13 killed, 15 injured as terrorists open fire near Kokrajhar in Assam

At least 13 people were killed and more than 15 others suffered injuries when a group of terrorists opened fire at a crowded weekly market near Kokrajhar town in Assam on Friday afternoon.

13 kiled in terror attack at Kokrajhar in Assam
At least 13 people were killed and more than 15 others suffered injuries when a group of terrorists opened fire at a crowded weekly market near Kokrajhar town in Assam this afternoon.
Sources said the three or four masked gunmen, wearing Army-style fatigues, struck at Balajan Tiniali near the town, about 220 km west of Guwahati, around noon, leaving at least 12 civilians dead.
The gunmen arrived in an autorickshaw, hurled grenades and then opened fire indiscriminately in the market before fleeing from the scene.
Security forces managed to shoot down one of the militants and have launched a manhunt for the remaining men, who are believed to have escaped into a nearby forest.
The attack has taken the security forces as well as the Assam Government and the Centre by surprise. Media reports quoted top police officials as saying that they suspected the militants were part of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Songbijit (NDFB-S) faction.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who was in Delhi, told journalists that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Narendra Modi had been in touch with him and had promised all help from the Centre to tackle the situation. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval met Mr. Sonowal to discuss the latest developments.
Condemning the attack, Mr. Sonowal said the state government was committed to ensuring protection of the lives and property of the people of Assam. He said the security forces would deal strictly with the situation.
He said the Director General of Police (DGP) of Assam and other senior officials were rushing to the scene of the incident.
Mr. Sonowal announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 5 lakh for the next-of-kin of those killed in the attack and Rs. 1 lakh each for those who suffered injuries. He also appealed to the people of Assam to maintain peace and harmony. 
The Chief Minister said senior Minister Hemanta Biswa Sarma had left for Kokrajhar.
Reports said additional columns of the Army and teams of para-military forces had been moved to the area. Police officials said an AK-56 rifle and some grenades were recovered from the scene.
The injured persons were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment even as security forces cordoned off the area and launched a combing operation.
In Delhi, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju described the incident as "unfortunate" and said it had taken place at a time when peace was returning to the state. 
“This incident has given us a shock and it is unfortunate so many people have lost their lives," he said, adding that the elements behind the "dastardly" attack would have to be identified.
This is the first major incident of violence in Assam since Mr. Sonowal assumed office as the head of the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the stte on May 24 this year.

Heavy turnout of voters in first phase of Assembly polls in West Bengal, Assam

More than 80.92 percent of the voters exercised their franchise in the first phase of polling in the elections to the legislative assembly of West Bengal and 78 percent in Assam amidst tight security on Monday.

More than 80.92 percent of the voters exercised their franchise in the first phase of polling in the elections to the legislative assembly of West Bengal and 78 percent in Assam amidst tight security today.
Polling was by and large peaceful in both the states, with no major untoward incident reported from anywhere, official osurces said.
In West Bengal, voting was held today in 18 constituencies in Phase IA of polling. They include six seats in Paschim Medinipur, nine in Purulia and three in Bankura district.
These constituencies have a total electorate of 40,09,171 voters, including 20,47,202 men and 19,57,453 women. There are 4500 service electors in these constituencies.
There were a total of 133 candidates in these constituencies, including 11 women.
The Election Commission had set up 4945 polling stations and made elaborate arrangements to ensure a smooth poll in these constituencies.
As many as 65 constituencies went to the polls in the first phase of voting in Assam. There were 566 candidates in all, including 44 women. Prominent candidates in the fray included Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi of the Congress, who is seeking a fourth conseccutive term, and Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, the chief ministerial candidate of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

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.
"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.

1 dead, 14 hurt in twin blasts on Bangalore-Guwahati Express at Chennai station

A 24-year-old woman was killed and 14 others suffered injuries in twin blasts which occurred in two coaches of the 12509 Bangalore-Guwahati tri-weekly express train minutes after it pulled into the Chennai Central station on Thursday morning.

Chennai train blasts: 14 injured passengers stable
A 24-year-old woman was killed and 14 others suffered injuries in twin blasts which occurred in two coaches of the 12509 Bangalore-Guwahati tri-weekly express train minutes after it pulled into the Chennai Central station here this morning.
Southern Railway sources said two of the injured had suffered serious grievous injuries while the others had received minor injuries.
Southern Railway General Manager Rakesh Mishra told reporters at the scene that the "minor intensity" blasts occurred in sleeper coaches S4 and S5 at about 7.15 am, some ten minutes after the train arrived on platform number 9.
Three coaches of the train -- S3, S4 and S5 -- were affected by the two explosions, the sources said.
The deceased passenger was identified as Ms Swati who was travelling from Bangalore to Vijayawada on her way to her home town of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, he said. Media reports said she was an employee of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
Sources said the blasts appeared to have been caused by some devices placed under seat 70 of coach S4 and seat 30 of coach S5.
Mr Mishra said the train was running slightly late and had arrived at the station at 7.05 am instead of its scheduled time of 5.45 am.
The injured were rushed immediately to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital near the station.
Minister of Railways Mallikarjun Kharge has sanctioned an ex-gratia payment of Rs 1 lakh for the next-of-kin of the deceased passenger, Rs 25,000 for each of those with grievous injuries and Rs 5,000 for each of those with minor injuries.
Police officials, accompanied by dog squads and bomb disposal squads, rushed to the scene of the blasts immediately and platform number 9 was cordoned off.
The entire train was checked by the police and it later resumed its journey to Guwahati, Assam after the affected coaches were detached and replaced with new coaches.
Mr Mishra said the entire train was being checked and it would resume its journey to Guwahati, Assam an hour later after the two affected coaches are detached.
The Railways have set up a helpline at Chennai on telephone number 044-25357398 to provide information to relatives of the passengers of the affected train.
Operations on other platforms as well as on the nearby suburban section continued to remain normal, Mr Mishra added.
A team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Hyderabad will reach Chennai later today to probe the incident.
Security was intensified at Chennai Central railway station after the incidents.
Among the seriously injured passengers, one was identified as Sumantho Devnath (37, Male), while the other was an unidentified male.
Those with minor injuries were identified as follows:
1. Shaiful Haque – 27 years Male
2. Anjanedu– 29 years Male
3. Vimal Kumar Das – 43 years Male
4. Shagun Kumar Rai– 23 years Male
5. Altaf Khan – 17 years Male
6. Uma – 35 years Female
7. Jitendra Mohanto Deka – 58 years Male
8. Sari – 21 years Male
9. Murali – 27 years Male
10. Bijoy Kumar – 14 years Male
11. Sudanchand Debnath – 64 years Male
12. Surendra Varma– 31 years Male

