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What has come about the other day that is on the fateful afternoon of September 9, in the mighty Brahmaputra in full spate at Nimatighat near Jorhat is something horrid, a tragic boat accident in which scores of passengers are feared drawn in the river. The mishap has occurred when an ill-fated ferry coming from Kamalbari Ghat in Majuli collided with one proceeding towards the river island.

        The tragic ferry accident has once again exposed the lack of safety measures which used to carry passengers safe over the Brahmaputra, particularly the rainy season when the river is in menacingly high spate as is now, as also the seemingly offhand manner in which both our State Government and the Inland Water Transport department are running the services.

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For the first time in Assam, civil administration and police went out to arrest the land brokers operating under the well-knit land mafia led to put as many as 520 land brokers behind the bar. The target list of land brokers were 700, but limited to 520, as many of them picked up were later found having no linkage with illegal land deal.

Land brokers across Assam not only grabbed the government khas land but also encroached upon satras, namghar, and debattar land of temples allegedly converting the name of individuals in connivance with circle and revenue officers.

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For over six decades, Naga Nationalists have fought the Indian state for a sovereign ethnic homeland that would include Nagaland as well as the Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar across the border. Over the decades, the Naga armed movement split into several factions. Talks between the NSCN (I-M) and the Centre began in 1997, when the rebel group signed a peace treaty with the government.

In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government signed a “framework agreement” with the NSCN (I-M) – a development publicised as a major breakthrough by both sides.

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If Northeast India is a region beset with paradoxical complexity that most predominantly centred around identity politics, then Manipur would make the most fitting case to study, especially with the state’s assembly election around the corner.

 TOPOGRAPHY & ETHNICITY

The frontier, Mountain State that shares 352 kms of porous international borders with the heroine producing country of Myanmar, has more than 40 different ethnic communities, cohabiting a uniquely mesmerising topography of nine mountain ranges encircling a fertile oval shaped valley.

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On 22 September, the world witnessed a unique event in Assam of Northeast India, where the authority set 2479 rhino horns on fire as a mission to spread the message that the horns do not have any aphrodisiac value, because of which the gigantic animals, officially known as the greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicorns),  are hunted in Asia and Africa. The pledge of World Rhino Day was to drastically reduce the incidents of rhino-poaching with the government initiatives and full public support.

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