North-East ultras still active in Bangladesh; North-East Finance Ministers’ meet convened in Delhi; NSCN (IM) men held with arms in Dibrugarh, Assam; All Assam Minority Students Union (AAMSU) organizes NH-31 blockade; President approves three High Courts
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  • (JUNE 4-10)

    According to reports, though the Government of Bangladesh has launched a crackdown against militants of North-East using the territory of the country as safe haven, the recent arrests of militants by personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) proved that the militants still have a number of camps and bases in the neighbouring country. According to sources, the militant groups, particularly the groups of Manipur, still have camps in the Moulvi Bazar area, while, a number of other outfits including the hardline faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) are maintaining camps in the jungles in the Bangladesh-Myanmar border areas. Sources said that the militant groups of North-East also have some camps in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) area. 1

    In another development, reports noted that Union Finance Ministry has convened a meeting of the Chief Ministers and State Finance Ministers of the Northeastern States to discuss the financial situation of the States. The meeting to be chaired by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is slated to deliberate on the heavy burden imposed on the finances of the North-East States following implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission. The impact on the States has magnified manifold because of the reduction of State’s share in Central taxes on account of economic slowdown. 2

    Meanwhile, according to reports, Army from the 5 J&K Light Infantry Battalion in a joint operation with the local police apprehended four hardcore NSCN (IM) cadres with arms and ammunition from Eastern Lodge in Paltan Bazar. The arrested self-styled cadres hailed from the Tirap district in Arunachal Pradesh. 3

    Reports noted that President Pratibha Patil has given her formal approval for setting up separate high courts in three North-Eastern states -- Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya. A Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha last month, paving the way for the creation of separate high courts in the three states. Currently, six North-Eastern States -- Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh -- have benches of the Guwahati High Court. Sikkim has a separate high court. According to officials, the high courts are expected to start functioning in three months. 4

    According to reports, All Assam Minority Students Union (AAMSU), Dhubri District Committee, blocked the National Highway 31 at Gauripur and Makrijhora in Dhubri in protest against the torture and killing of non-Bodo people in BTC areas. Expressing serious concern over the plight of non-Bodo people living in the BTC areas, the AAMSU has sought the Central Government’s interference to solve the problem. 5
    In other developments, reports noted that a woman was killed and properties were damaged in a clash between two tribal clans in West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya prompting the authorities to impose curfew in areas under Dalu police station. In the clashes, a house at Dapogkre and four at Gangbanga were reduced to ashes and many were injured. The clashes took place when the bid by one group to acquire a piece of land was resisted by the other involving hundreds of people. 6