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At least 40 drowned, scores missing after ferry carrying 300 people sinks in Assam

Rescue teams continued to search for survivors on Tuesday after a ferry carrying about 300 passengers, capsized in the Brahmaputra river in the western Assam district of Dhubri Monday evening, killing scores of people and leaving many more missing.

Map of Dhubri district
Map of Dhubri district

Rescue teams continued to search for survivors today after a ferry carrying about 300 passengers,  capsized in the Brahmaputra river in the western Assam district of Dhubri yesterday evening, killing scores of people and leaving many more missing.

Official sources said at least 40 bodies had been fished out, but scores of people were missing and they felt the toll could be much higher. The sources also said about 60 people had managed to swim to safety.
Rescue efforts by personnel of the Army, the Border Security Force, the National Disaster Response Force, the state police and the district administration were hampered overnight because of the bad weather and darkness. 
Details about the tragedy remained sketchy because it happened in a very remote location and also because the bad weather had disrupted communication links with the area.
The ferry was filled with passengers far beyond its capacity, many of them returning from a weekly market, and they included several women and children. People of the area are known to be good swimmers, but, given the weather conditions at the time of the mishap and the strong undercurrents in the river, there are fears that not many would have survived, the officials said.
The boat was said to be on its way from Dhubri town to Medertari ghat when it got caught in the storm. It was tossed around and finally broke into three parts around 5 pm, the sources said.
The weather had cleared considerably by this morning and more rescue teams were being rushed to the area and helicopters were being pressed into service to help them.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced an ex-gratia assistance to the families of those who lost their lives in the tragedy.
An official press release said an assistance of Rs 2 lakh would be given to the next-of-kin of each of the deceased from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund. 
Dr Singh had earlier spoken to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and offered all possible help to the state government in the relief operations.
By late this evening, official sources said the final toll could be much lower than initially estimated.
They said the capsized ferry had been brought to the river bank and, contrary to fears, no bodies were found in it.
They also said that divers scoured the area where the ferry was found for hours today and did not find any body.
The officials said the entire downstream of the river was being searched for victims. At this stage, it would appear that many more people than initially thought had managed to swim to safety, on the one hand, and that the number of people on the boat could have been lower than given out yesterday, they added.

Chidambaram welcomes ULFA ceasfire; says it wil lead to peace, normalcy in Assam

The Centre on wednesday welcomed the announcement made by ULFA on Tuesday to cease all forms of armed campaign for an indefinite period to create a conducive atmosphere for the peace talks with the government.

File photo of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram
File photo of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram
The Government of India today welcomed the announcement made by the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) yesterday to cease all forms of armed campaign for an indefinite period to create a conducive atmosphere for the peace talks with the government and expressed confidence that it would contribute to peace and normalcy in Assam.

"It is expected that a Suspension of Operation (SoO) Agreement will be signed and ground rules for observing the agreement will be finalised in the near future. Government of India, in consultation with Government of Assam, will facilitate an early start to the talks," Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said in a statement here.

He recalled that, in February 2011, the leaders of ULFA, including its Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, had called on the Assam Chief Minister, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and him and expressed their desire to seek a political solution to their demands.

"Subsequently, the government of Assam and the Government of India have been in touch with the leaders of the organisation. Government has always expressed its willingness to hold a dialogue with any militant group that will abjure violence, lay down arms and seek a solution through peaceful and democratic means.

"Government of India is confident that the announcement by ULFA will contribute to peace and normalcy in Assam," Mr Chidambaram added.

In a statement yesterday, Mr Rajkhowa had said that the ceasefire shall be with immediate effect and binding on all its cadres.

"The ULFA, with a view to explore a lasting peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict, resolves to cease all forms of armed campaign for an indefinite period,'' he said.

''All members of the organisation are commanded hereby to scrupulously implement the decision in letter and spirit and any infringement thereof will be considered as an anti-organisational act and shall be dealt with accordingly," he said.

The ULFA leader said he had declared the ceasefire in accordance with a decision in the 5th general council of the outfit on February 22, which had authorized him to make the announcement, whenever needed.

Mr Rajkhowa said the decision to declare the ceasefire was in keeping with the desire by all to create a conducive atmosphere for political dialogue.

