on April 30, 2011, is now the youngest Chief Minister of a state in India.
 
He and Mr. Mein were administered the oaths of office and secrecy by Governor Tathagata Roy at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan here. Mr. Roy is the Governor of Tripura who is holding additional charge as Governor of Arunachal Pradesh in the absence on leave of incumbent J. P. Rajkhowa.
 
Mr. Khandu has succeeded Mr. Nabam Tuki, whose government was restored by the Supreme Court in a landmark verdict on July 13.
 
However, hours ahead of a trust vote he had been asked to seek in the legislative assembly by the Governor yesterday, the Congress Legislature Party met here and elected Mr. Khandu as its new leader.
 
Mr. Khandu then staked claim to form a new government in the state, claiming the support of 45 members, including two independents, in the 60-member assembly, which has an effective strength of 58 at present.
 
Mr. Khaliko Pul, a rebel Congress leader, who had been sworn in as Chief Minister in February this year with the support of rebel members of the ruling party as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before being unseated by the Supreme Court verdict, also returned to the party fold with 30 dissident MLAs yesterday.
 
Mr. Khandu, who had served as Minister of Tourism, Urban Development and Water Resources in the state government, was among the MLAs who had turned against Mr. Tuki.
 
The Supreme Court's verdict, by which it restored the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh after scrapping all decisions taken by Governor Rajkhowa in the run-up to the fall of the Nabam Tuki ministry, came as a major embarassment for the ruling BJP at the Centre.
 
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court concluded that the order of the Governor dated December 9, 2015 advancing the sixth session of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly from January 14, 2016 to December 16 2015 was violative of Article 163 read with Article 174 of the Constitution of India, and as such, is liable to be quashed.
 
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"The same is accordingly hereby quashed," the main judgement written by Mr. Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar said.
 
"The message of the Governor dated 9.12.2015, directing the manner of conducting proceedings during the 6th session of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, from 16.12.2015 to 18.12.2015, is violative of Article 163 read with Article 175 of the Constitution of India, and as such, is liable to be quashed. The same is accordingly hereby quashed," it said.
 
"All steps and decisions taken by the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, pursuant to the Governor’s order and message dated 9.12.2015, are unsustainable in view of the decisions at (i) and (ii) above. The same are accordingly set aside," it said.
 
"In view of the decisions at (i) to (iii) above, the status quo ante as it prevailed on 15.12.2015, is ordered to be restored," the bench said.
 
The verdict, restoring status quo ante in the state as on December 9, 2015, implied that the decisions on dismissal of the Congress government, imposition of President's Rule in the state on January 26 this year and the formation of a new government in the state by rebels from the Congress with the support of the BJP were all rendered invalid.
 
This was the second such blow to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre. On April 26, the Uttarakhand High Court had quashed the imposition of President's Rule in the hill state and restored the government headed by Congress leader Harish Rawat back in office.
 
In circumstances very similar to what had happened in Arunachal Pradesh, the Narendra Modi government at the Centre had imposed President's Rule in Uttarakhand on March 27, just a day ahead of a trust vote that Mr. Rawat was scheduled to seek in the assembly. The Centre stated that the Rawat governmnt had lost its majority and was continuing in office illegally.
 
The political crisis in Arunachal Pradesh began in November 2015 after 21 of the 47 Congress MLAs turned against Mr. Tuki, reducing the ruling party to a minority with just 26 members in the 60-member assembly.
 
President's Rule was imposed in the state on January 26 and rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul was sworn in as the new Chief Minister on February 21. Apart from the rebel Congress MLAs, he had the support of 11 BJP MLAs.
 
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Modi govt. suffers blow as SC restores Congress govt. in Arunachal Pradesh

In a major embarassment for the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre, the Supreme Court on Wednesday restored the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh after scrapping all decisions taken by Governor J.P. Rajkhowa in the run-up to the fall of the Nabam Tuki ministry.

 
Big day for Indian democracy, says Kapil Sibal
In a major embarassment for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government at the Centre, the Supreme Court today restored the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh after scrapping all decisions taken by Governor J.P. Rajkhowa in the run-up to the fall of the Nabam Tuki ministry.
 
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court concluded that the order of the Governor dated December 9, 2015 advancing the sixth session of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly from January 14, 2016 to December 16 2015 was violative of Article 163 read with Article 174 of the Constitution of India, and as such, is liable to be quashed.
 
"The same is accordingly hereby quashed," the main judgement written by Mr. Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar said.
 
"The message of the Governor dated 9.12.2015, directing the manner of conducting proceedings during the 6th session of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, from 16.12.2015 to 18.12.2015, is violative of Article 163 read with Article 175 of the Constitution of India, and as such, is liable to be quashed. The same is accordingly hereby quashed," it said.
 
"All steps and decisions taken by the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, pursuant to the Governor’s order and message dated 9.12.2015, are unsustainable in view of the decisions at (i) and (ii) above. The same are accordingly set aside," it said.
 
"In view of the decisions at (i) to (iii) above, the status quo ante as it prevailed on 15.12.2015, is ordered to be restored," the bench, which also included Mr. Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Mr. Justice N. V. Ramanna said.
 
Mr. Justice Dipak Misra and Mr. Justice M. M. Lokur also concurred with the judgement. However, Mr. Justice Misra added points pertaining to the interpretation of Article 179(c) of the Constitution, especially in the context of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution.
 
