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Barpeta hopes NRC will heal its bitter wounds

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first_imgTwo memorials some 30 km apart have for long defined the psychological divide in the Muslim-majority Barpeta, a district that has spawned quite a few agitations in post-Independence Assam.Every day, Kalimun Nessa wipes the dirt off the memorial outside her house at Khandakar Para village, which lists her second son, Maidul Islam Molla among the four martyrs of the 2010 anti-NRC protests.Maidul was 25 when he became a ‘martyr’ of an agitation spearheaded by the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) against a pilot project of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in 2010.The outsider tagThe police had opened fire on hundreds of protestors who allegedly tried to storm the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Barpeta on July 21 that year. Maidul was hit by a bullet in his chest.“I would often ask Allah why Maidul, the second of my four sons had to die that day. The NRC has made me realise he died so that 10 others would live without the burden of the Bangladeshi tag,” Kalimun Nessa, 62, said.Still retain faithA high school dropout, Maidul used to run a small rice and spice mill at home. The unit shut down after he died.Of the 18 family members he left behind, 16 have made it to the final NRC draft published on July 30. The two members who were left out include Maidul’s aunt Abida Begum.“We are among 40 lakh people excluded from the list, I hear. But we have faith that the final NRC will be an error-free one and settle the (illegal immigrants) issue once and for all,” she said.Khandakar Para has some 4,000 people, and almost every house has one or more members missing from the NRC.In adjoining Kumullipara village, daily wager Nur Begum is the only member of her family not in the NRC.Like Maidul, her 55-year-old husband Majam Ali, who was transporting goods in a handcart, died of bullet wounds in the anti-NRC agitation.Nur Begum’s name does not figure in the final NRC list though her father Burhan Uddin figured in the 1951 NRC, as her legacy code 120-0034-9821 suggests.“They rejected my documents, including one provided by the Kumullipara gram panchayat secretary. I may or may not be included, but the NRC will for our people be a rashtriya daleel (national agreement) that no one can erase,” she said.The youngest of the four ‘martyrs’ was Khandakar Motaleb Ali, 20, also of Kumullipara. The fourth was Sirajul Haque, 27, of Baniarpara nearby. Desperate for peace“If need be, I would sacrifice my other three sons for a correct NRC that ensures peaceful coexistence without anyone being suspected,” Sirajul’s father Kalachand, 60, said.The AAMSU observes May 26 as its martyrs day. The day honours the four who died in the anti-NRC movement along with others who died for the cause of minority rights. “Their death led to discussions among stakeholders, including AAMSU and All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), and changes in modalities of the updating exercise, with the Supreme Court eventually monitoring it,” AAMSU’s cultural secretary Moniruz Zaman told The Hindu.The feeling is similar at Ujan Borbori, the village where Khargeswar Talukdar lived. He died in a police crackdown on another group of protesters 31 years ago. Ujan Borbori, 30 km east of the engraved marble that remembers the ‘NRC martyrs’ at Khandakar Para, sports a memorial in Khargeswar’s honour. The memorial adjoins a government-run school in his name. Khargeswar was just 18 when be became the first of 855 martyrs of the Assam Agitation against illegal immigrants that began in 1979. The agitation ended with the signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985.“Though some issues need to be ironed out, the NRC has reassured us that my brother’s death has not gone in vain. We hope it ends the Bangladeshi issue that has dominated the socio-political landscape and stolen our happiness for decades,” said Chandra Kanta Talukdar, the youngest of Khargeswar’s seven siblings.Khargeswar died in 1979 when protestors tried to prevent Begum Abida, wife of former President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, from filing her nomination for the Barpeta Lok Sabha seat.Co-existence shatteredEver since it was carved out of Kamrup district in 1983 at the peak of Assam Agitation, Barpeta has been synonymous with migration of Bengalis —Muslims and Hindus — from Bangladesh. But old-timers say the area had been an epitome of co-existence until the seeds of division were sown during the Assam Agitation.They refer to Montu Nag, who became AASU’s first Bengali Hindu secretary despite coming from East Pakistan in 1960 and living in one of two refugee colonies — Sonkuchi and Theka — in Barpeta town. He had spearheaded the Assam Agitation in the district in 1979 along with Bengali Muslim leaders Asgar Ali and Abdul Hai Nagori, now a Congress MLA. But the camaraderie snapped a year later with Bengali leaders of AASU deciding to form the AAMSU at the landmark Barpeta Road Howly College in 1980. Things were never the same again.“Barpeta never had a communal problem. But something changed after the Assam Agitation and political parties began cashing-in on religious and linguistic divide. The NRC has given us hope of Barpeta returning to the good old days,” Padmanil Sarma, an AASU leaders of 1979 vintage, said.“We hope so too. An error-free NRC should spell death for divisive politics, and that is what Barpeta and hopefully the country beyond wants,” Mr. Zaman said.last_img read more