Referring to the ULFA leadership’s meeting with the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister and the Assam Chief Minister, among others, he said, ''In the course of such exchanges, everybody has expressed their earnest desire that an honourable, meaningful discussion should continue in a peaceful atmosphere conducive for political negotiations.''

Mr Rajkhowa is leading the ULFA faction that is engaged in formal talks with the government, though a section of the outfit, led by its elusive ‘c-in-c’ Paresh Barua, has stayed out of the peace process.


37 killed, over 270 injured in two train accidents in UP, Assam

At least 37 people were killed and over 270 injured today when over a dozen coaches of two superfast Express trains got derailed in Uttar Pradesh and Assam.

A TV grab of Kalka mail, which derailed at Fatehpur-Kanpur (UP) on July 10, 2011. UNI PHOTO
A TV grab of Kalka mail, which derailed at Fatehpur-Kanpur (UP) on July 10, 2011. UNI PHOTO
At least 37 people were killed and over 270 injured today when over a dozen coaches of two superfast Express trains got derailed in Uttar Pradesh and Assam.

At least 37 people were killed and over 200 injured when 12 coaches of the 12311 Up Howrah-Kalka Mail derailed near Malwan railway station on the Howrah-Delhi route of the North-Central railway in Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh.

In another mishap, at least 70 people were injured, 30 of them critically, when a suspected blast derailed four coaches and overturned four others of the Guwahati-Puri Express in lower Assam's Nalbari district this evening.

Police sources here said 37 passengers have been killed in Kalka Mail accident and the death toll could rise as many passengers were still trapped inside two derailed coaches.  However, unconfirmed report put the death toll at over 50.

More than 250 injured are undergoing treatment in different hospitals. As many as 190 of them were admitted to the district hospital here and 54 were admitted to private nursing homes in Kanpur and Fatehpur.

Four helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were deployed to help in the rescue operations. Several seriously injured passengers were rushed to hospital by army jawans.

Passengers of the ill-fated train complained of delay in the rescue and relief efforts by the Railways.

A special train has been made available from Kanpur for the passengers of the Kalka Mail for their onward journey. Besides, food packets and water bottles have been provided to the passengers, railway officials said.

NCR spokesman Sandeep Mathur told UNI from Allahabad that the derailed coaches included two AC three-tier, one AC two-tier, two general, five sleeper, one pantry and an SLR coach.

He said 11 coaches had been totally damaged and gas cutters were being used to bring out the passengers from the derailed coaches. The train was running at a speed of 108 kms per hour when the accident occurred.

"A medical relief train with seven doctors and medical equipment has reached from Allahabad. A similar train from Kanpur has also reached the spot," Mr Mathur said.

All the derailed coaches either had overturned or climbed onto other coaches, he said.

Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal, along with some of the members of the Board and the Director General of Railway Protection Force (RPF), has rushed to the spot.

The Railways announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh for the next of kin of those killed in the mishap, Rs 1 lakh for the critically injured and Rs 25,000 for those with minor injuries.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has expressed her grief over the accident and announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 1 lakh for the kin of the deceased, Rs 50,000 for the critically injured and Rs 25,000 for victims with minor injuries.

State Cooperative Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party state president Swami Prasad Maurya, along with UP Chief Secretary Anoop Mishra, have reached the spot and were supervising the relief and rescue operations.

Rescue efforts had picked up with Army jawans taking full control of the operation. A 150-member team from National Disaster Response Force had also reached the scene. Railway officials said the rescue work would continue overnight. Official said the restoration of the route would take at least 48 hours.

The railway officials were yet to establish the cause of the derailment.

In the district hospital, there was a shortage of beds and many of the injured were forced to lie on the floor. Most of the deceased were yet to be identified except for one Kallo Devi (35) of Kanpur. A woman died with her infant child on her lap.

The railways have asked Commissioner Railway Safety P K Vajpayee to inquire into the accident.

Regarding the second incident, Northeast Frontier Railway sources said it occurred at Bhatkuchi, between Rangiya and Ghograpar railway stations.

The train had left Guwahati railway station at 1915 hours on its way to Puri and the accident occurred at about 2020 hours, the sources said.

Four coaches of the train derailed and fell into a paddy field, while four more overturned. All the coaches involved were those immediately behind the engine.

The sources said preliminary findings pointed towards a blast on the tracks, though confirmation is yet to be received. Passengers of the ill-fated train as well as people of nearby villages also claimed that they had heard a loud explosion just before the accident.

The injured were being rushed to Rangiya and Guwahati, where the state government has issued orders for treatment of the victims on a priority basis. The condition of at least 30 injured was stated to be critical.

Rescue and relief teams have reached the spot and were trying to ensure that no person was trapped in the coaches as well as providing medical aid to those injured.

The main railway line through the section has been blocked following the incident and trains were being diverted via Goalpara, the sources said.

The NFR has set up following helpline numbers after the accident: 0361-2737154/2737155/2731621/622/623 and 9957554804.


Minor earthquake recorded in Karbi Anglong region of Assam

An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale, was recorded in  the Karbi Anglong region of Assam in  the early  hours of today.
The  quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 26.5°N and longitude 93.4°E, occurred at 0156 hours today ata focal  depth of 30 km, a bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
Earlier, a tremor of magnitude 4.5 shook the Myanmar-Mizoram border region yesterday evening.
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 22.8°N and longitude 94.0°E, occurred at 1913 hours yesterday at a focal depth of 10 km, IMD said.

