Section 144 CrPC imposed in Ri-Bhoi district in Meghalaya; Dibrugarh-Tinsukia bandh creates violence; Naga political groups confirm commitment to Covenant of Reconciliation;
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  • The District Magistrate of Ri-Bhoi, M Kharmujai, has banned the carrying of arms and other deadly weapons in the district within an area of five kilometers from the boundary with Assam in the light of Assembly polls there. The prohibition will come into effect immediately, and will remain in force till the completion of the elections in Assam. Polling in Assam will be held on April 4 and 11.1

    Reports noted that vehicles were damaged at various places in the district by activists of the Sadou Assam Mottock Yuba Chatra Sanmilan (SAMYCS) during the Dibrugarh-Tinsukia bandh called by the organization today. Fifteen youths were arrested and sent to jail for assaulting a driver and a handyman of a night super bus at Lepetkatta. They were later released on bail.2

    According to reports, after a lull in the “Naga reconciliation: A journey of common Hope”, the journey seems to be back on track with the three Naga political groups re-affirming their commitment to the ‘Covenant of Reconciliation.’ Hopes of the proposed “highest level meeting” of the three groups-NSCN/GPRN, NNC/FGN and GPRN/NSCN-have also revived with the three groups giving verbal or written assurances to the Forum for Naga Reconciliation that they have not backtracked from their commitments.3

    Meanwhile, peace talks between the Mizoram government and the separatist outfit Hmar People’s Convention-Democrats (HPC-D) have run into rough weather, with the state declining a “foreign negotiator” in the rebel team. Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla informed the Mizoram Assembly that peace negotiations had run into a deadlock as the Manipur-based rebel group insisted on including a US citizen in its delegation in the next round of talks in May - a proposal “unacceptable” to the Mizoram Government.4

    In other developments, the PG Agarwal commission of Inquiry which was investigating the Khwairamband firing incident has carried out their investigation by taking statements of all relative witnesses. As per the court order, the case had been handled by the Special Court of the CBI. The Khwairamband firing incident involved Imphal West district police commandos which led to the death of a former UG Sanjit and a pregnant woman Rabina devi and injured five others on July 23, 2009. A full report on the findings of the commission will be handed over to the State government sometime in the third week of April, 2011.5