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‘No Odisha policeman found guilty of rights violation, corruption’

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first_imgAt a time when the Odisha Police is getting ready to be rated by complainants and victims of crimes, none of its 976 police inspectors facing human rights violation and corruption allegations has been found guilty in the last five years.In response to an RTI application, the State police headquarters acknowledged that 976 such allegations had been received against inspectors and reserve inspectors between 2014 and 2019.Human rights activist Biswapriya Kanungo had submitted RTI applications seeking information on such allegations and action taken on them.“We have been sending all allegations to the district Senior Superintendent of Police as well as Deputy Commissioner for submission of inquiry and action taken reports. As many as 574 inquiry reports have been received at the HQ,” said the PHQ Public Information Officer.No response “No allegation or complaint against police inspectors has been substantiated or established. No administrative or penal action has been taken against any inspector,” informed the PIO.In case of the remaining 402 cases, the PIO did not say anything. Similarly, 102 allegations were received against Assistant Commissioner of Police and Deputy Superintendent of Police during the same period. But, the PHQ again kept mum.In case of allegations of corruption against serving IPS officers in Odisha, the Vigilance Department refused to divulge anything.“The State government specifies that nothing contained in the Act shall apply to General Administration (Vigilance), Department and its organisation,” said Vigilance Department PIO.“The piece of information is disturbing. It indicates as if all allegations against police officers were false. We believe that allegations were thrown to dustbins and no proper inquiry was held. The much-talked-about transparency and accountability has lost its meaning,” said Mr. Kanungo.last_img read more

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Indias economy big worry for PM Modi needs stimulus FICCI

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first_imgA scrap dealer searches for useful material at a weaving factory, that was shut a year ago, in Panipat in the northern state of Haryana, August 29, 2018.ReutersIndia’s slowing economic growth is of serious concern and the country needs to urgently cut tax and interest rates to revive the economy, a top industrial body said on Monday ahead of the inauguration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term.The economy grew 6.6 per cent in the three months to December – the slowest pace in five quarters – and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) said the bigger worry was that domestic consumption was not growing fast enough to offset a weakening global economic environment.”The recent signs of a slowdown in the economy stem not only from slow growth in investments and subdued exports but also from weakening growth in consumption demand,” FICCI said in a statement suggesting various measures the government could adopt in the next budget expected in a month.”This is a matter of serious concern and if not addressed urgently, the repercussions would be long term.”Narendra Modi – who won a thumping majority in the general election despite the agricultural sector’s economic woes, a shortage of jobs and the stuttering economy – takes the oath of office on Thursday and will need a finance minister who can help navigate through the challenges facing the economy.Some of the issues are slowing industrial output and manufacturing growth, slumping car and two-wheeler sales, and a drop in airline passenger traffic.FICCI said the new government should cut corporate and individual taxes, expand a programme of handing 6,000 rupees ($86) a year to poor farmers to boost consumption demand and consider tax concessions for export-oriented manufacturers.The Confederation of Indian Industry, another industry body, said it was crucial to reduce the income tax burden and expand the scope of investment allowance to all sectors, while higher incentives should be given to exporters.The FICCI also called for an interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), as real interest rates have remained high for a long time with commercial banks reluctant to pass on the benefits of recent cuts.When PM Modi took power for the first time in 2014, global oil prices slumped. But as he gets set for a second term, rising oil prices could push the current account deficit higher.The body also said the trade war between the United States and China could further slow down global trade and hurt India’s already sluggish exports.”Amidst rising uncertainties and economic challenges on both the domestic and global front, there is an urgent need to re-energise the engines of growth and pump prime the economy,” FICCI said.”The upcoming budget…is an opportunity for the government to boost consumption and investments through appropriate fiscal stimulus and policies.”Government bureaucrats have started consultations with industry bodies, such as the FICCI, before the budget.last_img read more