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Badminton: Saina Nehwal, Sourabh Verma win men and women's National titles

File photo of Saina Nehwal
File photo of Saina Nehwal
In a  tense  battle  Saina Nehwal beat P V Sindhu 21-18, 21-15 to win her fourth title at the Yonex-Sunrise 83rd Senior National Badminton Championships 2018-19 here on Saturday.
 In men’s section, Sourabh Verma won his third Nationals title with a 21-18, 21-13 triumph over Asian junior champion Lakshya Sen.
The singles winners were awarded prize money of Rs. 3.25 lakh while the runners-up got Rs. 1.7 lakh. Each of the singles semi-finalists and the quarter-finalists got richer by Rs. 62,500 and Rs. 27,500 respectively.
The showdown between Saina and Sindhu, a repeat of their enthralling final from the previous edition, was undoubtedly the cynosure of all eyes at the packed stadium attended by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma among others.
Saina overcame an erratic start to slowly gain in confidence. After trailing 1-3, she drew level at 5-5 with husband Parupalli Kashyap egging her on. With not much to choose between the two, the hard-fought match continued to be even until 10-10. That was where Saina's brilliant movement and unwavering focus made a difference and the defending champion went up to 16-12.
Saina kept targeting the corners to keep Sindhu out of position and soon bagged the opening game.
A more aggressive approach from the tall Sindhu sent her up to 5-3 in the second game. The momentum soon swung Saina's way, who once more started restricting her opponent from playing her naturally attacking game.
With Sindhu's game collapsing into errors, a calm and steady Saina built a 12-9 advantage and soon extended it to 17-13 by pushing Sindhu to the backcourt and finding the opening for smashes. The persistent approach and her spectacular court coverage helped Saina wrap it up in 44 minutes.
This was Saina’s fourth title after earlier triumphs in 2006, 2007 and 2017 while Sindhu had been looking to add to her 2011 and 2013 titles.
In men’s singles, Verma and Sen met in a repeat of their 2017 final. Even though Sen stormed out of the blocks, it was the patient Verma who once again mastered the younger player.
The 17-year-old made a fabulous start as he broke away from a 6-6 tie to race ahead to 11-6. Verma tried to prolong the rallies after that and took four points on the trot. After Sen smashed his way up to 15-13, his barrage of unforced errors cost him the lead and Verma's composure allowed him to go up to 18-16 and pocket the opening game.
Sen fought back to 4-4 from 0-3 down in the second game but once again could not do enough to make a dent in Sourabh’s confidence levels. The latter banked on his precision and control to surge to 11-7 before finishing in 44 minutes.
Verma thus tasted success at the Nationals for the third time following victories in 2011 and 2017. Sen had to remain content with a two-time runner-up show.
Having lost in the men’s doubles final with Satwiksairaj Rankireddy in the last edition, Chirag Shetty made up for it this time in partnership with Pranaav Jerry Chopra. The second seeds upset the top seeds Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran 21-13, 22-20 to take the men’s doubles title.

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Modi to visit Guwahati, Itanagar and Agartala on Saturday

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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Sonowal, Bodo leaders meet Rajnath Singh

A delegation from Assam led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh here during the weekend to discuss issues related to safeguards for preserving the cultural and linguistic identity and heritage of the state.
They also discussed the implementation of Clause-6 of the Assam Accord and issues related to grant of tribal status to six communities. 
Several representatives of the Bodo groups including the Bodoland Territorial Council chief Hagrama Muhilary, Chandan Brahma, Minister from BPF in the State Government and Biswajit Daimary, MP also met the Union Home Minister and discussed the various outstanding demands of Bodo community, an official press release said.
The Union Home Minister said that,  while introducing the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on January 8, he had made it abundantly clear that the Bill was not meant for the individuals belonging to six minorities who have come from one particular country. 
It was also not meant for individuals living in one particular State. At the same time, it was a fact that Assam has borne the disproportionate burden of migration due to religious persecution in our neighbouring countries.   
Mr Rajnath Singh said he had therefore made it clear that Assam should not bear this burden alone.  It was the responsibility of the entire country and the burden should also be shared by the entire country, he added. 
“We are committed to helping the persons belonging to six minority communities, who have been compelled to come to India because of religious persecution in the three neighbouring countries.  Those who qualify for citizenship under the amended Citizenship Act would be free to reside and settle in any State,” he added.
He said the Government will also expect the recommendations of the High Powered Committee  set up to suggest measures for the implementation of the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.   
The action taken by the Government to set up this High-Level Committee is a landmark step in the direction of preserving the cultural, linguistic identity of Assam. This Committee has a very broad mandate. He urged all those who have the interest of Assam and the Assamese people in their heart, to take advantage of this historic opportunity, he said.
The Union Home Minister said the decision to grant tribal status to six communities should also be seen in the same spirit. He assured the Bodo leaders that this decision will be implemented only after ensuring that the political and employment-related privileges and rights of the existing tribes in Assam were fully protected.  
The necessary modalities for this will be worked out by the State Governments in consultation with all the stakeholders, he said.
Mr Rajnath Singh said certain misgivings about the Citizenship Amendment Bill were being spread.  He will soon be calling a meeting of the Chief Ministers of the concerned States.  
They will further discuss the safeguards that need to be provided for protecting the interests of these States and protecting their cultural and linguistic identity, he added.

