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Border dispute: MHA in regular talks with Assam, Mizoram govt

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New Delhi, July 31. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is in regular talks with Assam and Mizoram administrations over the situation amid the continued border row between the two northeast states, the officials said here on Saturday.

Admitting that the situation is tense but under control, the MHA officials said the battalions of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) patrolling the area along National Highway 306 between the two states is in full strength to prevent any further clash between the state polices.

The ministry, however, refused to comment over the issue of cross FIRs by the states in the matter.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also stepped forward on Saturday to ease the tension. Speaking about the registration of FIR against him, he said he would be “very happy to join in any investigation”.

However, he questioned as to why the case was not being handed over to a neutral agency, especially when the place of occurrence was well within the constitutional territory of Assam.

He said he has conveyed the same to his Mizoram counter part Zoramthanga.

In an unprecedented move, Mizoram Police filed an FIR against Sarma in connection with the border clashes.

Sources stated that Union Home Minister Amit Shah has several times spoken to both the chief ministers over the issue and urged them to ensure that peace prevails in the region.

Earlier, the Mizoram Home Department Secretary Pi Lalbiaksangi also wrote a letter to the Additional Secretary (Northeast) Piyush Goyal in MHA complaining that that armed police personnel were being mobilised by Assam at Dholai and Hawaithang area along the inter-state border.

Citing media reports that additional enforcement of around four platoons of Assam Police Commandos have been deputed, he also requested the Union Home Ministry to issue appropriate instructions to Assam Government to refrain from such reinforcements and to pull back those contingents.

Earlier, Mizoram had written to Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla to immediately ask Assam to lift the economic blockade clamped by residents of the Barak Valley with allegedly support of the state machinery, but the Assam government had flatly denied the charges.

Clarifying on the alleged ‘travel ban’ by the Assam administration, Sarma on Friday said that the state government’s advisory was not meant to put a curb on travel. “We have advised our people to only think before going to Mizoram as civilians there have arms in their hands and this will continue until the Mizoram government seizes their weapons,” he added.

Amid the counter allegation of each state transgressing on the other’s territory, the situation escalated on July 26 afternoon, when at Vairengte auto stand inside the Mizoram, five Assam Police personnel and a civilian were killed and over 50 others, including a superintendent of police were injured as the Mizoram Police opened fire on a team of the Assam officials.

Immediately after the clash, Shah spoke to the Chief Ministers of the both states and advised them to defuse the tension and also asked them to withdraw their police personnel from the disputed site.

Later, on July 28, the Union Home Secretary chaired a meeting with the Chief Secretaries and Director Generals of Police of Assam and Mizoram wherein both the states agreed for deployment of central police force (CRPF) in the disturbed border areas along NH306 under the command of senior officer of the Force.

During the meeting, both state governments also agreed to continue discussions mutually to resolve the border issue in an amicable manner.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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