"I am in general agreement with the conclusions arrived at on the interpretation of Article 163 and Article 174 of the Constitution. However, my reasons for arriving at the same conclusions are somewhat different and partly additional or supplementary, necessitating an expression of my views. I have also gone through the draft judgment of my learned Brother Justice Dipak Misra and in the view that I have taken, it is not necessary for me to expression any opinion on his conclusions," Mr. Justice Lokur said.
 
Sources said that the Union Government would study the judgement before deciding on its future course of action.
 
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Today's verdict, restoring status quo ante as on December 9, 2015 implies that the decisions on dismissal of the Congress government, imposition of President's Rule in the state on January 26 this year and the formation of a new government in the state by rebels from the Congress with the support of the BJP have all been rendered invalid.
 
This is the second such blow to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre. On April 26, the Uttarakhand High Court had quashed the imposition of President's Rule in the hill state and restored the government headed by Congress leader Harish Rawat back in office.
 
The judgement had also asked Mr. Rawat to prove his majority in the state legislative assembly.
 
The Supreme Court had, on April 27, kept the order in abeyance but later allowed Mr. Rawat to seek a vote of confidence in the assembly, which he won on May 10.
 
In circumstances very similar to what had happened in Arunachal Pradesh, the Narendra Modi government at the Centre had imposed President's Rule in Uttarakhand on March 27, just a day ahead of a trust vote that Mr. Rawat was scheduled to seek in the assembly. The Centre stated that the Rawat governmnt had lost its majority and was continuing in office illegally.
 
The vote of confidence brought the curtains down on a high-stakes political drama in Uttarakhand that began in early March when nine Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) belonging to the Congress rebelled against Mr. Rawat's leadership.
 
Today's verdict came on an appeal filed by Mr. Nabam Rebia, Speaker of the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly, who contended that the actions of the Governor, without the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers and the Chief Minister, demonstrated an "extraneous and inappropriate exercise of constitutional authority".
 
Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeard for Mr. Rabia, said the verdict was historic because this was the first time that the Supreme Court had restored the status quo ante.
 
"Now the situation will revert to whatever was the status quo on the 16th of December 2015," he said.
 
"Only the judiciary can protect values of the constitution and I salute the judiciary for this judgment,” he said.
 
"Thank you Supreme Court for explaining to the Prime Minister what democracy is," Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"SC judgment yet another tight slap on dictatorial Modi govt. Hope Modi ji wud learn n now stop interfering in democratically elected govts," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Twitter.
 
The Congress said that, in Arunachal Pradesh, as in Uttarakhand, the BJP had tried to lure away Congress legislators by manufacturing disaffection. It said that, in the case of Arunachal Pradesh, there were tape recordings of a businessman in conversation with people trying to create disaffection. 
 
"There was also talk of monetary remunerations. Why hasn’t the Union Government ordered a probe based on these recordings, which the Congress offered to the Court as proof? Who is the BJP trying to protect?" it asked.
 
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Congress President Sonia Gandhi said she hoped that “this judgement, which firmly establishes the democratic values enshrined in our Constitution, will deter the Union Government from any further misuse of power. Those who had trampled upon constitutional propriety and democratic norms have been defeated today.”
 
"The Supreme Court has called the conduct of the Arunachal Governor as illegal. The Governor should be sacked for his impropriety and disservice to the Indian Constitution. As the Guwahati High Court had observed, the Governor, Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa, had conducted himself in a political manner," it said.
 
"The BJP has tried to gain control by orchestrating disaffection and misusing the Governor, and use patently illegal means to topple democratically elected State Governments. They have acted with a blatant disregard for the Indian Constitution and have been finally put firmly in their place by the Supreme Court of India," it added.
 
The political crisis in Arunachal Pradesh began in November 2015 after 21 of the 47 Congress MLAs turned against Mr. Tuki, reducing the ruling party to a minority with just 26 members in the 60-member assembly.
 
President's Rule was imposed in the state on January 26 and rebel Congress leader Kalikho Pul was sworn in as the new Chief Minister on February 21. Apart from the rebel Congress MLAs, he had the support of 11 BJP MLAs.
 
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Governor of Tripura gets additional charge of Arunachal Pradesh

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Mr. Tathagata Roy, Governor of Tripura, has been appointed to discharge the functions of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, in addition to his own duties.
 
An official press release said the President had made the appointment for the period of absence of Mr. J.P. Rajkhowa, Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes West Kameng region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale, shook the West Kameng region of Arunachal Pradesh tonight.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 27.5 N and longitude 92.7 E, occurred at 2147 horus at a focal depth of 10 km.
 
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Minor earthquake jolts Kamalabari region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale, shook the Kamalabari region of Arunachal Pradesh this evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 27.8 N and longitude  94.1 E, occurred at 1747 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Modi sends high-level Central team to landslide-affected areas in Arunachal Pradesh

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has instructed a two-member Central team to rush to Arunachal Pradesh for an on-the-spot-assessment of damages caused by the recent landslide in Tawang district, in which 16 people lost their lives.
 
An official press release said the team would comprise a Senior Advisor in the Niti Aayog and a Joint Secretary from the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Prime Minister has directed the team to make an assessment of the nature of relief and compensation package, after holding discussions with the State and District officials and to submit a report. 
 
The mishap took place on Sunday, April 22. The Prime Minister has already sanctioned ex-gratia relief of Rs. 2 lakh to the next of kin of those who died in the tragedy and Rs. 50,000 each to those who suffered serious injuries.
 
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