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AGP ends ties with BJP over Citizenship Bill

The AGP on Monday quit the alliance with the BJP over the Modi government's decision to go ahead with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which seeks to give citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Asom Gana Parishad President Atul Bora said this here on Monday after an AGP delegation led by him met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. 
"We have made our best efforts to convince the BJP leadership about the negative impact of the Bill and the stand of the people of Assam, But the BJP has decided to go ahead with the Bill leaving us with no option but to quit the alliance," he told the media.
The Union Cabinet earlier cleared the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 after a Joint Parliamentary Committee submitted its recommendations to the Lok Sabha. The Bill is likely to be debated in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The snapping of the ties by the AGP, however, does not threaten the Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance government in Assam. 
The BJP has 61 members and the support of an Independent member in the house of 126 while its ally BPF has 13 members. While the AGP has 14 members, the Congress and AIUDF have 24 and 13 members, respectively.
Bora said: "We fought a long battle over the Citizenship Bill. We protested on the streets and we met different political parties and members of the JPC over the Bill. We tried our best to stop the Bill being a part of the government. However, now that the BJP has decided to go ahead with it, we have no other option but to walk out of the alliance," said Bora.
He said the alliance with the BJP before the 2016 Assembly polls was a demand of the time.
"The Congress was in power from 2001 to 2016 and we decided to oust the Congress from power by forging an alliance with the BJP. The people did not only vote for the BJP but voted for AGP and BJP combine. However, the BJP failed to keep the promises of the alliance partner. Being a regional party, we have to respect the wishes and sentiments of the people of Assam," Bora added.

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SpiceJet adds Lilabari in Assam as its tenth destination under UDAN

Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has announced the introduction of a daily direct flight on the Kolkata-Lilabari route under the Government's regional connectivity scheme, UDAN.
Lilabari, an unserved market located in the Lakhimpur district of Assam, was awarded to the airline under UDAN-II, a press release from the airline said.
The airline also announced a new direct flight connecting Kolkata with Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh and an additional frequency on Hyderabad-Jabalpur route. 
All new flights and frequencies are scheduled to commence from January 15, 2019, the release said.
The airline will deploy its Bombardier Q400s on all these routes, it said.
Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Sales & Revenue Officer, SpiceJet, said, “SpiceJet is extremely proud to add the picturesque destination of Lilabari on its domestic network. We have always remained steadfast in enhancing connectivity to the north eastern region of India which owing to its difficult topography has always suffered from connectivity limitations. Lilabari is our first destination in Assam under the UDAN scheme and we are confident that the new flight will provide impetus to the tourism potential of the state.”
Located on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, Lilabari is a town renowned for its splendor and tranquility.  It is also well-known for adventure sports, including trekking, rafting and mountaineering.
Owing to its close proximity to Arunachal Pradesh, the Lilabari airport serves both the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
With the addition of the Kolkata-Lilabari-Kolkata flight, SpiceJet will operate 25 flights under UDAN on the routes of Delhi-Kishangarh-Delhi, Kolkata-Pakyong-Kolkata, Guwahati-Pakyong-Guwahati, Mumbai-Porbandar, Mumbai-Kandla-Mumbai, Hyderabad-Puducherry-Hyderabad, Jaipur-Jaisalmer-Jaipur, Delhi-Adampur-Delhi, Chennai-Hubli-Chennai, Ahmedabad-Jaisalmer-Ahmedabad, Surat-Jaisalmer-Surat and Delhi-Kanpur-Delhi.
SpiceJet was awarded 22 new sectors under the Government of India's UDAN II. Out of these, 19 catered to unserved markets of Kannur (Kerala), Darbhanga (Bihar), Ozar (Nashik), Pakyong (Sikkim), Kishangarh (Rajasthan), Lilabari (Assam), Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu), Bokaro(Jharkhand) and Solapur (Maharashtra) whereas three were for the underserved markets of Hubli (Karnataka).

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Assam: Ajmal apologises for abusing journalist, faces FIR

A day after abusing a journalist, and threatening to "smash" his head, Lok Sabha member Moulana Badaruddin Ajmal expressed his apologies on Thursday, saying he respects media persons.
Ajmal, who represents Assam's Dhubri constituency, landed himself in a controversy on Wednesday over the episode.
Ajmal, who leads the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), faced condemnation from different sections over the incident. Several media organisations have threatened to file FIRs against him.
Apologising over the episode, Ajmal, who is also a perfume trader, wrote on Twitter: "Media is the fourth pillar of democracy and I have always respected media persons and everyone knows that. I have sincere regards for them. The Mankachar incident was an unintentional aberration and I sincerely apologize for that to all concerned."
Guwahati-based Digital Media Journalist Association of Assam (DiMJAA) has said it will file an FIR against Ajmal on Thursday.
Members of the media fraternity also staged a protest on Thursday at Dispur Press Club, wearing black badge.
The AIUDF chief got agitated on Wednesday when a journalist asked him if he will side with the party that comes to power in New Delhi.
He was addressing a press conference at Mankachar to honour the AIUDF leaders who won in the recently held rural polls in Assam.
Ajmal not only verbally abused the journalist but also asked him to get out of the venue. 
"I'll smash your head," he said, while snatching the boom of the journalist.

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Modi launches attack on Congress over helicopter deal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the Congress, without naming anyone, saying that no one could have even thought four years back that the 'key secret player' (sabse bada raajdar) in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal would ever be in an Indian jail.
"No one ever thought that 'sabse bada raajdar' in the helicopter deal would be in an Indian jail. Our government did the work to bring him back to India and hand him to the law enforcers," Modi said while referring to the recent extradition of Christian Michel, the middleman of AugustaWestland helicopter deal.
Modi was speaking to a huge gathering near Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in Assam, which he inaugurated on Tuesday.
"While we are ensuring the rights of the poor, we are also fighting against black money and those indulging in corruption," he said, adding that while the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre had distributed 1.25 crore houses under Prime Minister Awas Yojaha (PMAY), the government has also seized properties worth over Rs 5,000 crore under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The Prime Minister said while the government has sanctioned a loan of Rs 7 lakh crore under the Mudra loan without security deposits, the government had also taken stern steps to recover defaulters' loans to the tune of Rs 3 lakh crore sanctioned by banks during the previous governments.