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2 cops held over extortion 4 rescued

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first_imgPolice arrested two members of Industrial Police of Gazipur, including an assistant sub-inspector (ASI), from Bypile area of Ashulia in Savar on Wednesday morning on charge of demanding toll from four people after making them hostage, reports news agency UNB.Of the arrestees, one was identified as Makbul Hossian, ASI of Industrial Police and kingpin of the gang.Police, however, rescued four people, including a woman, and seized a microbus.Sources said a gang led by ASI Makbul used to hostage people on a microbus and demanded a handsome amount of money as ransom from the family members of the hostages through bKash.Police arrested them red handed from Bypile area today while they were conducting such crime.Ashulia Police Station officer-in-charge Abdul Awal said the detainees are being interrogated.last_img read more

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Naogaon youth confesses to raping girl after killing her mother

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first_imgA young man, who was arrested for raping a girl after killing her mother at Dariapur village in Manda upazila, reportedly confessed before a court in Naogaon on Wednesday to his crime, reports UNB.Senior judicial magistrate Sirajul Islam recorded the confessional statement of Samiul Islam Sagar, said officer-in-charge of Manda police station Mozaffar Hossain, also investigation officer of the case filed over the incident.He, however, declined to elaborate further for the sake of investigation.The court also sent Sagar, 22, to jail, he said.Police said Sagar had an affair with the rape victim. On Monday night, the girl and her mother Nasima Akter Sathi, 40, were sleeping in their house when Sagar came in. Sathi’s husband Emdadul Haque works as a night guard at a farm in Natore.Sagar went to victim’s house with an intention to kill her as their relationship was going through a bad patch.Sathi woke up hearing an argument between her daughter and Sagar in the middle of the night. The youth stabbed her with a knife and slit her throat. He then raped the girl threatening to kill her.Police arrested the young man soon after the incident.last_img read more

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Green Line pays Russel second instalment of Tk 500000

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first_imgFile photoGreen Line Paribahan provided Tk 500,000 to Russel Sarkar, who lost his leg after being run over by a bus of the company in the city’s Dholaipar on April 28 last year.Palash Chandra Roy, a counsel of Green Line Paribahan, handed over the cheque to Russel before the bench of justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and justice KM Kamrul Kader on Monday.The court on March 12 ordered Green Line to pay Tk 5 million to the victim within two weeks. The Appellate Division later upheld the order and asked the company to pay the money.Green Line had paid Tk 500,000 to Russel on April 10. On June 25, the High Court ruled Green Line Paribahan could pay the compensation amount through monthly instalments of Tk 500,000. With today’s payment, Tk 1 million has been paid.The court meanwhile fixed October 17 for next hearing in the case. Green Line will have to pay within the first week of every month and submit a report on payment before the court within the 15th day of the month.A luxury coach of Green Line hit Russel’s car from the behind as it stood stationary on the slope of Hanif Flyover on April 28 last year. As Russel stepped out of the car to assess the damage, driver Kabir Hossain drove the bus over him and fled. Police later detained the bus and the driver. Russel’s left leg had to be amputated from the thigh down.last_img read more

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