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Modi inaugurates Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge -- India's longest -- over Brahmaputra

A view of the Bogibeel bridge over the Brahmaputra in Assam, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25, 2018
A view of the Bogibeel bridge over the Brahmaputra in Assam, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the country's longest rail-cum-road bridge in Bogibeel over the Brahmaputra river, that connects Dhemaji and Dibrugarh in Assam, on Tuesday.
Later, Modi and his cavalcade took a ride on the bridge, stopping in the middle and waving at thousands of people waiting on either sides.
Built at an estimated cost of over Rs 5,000 crore, the bridge is expected to help over five million people living in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and significantly enhance India's defence capability by ensuring faster movement of troops and supplies to the eastern border with China.
The foundation stone of the bridge was laid by the then Prime Minister of H. D. Devegowda in 1997. The construction works started only in 2002 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister.
The bridge, situated 17 km downstream of Dibrugarh spans the Brahmaputra river and connects the town in the south to Dhemaji to the river's north.
It is located just over 20 km away from the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border and is thus expected to act as an alternative to the Kolia Bhomora Setu in Tezpur.
Earlier, on his arrival at the Mohanbari airport near Dibrugarh, Modi was received by Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. He later left for Bogibeel in a helicopter.
The strategic 4.9 km rail-cum-road bridge, built by Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), is the first fully welded steel bridge and the longest rail-cum-road bridge in India.
HCC constructed the entire 4.9 km-long superstructure, a press release from the company said.
"Bogibeel bridge will provide connectivity to nearly five million people residing in Upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The project boasts of multiple benefits such as strategic and speedier access for defence forces to the Indo-China border, seamless access for medical facilities to remote north-eastern states, and most importantly reducing by nearly 10 hours the transportation distance between NH-37 and NH-52, saving transportation cost, time and fuel," the release said.
Mr. Arjun Dhawan, Director & Group Chief Executive Officer, HCC said, “HCC has time and again undertaken complex infrastructure projects that are benchmarks in India’s infrastructure journey. Bogibeel Bridge is an engineering masterpiece which has many technical firsts to its name. It is India’s first fully welded Warren truss girder type steel bridge. Not only has an incremental launching technique for superstructure erection been used for the first time in India, it is also the world’s longest incrementally launched steel bridge. HCC is proud to create such marvels for the nation.”
"The HCC team through its sheer determination and grit completed this project, as bridging the mighty Brahmaputra has always been a daunting task. The river is extremely difficult to bridge due to various reasons including its ferocious and unpredictable behaviour, high currents and turbulent waters, widespread erosion of the banks, short working period, high seismicity and the sheer remoteness of the area. With the width ranging from 1.2 km to 18 km, the Brahmaputra has been bridged only four times in the past; HCC holds the distinction of building two of these bridges and has now constructed the fifth," the release said.
The superstructure of the Bogibeel bridge has been constructed using special copper-bearing steel plates in order to reduce corrosion. Furthermore, due to excessive humidity in the area, a complex Corrosion Protection System specific to different components of the bridge has been implemented. To offer good stability to the heavy spans (1700 MT), seismic restrainers are provided. The bridge is designed to withstand earthquakes with magnitudes in excess of 7.0.
(With inputs from IANS)

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Blast in passenger train in Assam, three injured

3 injured in blast in train in Assam
At least three persons were injured after a blast on a moving passenger train near Harsinga in Assam on Saturday, officials said.
A senior railway official said the low intensity blast occured about 6.50 p.m. in the general second class coach of Kamakhya-Dekargaon Intercity Express near Harisinga, about 50 km from Rangiya. 
The blast ocurred between Harisinga-Tangla stations of Rangiya division of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR). 
Following the blast, a portion of the coach got affected, the official said, adding the traffic on the route was not affected as two more lines are available at the station.
The official said the injured included a woman and a child. He said that, due to the blast, one passenger suffered head injury, while two others received minor injuries.
The injured passengers were shifted to Harisingha Hospital where they were provided first aid and then discharged.
The official said that senior railway officials had rushed to the blast site. 

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Kovind presents Standards to 118 Helicopter Unit and Colours to Air Defence College

President Ram Nath Kovind presented Standards to 118 Helicopter Unit of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Colours to Air Defence College here on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said the world looks at India differently today. It is seen as an eminent power, expected to play a prominent role in shaping the global paradigm with regards to international security, trade and commerce, and environmental protection. 
“India’s rise in the international order has many dimensions to it. And it draws heavily from the capabilities and valour of our Armed Forces, including our air warriors,” he added.
“I have just returned from a visit to Vietnam and Australia. I held discussions with the leaders of both these countries in different areas of mutual interest such as defence, international security, trade and culture. 
“The deliberations made one thing amply clear. That, the world looks at India differently today. India is seen as an eminent power, expected to play a prominent role in shaping the global paradigm with regards to international security, trade and commerce and environmental protection,” he said. 
“Though we remain firmly committed to peace, we are determined to use all our might to protect the sovereignty of our nation. Whenever an occasion demanded, our brave men and women in uniform have ensured that the nation has dealt with the security challenges forcefully and effectively," he said.
The 118 Helicopter Unit or “Challengers” was formed on November 22, 1971, in Chabua and was then equipped with Mi-8 aircraft. Whether flying the Mi-8 or the formidable Mi-17 helicopter today, the Unit has a remarkable operational record. 
It has also contributed to humanitarian assistance and relief operations during natural disasters. The motto of the Unit Aapatsu Mitram, which means-Friend in Distress, is indeed an apt one. 
“I am confident that Challengers will continue to excel and operate as a formidable force in the years to come,” Mr. Kovind said. 
The Air Defence College has achieved significant milestones in Air Defence training in the past 60 years. The college provides professional training not only to officers of Indian Air Force but also to sister services and officers from friendly countries. 
The flying element of the College played a vital role during the 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars. Since its establishment, the college has distinguished itself by adopting a futuristic approach towards training. 
The College truly lives up to its motto “Rakshanepunyasya Shikhamahe”, which means ‘ Teach to Excel in Defence’.
“In recognition of their outstanding performance, I am pleased to award Standards to 118 Helicopter Unit and Colours to Air Defence College. I compliment the personnel and families of the Units, past and present, for their devotion and service to the nation. The Indian Air Force is a fine force known for its prowess and professionalism,” Mr Kovind added.

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Two killed as ULFA triggers blast in Assam

Two persons were killed after suspected militants belonging to the anti-talks faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) triggered a blast in Assam's Sivsagar district on Thursday evening, police said.
Police said the blast took place at a hardware store belonging to one Kamal Agarwala. 
"While Agarwala was seriously injured in the blast, a customer who was present in the store died on the spot. Agarwala was rushed to a hospital immediately but he succumbed to his inuries," police said.
The police is investigating the matter and will detail "the exact nature of the blast after preliminary investigation", said Sivsagar Superintendent of Police Subodh Kumar Sonowal.
Locals said that Agarwala and his brother had earlier received an extortion demand from the anti-talk faction of ULFA militants.
The anti-talks ULFA faction had on November 1 shot at a group of Hindu Bengalis in Tinsukia district in which five persons were killed.
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal strongly condemned the act and said that miscreants responsible for the killing will not be spared.
The Chief Minister, who is in New Delhi, termed the incident as an act of cowardice. He said that the state police chief has been directed to take immediate measures to nab the culprits involved in the incident.

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Sprinter Hima Das is UNICEF-India's first youth ambassador

The United Nations Children's Fund-India (UNICEF-India) has appointed Asian Games gold-medalist sprinter Hima Das as the country's first ever youth ambassador.
The name of the woman athlete from Assam was announced by the world organisation in a tweet on Wednesday evening coinciding with the Children's Day celebrated on November 14 commemorating the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's birthday.
"I'm honoured to be chosen as UNICEF India's Youth Ambassador, and I hope I will be able to inspire more children to follow their dreams," Das responded.
Hailing from Nagaon district, Das clinched a gold medal in women's 4x400 metre relay event at the 2018 Asian Games. She also won a silver in the women's 400m race.

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Militants gun down 5 in Assam's Tinsukia district

At least five persons were killed in Tinsukia district of Assam when militants fired indiscriminately at a group of people on Thursday evening, police said.
The incident took place at a remote location called Kherbari under Dhola Police Station in the district that borders Arunachal Pradesh in eastern Assam, the police said.
Locals said four or five armed militants came in Army fatigue and started firing at the people who were playing Ludo in front of a "dhaba" late on Thursday evening.
The police suspect the hand of the anti-talks faction of ULFA militants behind the incident.
Tinsukia Superintendent of Police Mugdhajyoti Mahanta said that an operation has been launched in and around the district to track the militants involved in the incident.
Condemning the Dhola incident, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he has spoken with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and asked him take strict action against the culprits.
"Deeply anguished by civilian casualties in an attack in Upper Assam region. It is a reprehensible act of mindless violence. Spoke to Assam CM Shri @sarbanandsonwal regarding the incident and asked him to take strict possible action against the perpetrators of this heinous crime," Singh tweeted.
Meanwhile, Sonowal has asked state Water Resources Minister Keshav Mahanta and Minister of State for Power Topon Kumar Gogoi to rush to the incident site to take stock of the situation.
Sonowal also asked Assam DGP Kula Saikia and ADGP Mukesh Agarwalla to immediately visit the site to tackle the situation, according to an official statement.
The Chief Minister said that perpetrators of the crime would be dealt with firmly. He also directed all Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police to remain alert.
He condoled the death of innocent people and conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved families, the statement said.
On October 13, the same ULFA faction had triggered a blast in Guwahati this year and claimed responsibility. Its chief Paresh Baruah had later told some TV news channels that the blast was a warning to those supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

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Assam NRC: SC allows 5 more IDs for raising claims, objections

In a relief to about 40 lakh people left out of the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam, the Supreme Court on Thursday permitted five additional identity documents for filing claims and objections over non-inclusion in the final draft NRC for the state.
These additional identity documents are National Register of Citizens (NRC), 1951; electoral roll up to 24th March, 1971; Citizenship Certificate; Refugee Registration Certificate and certified copies of pre-1971 electoral roll, particularly, those issued from the State of Tripura; and ration card.
Permitting these five identity documents, the bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman said the fear of an ineligible person getting into the NRC cannot be a ground for exclusion of genuine citizens.
"It is our considered view that the mere possibility of filing of forged documents or that such documents were filed in the earlier exercise cannot be a ground to exclude the same from the impending process of filing of claims and objections," the court said in its order.
Needless to say, the court order said, "all such documents must be subjected to a thorough process of verification and will be accepted only after due and complete satisfaction of the genuineness of the same".
The court said that objection of state coordinator of NRC Prateek Hajela to the five documents, specifically to the names in NRC of 1951 and names in electoral roll up to March 24, 1971 is "based entirely on a possibility of abuse which, however strong, cannot be an acceptable reason in law to exclude the documents from consideration".
While allowing five additional documents, the court extended the time for filing of claims and objections to December 15 from previously set November 25.
The court said that digitisation of documents will be completed by January 15. Thereafter, the notices would be issued and the verification of claims and objections would commence from February 1.
The court also directed Hajela to undertake vigorous verification of the five documents that would be relied upon to file claims for inclusion in and objection to exclusion from the final draft NRC.
Justice Nariman told Hajela that the approach that it is "better to exclude a genuine person than include an ineligible is not correct", while Chief Justice Gogoi said: "We have gone through (the report) and we don't think you are right."
Endorsing the position, the Chief Justice said that merely because a forged document could be submitted cannot be the basis of excluding them as documents of identity proof. Even in the earlier exercise to prepare the draft NRC, a large number of documents were disputed, CJI Gogoi reminded Hajela.
The court on Thursday permitted the reliance on five more documents taking note of the position taken by the Assam government, the Centre and other stakeholders.
Earlier, the top court had permitted 10 identity documents for filing claims and objections for inclusion in or exclusion from Assam NRC.
Besides the Centre and Assam, the court in the last hearing on October 23 had sought response from the All Assam Students Union, All Assam Minorities Students' Union, Jamait Ulama-i-Hind, Assam Public Works, Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Progressive), Indigenous Tribal Peoples Federation and the Joint Action Committee for Bangali Refugees on Hajela's objection on permitting five identity documents.

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Militants gun down 5 in Assam's Tinsukia

Five persons were killed in Tinsukia district of Assam on Thursday evening when a group of unidentified assailants opened fire at a public place, police said.
The assailants are believed to be members of the anti-talks faction of militant outfit ULFA, according to the police.
More details are awaited.

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Assam: Man commits suicide over Foreigners Tribunal notice

A man committed suicide on Sunday in Assam's Udalguri district allegedly after a local Foreigners' Tribunal recently served a notice on him asking him to prove his Indian citizenship.
Police said Dipak Debnath was found hanging from a tree in the backyard of his house in Ghagra village.
"Preliminary investigation indicate it to be a suicide. His family told us that Debnath was depressed after receiving a notice from the Foreigners' Tribunal which termed him as a foreigner and asked him to prove his Indian citizenship," a police officer said.
Although the Foreigners' Tribunal served the notice to Debnath in July asking him to appear before it on July 12 to prove his Indian citizenship, Debnath received the notice only on July 29.
"The draft NRC was published by the Assam government on July 30 and it included the names of Debnath, his wife and two daughters. However, Debnath went to the Foreigners' Tribunal recently to respond to the notice and a Tribunal official demanded a huge bribe to settle his case," said Uttam Debnath, a nephew of the deceased.
"We believe he ended his life as he was not in a position to bribe the Tribunal officials. He was scared that he will be taken to detention camps and will be tortured," said Uttam.
The draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on July 30 left out the names of 40,07,707 people due to various discrepancies in the documents submitted by the people.

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ISL: Jamshedpur squander chances against 10-man NorthEast United

NorthEast United climbed back to the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) after an eventful 1-1 draw against Jamshedpur FC at the India Gandhi Athletic stadium here on Thursday.
Bartholomew Obgeche (20th) gave the hosts early lead before Farukh Chaudhary cancelled out his strike in the 49th minute.
It was the Highlanders who created the first real opening in the game after Federico Gallego surged down the right flank. The Uruguayan squared the ball back for Ogbeche from the by-line but the Nigerian's rushed shot was some way off target.
The Nigerian would not be denied his goal minutes later after an error from Mario Arques. The Jamshedpur midfielder was dispossessed off the ball in his own box by Gallego before Ogbeche showed a brilliant first touch and then toe-poked the ball past a hapless Subrata Paul.
The visitors almost hit back immediately after Calvo's intended cross from the left-flank deceived Pawan Kumar before bouncing off the crossbar. At the other end, Ogbeche continued to look dangerous with his quick feet and physical prowess.
Ferrando's men began exerting a greater control on the ball as the half progressed but always seemed to run out of ideas in the final third.
Just seconds after Redeem Tlang had forced Subrata into an excellent save, the hosts shot themselves in the foot with Komorski picking up a red card at the stroke of half-time. The Croatian defender swung his elbow wildly towards Pablo Morgado's face and the referee had no hesitation in giving him the marching orders after consulting with the linesman.
Come the second period, Eelco Schattorie sacrificed Nikhil Kadam to bring on defender Gurwinder Singh. Cesar Ferrando, meanwhile, threw caution to the winds by taking off defender Pratik Chaudhari for Michael Soosairaj.
It took just four minutes for the visitors to make their man advantage count after Reagan Singh failed to clear the ball. Morgado stole the ball before delivering a delightful cross from the left to which Farukh applied a sumptuous first-time finish with his left foot, leaving Pawan Kumar no chance.
With the game meandering towards the 70th minute mark, Tim Cahill was finally brought on as Ferrando went for the kill. The visitors put bodies forward in numbers with balls being launched into the box constantly but the cutting edge was missing.
Soosairaj came closest to taking the lead for the visitors but the 10 men of NorthEast hung on dearly for a precious draw.

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